With the constant improvement in smart technology available, malicious malware is getting more insidious too. Rootkit is one of the most hazardous and sneaky types of malware that can attack your Mac – by design, it is incredibly tricky to detect since it hides deep within your computer system and sometimes even at the BIOS level.
Once it gets into your device, it is used for malicious purposes, to steal your data or monitor your activity, silently and without you knowing. If you suspect that your Mac may be infected, here’s what you need to know as well as how to remove rootkit from your laptop.
Types of rootkit
There are many known and unknown types of rootkit, each have different behaviour patterns, hide in different parts of your Mac systems and use various methods to infect your laptop. Below are the three most common and known types of rootkit:
- Hardware or firmware rootkit – This is the type of rootkit that gets installed onto your system BIOS or within the firmware that’s in your network router. This allows the malware to steal and infect any data that is being transmitted over your network or stored on your hard disk.
- Bootloader rootkit – Every time you start up your Mac, the bootloader is the part of the system that helps your operating system successfully load. As you can tell from the name, the bootloader rootkit aims to replace your original bootloader, which means that the virus gets activated whenever you turn your laptop on.
- Kernel mode rootkit – The kernel is a software within your Mac’s operating system that pretty much runs your device, including macOS – it’s the core of your system. The kernel mode rootkit aims to infect your kernel and make changes to it, meaning that the hacker will now have access to pretty much anything on your Mac and will even be able to lock you out of it.
Use a dedicated antivirus software
The easiest and quickest way of detecting and removing rootkit from your Mac is by using a dedicated antivirus software. These apps are designed to be able to spot viruses deep inside your device, where you may otherwise never know it exists. Once you do detect rootkit, removing it will be as simple as a few mouse clicks.
Not only that, it will allow you to do regular scans, ensuring that your laptop is always protected from all kinds of malware, such as adware, ransomware, spyware, worms, viruses and so on. Keep in mind, however, that rootkit is a specific and trickier virus than many others, so make sure that your chosen antivirus software has a dedicated detector and remover for rootkit.
Take it to a specialist
Unfortunately, the only other way to remove rootkit from your Mac successfully is by taking it to a PC specialist who will do it for you, for a price. Some people try to remove it manually, by doing a factory reset on their macOS or by using the Mac Terminal, if they are advanced Terminal users.
However, while other types of malware can be easily removed manually, rootkit is way too complex for that. Because it can be hidden deep inside your systems, even completely wiping out your Mac may not do the job. In some cases, the virus will be so severe that the computer is too damaged and all files get lost. Therefore, rootkit is not something you want to take lightly – it’s best to have either a PC professional or a dedicated software to do the job for you.