Rootkit Definition

ro͝otkĭt, ro͝ot-
A set of software tools used to gain unauthorized access to a computer system on a network and to control its operation.
American Heritage
To infect (a computer system) with a rootkit.
A backdoor Trojan horse hiding behind or within processes and files that can provide crackers remote access to a compromised system. Besides being the name of a specific software tool, the term rootkit is often used in a more general sense to describe a tool providing system administrators access privileges to snoop while avoiding detection. During the week of February 17, 2005, Microsoft Corporation security experts cautioned about a new group of system-monitoring programs, or kernel rootkits, that are nearly impossible to detect using present-day security products. This new generation of rootkits therefore pose a serious security challenge to companies’ systems. Going by names such as Hacker Defender, FU, and Vanquish, these rootkits not only can snoop but also may be creating a whole new group of spyware and worms that can wreak havoc on systems. Experts further feared that online criminal groups would find these to be of extreme interest as a means to commit cyber crimes. Roberts, P. RSA: Microsoft on ‘Rootkits’: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid. [Online, February 17, 2005.] Computerworld Inc. Website. securitytopics/security/story/0,10801,99843,00.html; Symantec Security Response. Rootkit. [Online, November 7, 2003.] Symantec Security Response Website. http://securityresponse
Webster's New World Hacker

Other Word Forms of Rootkit



Origin of Rootkit

  • From root (access) complete administrative access to a computer

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • root +"Ž kit

    From Wiktionary


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