Sophos offers free rootkit detection and removal tool

Sophos 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.

Sophos Anti-Rootkit provides an easy-to-use graphical interface showing information on hidden system resources, including the name of any discovered rootkit and required action. Sophos’s rootkit protection has been designed to identify known and unknown rootkits, and is available to download – free of charge – for non-Sophos users, as well as existing customers.

The software is available for download from Sophos web site.

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