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Rootkits For Dummies [Paperback]

Larry Stevenson , Nancy Altholz
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 30 2007 For Dummies (Computers)
A rootkit is a type of malicious software that gives the hacker "root" or administrator access to your network. They are activated before your system's operating system has completely booted up, making them extremely difficult to detect. Rootkits allow hackers to install hidden files, processes, and hidden user accounts. Hackers can use them to open back doors in order to intercept data from terminals, connections, and keyboards. A rootkit hacker can gain access to your systems and stay there for years, completely undetected.

Learn from respected security experts and Microsoft Security MVPs how to recognize rootkits, get rid of them, and manage damage control.

Accompanying the book is a value-packed companion CD offering a unique suite of tools to help administrators and users detect rootkit problems, conduct forensic analysis, and make quick security fixes.

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.


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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Recognize rootkits and plan your counter-attack

Here's how to root out this malicious software and manage damage control

Rootkits are diabolical, virtually invisible ways for someone to hijack your data, computer, or worse — your entire network. But never fear — this book reveals their ugly secrets and shows you exactly how to identify them, yank them out, repair the damage they've done, and set up defenses to keep new ones from taking root in your system.

Discover how to

  • Identify types of rootkits
  • Keep your computer clean
  • Root out invasive software
  • Protect your system with regular updates
  • Plan for recovery
  • Recognize when you have to start over

All on the bonus CD-Rom

CD includes

  • Anti-malware utilities and scanners
  • Backup and imaging applications
  • System analysis programs
  • Rootkit-detection-and-removal applications
  • Password protectors and generators

For details and complete system requirements, see the CD-ROM appendix

About the Author

Larry Stevenson is a veteran security consultant and instructor.

Nancy Altholz is a Microsoft Security MVP and security expert. Both are associated with CastleCops.com, a resource for security professionals.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Rootkits for Dummies Oct. 18 2009
Format:Paperback
An affordable resource for the history and the basics of rootkits including some elementary procedures for getting rid of them. Software references are a little bit dated however the principals for understanding and removing rootkits were my objective. As a guy that repairs malware infected PCs this book reminded of the procedures that work best to streamline my procedures and avoid infecting my own systems. Still some rootkits can only be removed by a secure hard disk wipe and a windows reinstall. It's enough to make you paranoid but this is a good book for the layperson.Rootkits For Dummies
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Book to Have -- Even if You Know Next to Nothing! March 26 2007
By mekongdelta69 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
THE most comprehensive of any of the Rootkit/Spyware/Malware/etc. books out there on the market. This book has so much info that a review of all of it would probably be as long (and hopefully) informative as the book itself. If you want to get an idea of how large the scope is of this book, click on the Table of Contents section under the picture of the book (and even that just skims the surface), because it doesn't show you all the individual topics covered in each chapter (which is extensive).

You don't have to be a 'techie' to get this (although parts of the book are aimed at 'techies'). All you need is a very basic knowledge of PCs (i.e. How to boot up!). This book (and very helpful CD) will walk you, step-by-step through EVERYTHING you need to know to protect your PC.

It contains URL's to technical sites if you happen to get stuck and explanations of how to back out of certain operations if you don't feel comfortable doing something before asking a 'tech' online.

Space constraints in Amazon don't allow me to continue very much further, but if your budget only allows for one book of this type, I urge you to get this one. I guarantee you won't be sorry and you will have learned an amazing amount of things which can harm your PC's (and by extension, YOUR) privacy and security (and exactly how to defend against them) in this online world...
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Dummies March 22 2007
By D. Hoover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If the information contained in the book is for dummies alone, then there are a lot of us. This book starts with the basics, and walks you all the way to what experts should know. I think even experts would find this book useful for reference. If you don't know what a rootkit is when you buy this book, you will know it, and be able to skin and cook the rootkit by the time you are done. You can learn as little or as much as you want, but your computer will be safer no matter how much you learn.

Practical applications are referenced, along with URL's where you can find out more information, get more help, or just plain learn because you want to.

A definite keeper.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When Google Searches bring Trojans Bearing Gifts. Dec 11 2007
By B. W. Goff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you have ever been on line, and had your computer taken over by a bogus spyware program, that throws a red screen of death, with a radioactive waster warning symbols, tells you they have done a systems scan and found loads of illegal porn that could ruin your family and social life and offers to save you for a mere $49.50, you should appreciate this book. So save some money, get this book and add some more bricks into the firewall and other programs that you currently use to protect and if necessary regain control of your system.

Larry Stevenson and Nancy Altholz have written a great reference book and provided readers with load of valuable information for preventing Malware from infecting your system, more important how to identify an infection and finally how to remove those nasty little Trojans and other gremlins from your system. All this information will hopefully prevent you from having to erase your hard drive, reload WindowsXP and all of your software. Even if you have to do this dreaded last resort, they offer some great information of how to get it done. The book includes a CD-ROM with Security first aid tools that include Anti-malware utilities and scanners, Backup and imaging applications, System analysis programs, Rootkit-detection-and-removal applications; it also includes password protectors and generators.

