Rootkits are a collection of tools used by hackers to gain administrative privileges on compromised machines. They are typically used to help hide other forms of malware -- keyloggers or Trojan horse programs, for example -- from antivirus software.
Late last year, Sony BMG Music Entertainment helped make rootkit a household word, after the company was forced to recall millions of CDs that used these cloaking techniques to hide its copy-protection software. Sony's rootkit, which was installed when customers tried to play CDs, actually compromised PC security. Hackers eventually released malicious software that used Sony's software to hide itself on a PC.
Sophos Anti-Rootkit works with the Windows NT, 2000, XP and Windows Server 2003 operating systems.
Sophos Anti-Rootkit can be downloaded from the company's Web site.