In this age of malicious programs, there are many different threats which are able to compromise the security of either your VPS or dedicated server, which could leave the information that you host within your dedicated environment open to abuse; this means that you should always take pride in the security of your VPS or dedicated server which means that you should maximize the security of your dedicated environment. One such threat which is common within the Linux world and is able to effect the security of your Linux based VPS or dedicated server are rootkits.
Although it is widely though that root kits are a type of security threat which is specific to Linux based servers only, they are also able to affect the performance of Windows based VPS and dedicated servers. The main aim of rootkits is to enter the target machine via a hole which has been found in either a website or other application which is hosted on the machine or via a database without detection by any type of anti-virus software, and some are created to resist removal and are normally create with one malicious intention.
Rootkits go undetected since most hide themselves within the kernel of a Linux server, which means that they are run as the ‘root’ or administrator user which means that they are able to run without being detected by the administrator or owner of the affected server, and that they are able to run without question by the operating system that is installed on the VPS or dedicated server that has been invaded. You can prevent rootkits from invading your VPS or dedicated server by ensuring that your server is as secure as possible, which means that you should have anti-virus and rootkit hunting software installed to try and prevent your server from being affected by malicious programs. Most malicious attackers use rootkits to install certain programs on your VPS or dedicated server so that they can use it for their own purposes; for example a hacker might install a rootkit on your dedicated server so that they can run their illegal IRC channel which might be used for discussing illegal activities, this in itself might land you in trouble – it is for this reason that you should try and keep your VPS or dedicated server as secure as possible.
One of the most important things to consider with rootkits is that once a rootkit has installed itself on your VPS or dedicated server, you will be unable to remove it since it will be embedded within the kernel or root of the operating system that you have installed on your VPS or dedicated server; in order to be able to utilize your VPS or dedicated server, you will have to reinstall the operating system that your VPS or dedicated server uses.