As our computer systems have developed, and we are using high speed DSL Connections to get online, the Blackhat Hackers have also developed their capabilities. I got hit with a Trojan while doing some Google research on Social Security information, so these idiots are out there, just about everywhere. I use a Norton Firewall, Norton Internet Security, Spybot S&D, Lavasoft's Ad_Aware and can still get zapped by a Rootkit. I was doing E-Mails and on line back in 1984, long before Al Gore even thought he invented it, so I have had a few decades of experience. I still learned more than a couple of things about dealing with Rootkits from this great reference. Check out CastleCops forum and website for some further information.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for Online Security March 4 2007
By Marnie_ATL - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I really enjoyed this book; it is accessible reading for the general audience of computer users. I think Rootkits for Dummies is a necessary read and up-to-date for most anyone who is securing one's own computer for work or home use to go online. The book is not for a very light user who goes online occasionally, but it is definitely a worth while read to those who setup PCs, and laptops for others who go to online. There are so many things people must do to "harden" their PC in order for it to stay safe relatively speaking online. Malicious activity online has grown expotentionally over the last few years. Viruses, malware, and rootkits have become much more sophisticated and harder to detect for those infected. There are so many new users who go online with their PC not adequately protected and without solid knowledge of defending themselves, thus making them part of the malware problem.

Eventhough I consider myself a computer user at the intermediate-to-advanced level: meaning I believe know a lot about web related applications and internet technology but my knowledge is very limited in areas such as hardware. My own personal knowledge of malware is spotty at best. In the area of cyber crime, my niche knowledge is that of phishing scams (emails and websites set up to steal identities, credit card and/or banking information from unususpecting end-users)

Consider this, as recently as 1999, I had little or no protection on my home PC when I went online. That year was the first time I tried anti-virus software, F-PROT. I was still using dialup at the time, but by that time, there were plenty of viruses out there. Nowadays, if one hooks up a PC loaded with Windows XP unprotected, it takes less than an hour for it to get infected. This book fills in the gaps for me of my own spotty knowledge. There are anti-rootkit programs recommended in the book that I already use, but there are still many I have not used yet and look forward to.

This book, like most of the Dummies series, is set up in a reference format. I have used the accompanying CD,and enjoyed GMER particularly. Additionally, I know there are some other very good useful freeware products one can use to defend oneself online. I will come back and update this information after I have used some more of the recommended programs.

My favorite chapter is 2 which mentions the three Rs of Survivable Systems: resistance (being difficult for malware attack), recogination (detecting and identifying infection) and recovery (bouncing back after a malware attack). This chapter helps me visualize what I should to protect my PC. The other chapters tell you how to secure your network, hard drive, your applications, your OS and everything else that could possibly get one infected when going online. The book has an occasional funny cartoon about the very topic of rootkits. It also contains a very useful index helping one to find the page for the topic they are interested in. One of the best finds of the book for me currently is making an backup of my entire hard drive using ISO image files. This is a great find for me personally as I recently had a hard drive failure and I only backed up files I created and some programs, but not the essential files related to the brand of PC I have. I also lost the key to my Windows XP home OS.

One thing many infected end-users do not know about is that they can post their problems to helpful free anti-malware websites. There is a chapter in this book outlining the ones the authors recommend. There are some great folks deeply dedicated in helping people who have various computer problems for free. This type of effort is probably still not well known to many people who are online, even for some who have been surfing for years.
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable book on computer security . . . for all May 14 2009
By Ann Glazer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is an invaluable reference for any computer user. It's not just about rootkits but about computer security in general. In the first six chapters you will learn all you must know to protect your computer and keep it up to date, easily; the monitoring and updating described covers all of Windows as well as all the other commonly used programs on your computer. And you will also learn what you need to do to have a usable and complete backup of your system, in case you ever need it.

This is the book to have to understand what rootkits are and what you need to do to avoid and get rid of them. If you follow the advice that is given, you will not get a rootkit infection for sure. However, even if you did you would be able to resolve it by following the author's instructions in Chapter 9, the pivotal reference chapter, which describes how to use anti-rootkit programs. Read and absorb that and you will be golden. Even if you decide you can't clear rootkits on your own, this book will make you an informed user. No computer servicer will be able to pull the wool over your eyes - you will know what questions to ask and procedures to request to be sure any solution for rootkits or other resident or active malware is a totally complete one.

Everyone from the novice to the advanced computer user can benefit from the concepts presented, regardless of their experience level. This is a must have book in today's world of malicious software attacks.
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