Rootkits For Dummies

Rootkits For Dummies

4.6 3
by Larry Stevenson, Nancy Altholz
A rootkit is a type of malicious software that gives the hacker "root" or administrator access to your network. They are activated before your system's operating system has completely booted up, making them extremely difficult to detect. Rootkits allow hackers to install hidden files, processes, and hidden user accounts. Hackers can use them to open back doors in


A rootkit is a type of malicious software that gives the hacker "root" or administrator access to your network. They are activated before your system's operating system has completely booted up, making them extremely difficult to detect. Rootkits allow hackers to install hidden files, processes, and hidden user accounts. Hackers can use them to open back doors in order to intercept data from terminals, connections, and keyboards. A rootkit hacker can gain access to your systems and stay there for years, completely undetected.

Learn from respected security experts and Microsoft Security MVPs how to recognize rootkits, get rid of them, and manage damage control.

Accompanying the book is a value-packed companion CD offering a unique suite of tools to help administrators and users detect rootkit problems, conduct forensic analysis, and make quick security fixes.

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Rootkits give bad guys virtually total control to install anything, do anything, capture anything -- and they're brutally difficult to uncover. You need to keep them off your PCs and networks, and exterminate them if they've taken root. To do that without first earning a doctorate in computer security, read Rootkits for Dummies.

In blessedly plain English, the authors explain what rootkits are, how they gain the privileged access they need to do their dirty work, and how they hide their tracks. But the heart of the book is "actionable" advice: how to avoid getting targeted, how to sniff out the presence of a well-hidden rootkit, and how to recover. Should you reformat your hard drive? Do you need professional assistance? You'll find realistic answers. You'll also find a CD-ROM full of rootkit diagnostic tools -- and the guidance you need to use them. Bill Camarda, from the March 2007 Read Only

Product Details

Publication date:
For Dummies Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Larry Stevenson is a veteran security consultant and instructor.

Nancy Altholz is a Microsoft Security MVP and security expert. Both are associated with, a resource for security professionals.

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4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's a 'white hats' vs. 'black hats' age we live in. This book, 'Rootkits for Dummies' is here to establish this fact. Not only that it helps you protect your computer from the up-coming rootkits threat, it also help you in fighting this new threat by three R's: 'Resistance, Recognition, and Recovery'. Chapter 8, 'Sniffing out Rootkits', was very helpful to me in being able to recognize the rootkits and how to utilize different tools for that matter. It's also worth noting that this book has a very deep and thorough web site survey that can help you in facing newer threats and introduce you to a community that is dedicated for Internet security, 'white hats'. Finally, the CD accompanying the book has many valuable tools that can be used to sniff and 'root-out' rootkits.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I think Rootkits for Dummies is a necessary read and up to date for most anyone who has someone securing one's computer for work or home use to go online. The book is not for a very light user who goes online occasionally, but it is definitely a worth while read to those who setup PCs, and laptops for others who go to online. There are so many things people must do to 'harden' their PC in order for it to stay safe relatively speaking online. Malicious activity online has grown expotentionally over the last few years. Viruses, malware, and rootkits have become much more sophisticated and harder to detect for those infected. There are so many new users who go online with their PC no adequately protected and without solid knowledge of defending themselves, thus making them part of the malware problem. Eventhough I consider myself a computer user at the intermediate-to-advanced level: meaning I believe know a lot about web related applications and internet technology but my knowledge is very limited in areas such as hardware. My own personal knowledge of malware is spotty at best. In the area of cyber criminality, my niche knowledge is that of phishing scams (emails and websites set up to steal identities, credit card and/or banking information from unususpecting end-users) Consider this, as recently as 1999, I had little or no protection on my home PC when I went online. That year was the first time I tried anti-virus software, F-PROT. I was still using dialup at the time, but by that time, there were plenty of viruses out there. Nowadays, if one hooks up a PC loaded with Windows XP unprotected, it takes less than an hour for it to get infected. This book fills in the gaps for me of my own spotty knowledge. There are anti-rootkit programs recommended in the book that I already use, but there are still many I have not used yet and look forward to. This book, like most of the Dummies series, is set up in a reference format. I have not had a chance to use the accompanying CD, but I know there are some very good useful freeware products one can use to defend oneself online. I will come back and update this information after I have used some of the recommended programs. My favorite chapter is 2 which mentions the three Rs of Survivable Systems: resistance (being difficult for malware attack), recognition (detecting and identifying infection) and recovery (bouncing back after a malware attack). This chapter helps me visualize what I should to protect my PC. The other chapters tell you how to secure your network, hard drive, your applications, your OS and everything else that could possibly get one infected when going online. The book has an occasional funny cartoon about the very topic of rootkits. It also contains a very useful index helping one to find the page for the topic they are interested in. One of the best finds of the book for me personally is making an backup of my entire hard drive using ISO image files. This is a great find for me personally as I recently had a hard drive failure and I only backed up files I created and some programs, but not the essential files related to the brand of PC I have. I also lost the key to my Windows XP home OS. One thing many infected end-users do not know about is that they can post their problems to helpful free anti-malware websites. There is a chapter in this book outlining the ones the authors recommend. I want to mention Castlecops, in particular, as I volunteer at that very helpful website myself. There are some great folks deeply dedicated in helping people who are infected for free. This type of effort is probably still not well known to many people who are online, even for some who have been online for years.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rootkits for Dummies is a comprehensive guide in which the authors move from basic to more advanced concepts. From the ¿whitehat¿ good cowboys and ¿blackhat¿ bad cowboys to the rootkit working like a hidden vault, Larry Stevenson and Nancy Altholz succeed in teaching through the use of vocabulary and analogies that can be understood by beginners as well as advanced users. Step-by-step instructions on some basic procedures guide the reader through fundamental computer maintenance and malware prevention, for not only the home PC user but for the business environment as well. For those readers who wish to explore the technical aspects of rootkits, clear explanations are included on how rootkits work to how users can recover from an infection. The ¿Dummies Anti-Rootkit Toolkit¿ CD that accompanies Rootkits for Dummies offers the reader many of the utilities discussed in the book and gives additional prevention tips. Rootkits for Dummies is well worth the money and is a perfect complement to any reference library or class on internet security.