What is A Rootkit?


Spend enough time around a computer and you will likely start to hear a bunch of terms that refer to several types of malicious software that can damage your computer.  Often known collectively as “malware,” these programs are mostly designed to hide within your computer in order to perform one or mare (and often several) unfavorable tasks. Typically, these tasks include collecting (and selling) your information, preventing you from accessing the internet, and even holding your computer hostage.

One type of malware is known as a rootkit.  A rootkit is basically just a collection of computer software aimed at getting into parts of computer where it should not be allowed.  Essentially a rootkit tries to get administrative access to a computer in order to be able to override commands while, at the same time, concealing these actions from the user.


Trying to determine if your hikvision government computer, in fact, is infected with a root kit, is not an easy task.  Obviously, all types of malware are designed to hide and be hard to find, but the rootkit is notoriously difficult to detect.

The reason for this has to do with the very nature with a rootkit, of course.  While many malicious programs are good at hiding, their presence and function often interfere with other applications.  For example, your computer will often run slow when you have spyware or adware.

But detecting a root kit is difficult because a rootkit will typically subvert the very software or application that is intended to hunt it down.  It is often suggested that you use a different—and trusted—computer/operating system and start looking at any erratic behavior, scanning differentials, and memory dumping.


Now, even if you are able to find that your computer does have a rootkit, there is no guarantee that you will be able to remove. Even if you were to inquire of the most prolific computer programmer, removing a rootkit can be ridiculously complicated.

If, for example, the rootkit has been placed in a kernel removing it could, essentially, corrupt your whole operating system.  Indeed, a complete removal and reinstallation of your operating system is typically the only way to be certain you have fully solved the problem.  Similarly, if the rootkit is found in the hardware’s programming, you may have to replace that entire piece of hardware.