A Rootkit may be composed of one program or a combination of malicious programs that are designed to take control of your computer. Basically, a rootkit will allow hackers or outside attackers have root access to an infected computer. They can virtually act as an administrator and have access to your system without your permission.
Rootkits were originally legitimate programs that gave a user or administrator control to fix issues on an unresponsive computer. Nowadays, hackers have used this type of technology for malicious purposes at the expense of computer users, who often times are unaware that they’ve been infected with a rootkit.
Symptoms of a Rootkit
The anti-virus program that you currently have installed no longer runs
You notice that you are no longer protected by your antivirus program. You may get popup alerts from Windows that say you are not protected by an antivirus program. If you normally run antivirus software and it doesn’t run upon command, then this is a clear indication that a setting has been changed without your permission.
Your computer locks up or fails to respond to common inputs
At times you notice that your mouse is not moving or a program ceases to function or respond to commands given to it by you.
Settings in Windows change without your permission
When you access certain programs or perform actions on your Windows desktop, you notice that a setting has been manipulated or changed from what you originally set it as. This can be anything from your background or screen saver changing to your taskbar hiding itself.
Disabled web browser applications
You are not able to open Firefox or Internet Explorer to surf the web. Sometimes malicious applications block your access to the Internet by shutting down web browser applications.
You experience excessive network traffic or your network connect becomes slow or disconnected
You may notice web pages or network actives to be intermittent or cease to function properly at times