Enterprise anti-virus vendor Sophos on Aug. 23 released a free rootkit detection and removal tool alongside a warning that the stealthy malware threat is a legitimate security concern for businesses.
Sophos, of Lynnfield, Mass., said its rootkit cleaner offers an easy-to-use interface to scan all running processes, local hard drives and the Windows registry for rootkits.
The company joins a growing list of Internet security vendors adding rootkit-scanning capabilities to their product lines. Finnish anti-virus outfit F-Secure offers the BlackLight rootkit clean-up utility, while BitDefender and others are beta testing similar offerings.
Offensive rootkits, which are typically used by malicious attackers to hide malware on Windows machines, gained mainstream media prominence in November 2005 when it was discovered that Sony BMG used stealthy techniques on music CDs to hide a DRM (digital rights management) scheme.
Rootkits are programs that are used to give a remote user persistent access to a compromised system while avoiding detection from security scanners.