ROOTING OUT A ROOTKIT

kennyS - tech support  serviceJust when you think you’ll never have another virus problem, along comes the dreaded “rootkit.” This one is so powerful it may escape detection by anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. It happened to us.

Our first suspicion that something was amiss came when web surfing slowed to a crawl. Yet a quick check at SpeedTest.net showed we had blazingly fast download and upload rates. But we weren’t seeing the results of that speed.  So we headed over to a Facebook user group: “Computer Tech Help & Support by KennyS,” and posted the question. Kenny suggested downloading a free anti-rootkit tool from our favorite anti-spyware maker, MalwareBytes.org.

As soon as we installed the free program from MalwareBytes.org/products/mbar, it told us we might have a rootkit and offered to remove it. By all means, we answered. It then scanned the rest of our computer and found nothing dangerous. The tool is free but in beta testing phase, so the usual disclaimers apply. If everything on your PC is working fine, don’t bother with this.

NOTE: So the obvious question is what does a rootkit do, and why should we care? Well, the most obvious thing it does is slow down your system. But the dangerous thing it does is allow other spyware to be loaded into your system and remain undetectable to most ant-virus protection. It can be extremely difficult to remove, and sometimes the only way is to reinstall your operating system. The main clue to its existence is the sharp slowdown we experienced, despite a check with SpeedTest.net showing our connection rate was fine. System slowdowns are common and can be from many reasons, which is why you want to make that speed check.

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