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  • Best antirootkit scanner?

    Posted on March 23rd, 2009 at 10:03 woody 1 comment

    Reader PM has a question about rootkit scanners:

    Do you have any suggestions for an alternative to sophos? They do not support the 64 bit Vista Home Premium edition edition.

    I recommended Sophos in Windows Vista All-In-One Desk Reference For Dummies, but unfortunately Sophos pulled support for Vista from its free product after we went to press.

    Vista is significantly harder to rootkit (is that a verb?) than XP. For that reason, I’m not overly concerned about scanning my Vista machines for rootkits. But, of course, it never hurts.

    Scott Spanbauer at Windows Secrets Newsletter has a roundup of the top free antirootkits.  There’s also an excellent review of the effectiveness of antirootkit products in Mark Joseph Edwards’ column in the same edition. (Scott’s article is free; Mark’s requires a subscription, but as you undoubtedly remember, you can subscribe to Windows Secrets Newsletter and pay whatever you feel it is worth.)

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    One Response to “Best antirootkit scanner?”

    1. Sethness says:

      There is an anti-rootkit built into the free edition of Avira antivirus. It’s not automatically “on”: you have to go into the “configure menu” and choose “expert mode”. Then you’ll see the option to perform an anti-rootkit search before performing an antivirus search.

      I trust Avira as an antivirus.

      That having been said, rootkits evolve at such an astounding rate, often learning to cope with anti-rootkit packages within days, that I can’t recommend a specific anti-rootkit today and be sure that this will be the right answer tomorrow.

      It’s far far better that you bookmark a site that reviews and ranks them, and download fresh versions of several of their free, best-ranked tools whenever you want to perform a scan for rootkits.

      Here’s one site that reviews and provides links to anti-rootkits:

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