SAN FRANCISCO -- Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against viruses, spyware and spam, today announced the availability of a new free-of-charge, standalone tool offering comprehensive rootkit detection and removal capabilities.
Sophos Anti-Rootkit complements Sophos Anti-Virus 6.0 and other vendors' anti-virus solutions by providing an additional layer of protection for the Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 operating systems. Unlike other tools available, Sophos Anti-Rootkit warns if removal of a particular rootkit will impact upon the efficiency or integrity of the infected PC's operating system. This feature lets network administrators make an informed decision on how they want to proceed.
A recent web poll of 335 business users, conducted by Sophos, found that 55 percent of respondents worry that a rootkit might infect their computers. A surprising 37 percent admitted to not knowing what a rootkit was.
Rootkits are software frequently used by third parties - usually a hacker - to hide other software and processes using advanced stealth techniques. Malicious code, such as spyware and keyloggers, can be invisibly cloaked from detection by conventional security products or the operating system making them hard to detect. Hackers use rootkit technology to maintain access to a compromised computer without the user's knowledge.
"Rootkits are being increasingly used by hackers to hide a variety of criminal activities, including spyware designed to steal usernames and passwords, denial-of-service attacks, and spam campaigns. This research shows that many companies are concerned about this threat entering their corporate network," said Phil Wood, product manager at Sophos. "Meanwhile, it's a genuine concern that many users don't appear to know what a rootkit is, and may be oblivious to the threat. Windows users need to wise-up to the latest tricks being used by hackers, and ensure they have the tools in place to protect themselves."