Knock, knock, a guest raps on the door of your house. You open the door and tell the guest, “No one is here.” The guest says, “OK,” and leaves. Seems a little odd right? Well, that’s a metaphor for rootkit detection. You see, rootkit detection is an oxymoron. If a rootkit is doing its job properly, it controls the operating system or application completely and should then remain hidden from anything attempting to discover it.

For example, the majority of kernel rootkits should be able to prevent every major rootkit detection technology that operates in userland from working properly because the kernel controls what data is passed into userland. If a rootkit detector running as a normal user application attempts to ...

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