TechSpot

Technology news and commentary by the TechSpot.com staff

Add another one to the list of basic security apps you should be running, AVG’s Anti-rootkit Free

with 3 comments

For the past 3-4 years I have been recommending Windows XP users to install a small combo of basic applications that will grant a more secure and thus stable experience with the OS.

Nowadays SP2/Windows Defender should be a given and along with it you should install a good non-bloated anti-virus like AVG or AntiVir (both free), a good software firewall like ZoneAlarm, and a couple of trusted anti-spyware apps to run at least once a month. Everyone’s favorites seem to be the free Adaware and Spybot.

If you are familiar with all of those and you don’t rely on any untrusted sites, you should be in pretty good shape. Now I have another one to add to your list if you want to keep your system as secure as possible and rootkit-free. So, what are rootkits?

Rootkits are a specific type of malware which hide in other applications or a computer‘s operating system kernel. They allow malicious applications to collect passwords and sensitive data from the infected computer without the user’s knowledge, this can be used for personal information theft, spam relay and other criminal activities.

From the programs I just mentioned above, the anti-viruses should help a bit but none are specialized in detecting this kind of malware.

There used to be a pretty good free scanner from F-secure but the utility is no longer available. But don’t worry, AVG has got you covered with their Anti-rootkit Free utility, download that here and add it to your list of important programs.

Written by Julio Franco

October 8th, 2007 at 2:12 am

3 Comments so far

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Add another one to the list of basic security apps you should be running, AVG’s Anti-rootkit Free'.

  1. Anything wrong you see with the program? I mean, it’s free and seems to work just fine although your mileage will vary with these kind of malware exploits, there is always new stuff coming out.

    In the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of free utilities to help with that.

    Julio

    8 Oct 07 at 10:18 pm

  2. pandasecurity.comAVG Antirootkit is ok, but it does tend to throw up quite a lot of false positives from time to time. Also, it`s detection rates aren`t that good.

    I actually prefer and recommend the Panda antirootkit programme.

    http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/downloads/docs/product/help/rkc/en/rkc_en.htm?

    It`s detection rates are better than AVG and it doesn`t seem to suffer from as many false positives. It`s updatable just like an AV programme and will automatically fix known rootkit infections. Unknown suspected rootkits are reported but not fixed unless the user selects the unknown files to be fixed. This is very handy and gives the user time to get advice on whether the unknown files should be removed or not. The programme even allows the user to upload unknown files for analysis. The only downside thus far, is Panda Antirootkit is not compatible with Windows Vista.

    Regards Howard :)

    howard_hopkinso

    29 Oct 07 at 12:29 am

  3. I personally would recommend going with a free trial from a reputable and top shelf antivirus company, rather than trusting my security with a totally free offering. I just don’t feel the level of security is anywhere near the same.

    Antivirus

    5 Mar 10 at 3:04 pm



Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.