How to Remove a Rootkit Virus from a Computer
A rootkit is a type of malware that hides itself deep in a system and can evade detection by most antivirus software. A rootkit can give hackers remote access to a computer, steal your clients personal information, monitor your clients online activity, and install other malicious programs. If you suspect that a computer is infected with a rootkit, you need to act quickly and follow these steps to remove it.
- Disconnect the computer from the internet and any other networks. This will prevent the rootkit from communicating with its command and control server and downloading more malware.
- Boot the computer into safe mode. Safe mode is a diagnostic mode that only loads the essential drivers and programs needed to run your system. This will prevent the rootkit from loading and interfering with your removal process. To boot into safe mode, restart the computer and press F8 repeatedly before the Windows logo appears. Then select Safe Mode with Networking from the Advanced Boot Options menu.
- Download and run a rootkit scanner. A rootkit scanner is a specialized tool that can detect and remove rootkits from a system. Some examples of reputable rootkit scanners are Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit, Kaspersky TDSSKiller, and GMER. You can download them from their official websites or from a trusted source like CNET or MajorGeeks. Run the rootkit scanner and follow the instructions to scan the system and remove any detected rootkits.
- Scan the system with an antivirus program. After removing the rootkit, you should also scan the system with a regular antivirus program to make sure there are no other malware infections left behind. You can use an existing antivirus program or download a free one like Avast, AVG, or Bitdefender. Update the antivirus program to the latest version and run a full system scan. Delete or quarantine any detected threats.
- Restore the system to a previous state. If the rootkit has damaged or corrupted any of the system files or settings, you may need to restore the system to a previous state before the infection occurred. You can use the System Restore feature in Windows to do this. To access System Restore, go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore. Choose a restore point that is dated before the infection and follow the wizard to restore the system.
- Change all passwords and monitor all accounts. After removing the rootkit, you should also change all the passwords for any online accounts, especially those related to banking, email, social media, and shopping. This will prevent hackers from accessing those accounts with the stolen information. You should also monitor those accounts for any suspicious activity or transactions and report them to the relevant authorities.
A rootkit is one of the most dangerous types of malware that can infect a computer. By following these steps, you can remove a rootkit virus from a system and protect your clients from further harm.