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64 Bit Systems No Longer Immune From Rootkits « ZolexPC Blog About Us - Remote Computer Support & Help | Zolex PC
1Sep/10Off

64 Bit Systems No Longer Immune From Rootkits

As 64 bit systems become the norm for PC users, it is only logical to assume that the virus creators would try to find ways to penetrate the extra security provided by a 64 bit system.    A recent article by Technibble gives the full story.  Read it here:

http://www.technibble.com/tdl3-rootkit-x64-goes-in-the-wild/comment-page-1/#comment-20496

While 64 bit systems have always been vulnerable to regular viruses and malware, this is the first instance of a rootkit being able to penetrate the security of  a 64 bit system.  Rootkits are some of the nastiest infections you can get on your PC.   For a simple definition and explanation of a Rootkit, you can read this previous blog post.

http://www.zolexpc.com/zolex/blog/?p=6

According to Technibble's research the particular rootkit does not always succeed in it's attempt to infect your PC.   While that may be a bit reassuring, what it really means is the creators are working to increase the success rate.  These early versions can be considered Beta versions of the rootkit.   There is no doubt that they will be able to increase the infection rate as they continue to test and fine tune their Rootkit.

As explained in the above articles, Rootkits fly under Windows watch by loading themselves up before Windows itself loads.  This prevents the Rootkit's removal while running Windows even in Safe Mode.    Rootkits can be designed to appear as a regular driver that loads just like any other driver on your PC.    With this new 64 bit  Rootkit it goes one step further by infecting the Master Boot Record.     The Master Boot Record is where code executes on your PC in order to launch Windows.   This means that every time your PC is powered on the Rootkit/infection will load.   By loading the Rootkit to the Master Boot Record, it bypasses the security features of a 64 bit Windows system.

This particular infection has been seen on porn sites (no surprises there) and by means of other infections/viruses/malware.    Whether you are using a 64 bit system or a 32 bit system, the way to protect yourself from these infections remains the same.     Keep your Security Software up to date and be sure download and install Windows Updates when prompted.   Be extremely careful if you are surfing on porn sites as there are many illegitimate sites laced with Viruses.    Be very careful about clicking on suspicious videos, emails, links that are sent to you via email, Facebook, and even Twitter.  If you are not sure and suspicious do not take the chance by clicking on it.   Remember it only takes one wrong click to infect your PC.

While Windows 64 bit systems are more secure than 32 bit systems they are not immune from viruses and now they are no longer immune from Rootkits either.   I am sure that Microsoft will be looking for ways to make 64 bit systems more secure but the Virus creators will be doing the same thing to find new ways to break through.     As a user it up to you to do all you can to prevent contracting an infection on your PC.  If you do get an infection on your PC and cannot remove it yourself, you can always count on ZolexPC to help you out.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

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