What is rooting malware?
Rooting malware is one that has root permissions on a device. For example, it can affect a mobile. There are certain configurations and installations that can only be carried out with root access. This means that a hypothetical attacker, without having that access, cannot change something in the configuration, for example.
Basically a variety of rooting malware gives you a greater control of the cybercriminal. You will be able to perform all kinds of actions on the device with total freedom. Keep in mind that root access is not always negative, since we can do it to carry out some changes on the mobile. But of course, when that control is present in the wrong hands is when problems appear.
We can say, therefore, that rooting or root control is good as long as we are the ones who have that control. The moment it passes into the hands of an attacker, things change radically. There we would talk about rooting malware, which can seriously affect our security.
However, it should be mentioned that this type of malware it is not very common. It especially affects mobile phones, but it is not something that we find very frequently. Now, in the event that we are victims of this threat, our data could be in serious danger, in addition to the fact that the operation of the system is very limited.
How does this type of malware arrive?
The most normal thing is that the rooting malware reaches our device through a application we have installed and that it is infected. It can happen when we download a program from a page that is not official and may have been modified by an attacker to infect systems.
This problem could even affect applications that we download from legitimate sites and that should be reliable. An example was the AbstractEmu malware that a group of security researchers found on Google Play and that was within 19 applications.
But we may also be facing root malware in device-specific applications. This could happen through a previous infection of the system or even with an update that contains a vulnerability. In this way our device could also be compromised.
The fake apps pretending to be legitimate are the most common means of propagation. Therefore, simply by installing a program we could be sneaking rooting malware onto our mobile without our realizing it and affecting our security and privacy.
Steps to protect ourselves
What can we do to protect ourselves from rooting malware and make the device always safe? Without a doubt, avoiding these types of threats is essential. We are going to see some essential tips that we can put into practice to be specifically protected from this type of malware.
Download from official sources
One of the most important points that we must take into account is to download applications only from sources that are safe and official. For example, the websites of the programs that we are going to download or official stores such as Google Play. Although we have seen that even in these cases there may be malware rooting, the odds are certainly greatly diminished.
It is important to avoid third-party sites that we access through links from other pages, for example. This could be used by an attacker to deploy their threats and infect devices.
Check the installed software very well
But we must not only focus on the programs that we are going to install, but also on the applications that we already have installed. Especially you have to be careful with those that allow you to install certain add-ons, such as extensions for the browser.
Any add-ons that we additionally install could contain rooting malware. It could be used by a hacker to gain access to our system and carry out attacks that steal our passwords or affect the performance of the computer.
Have security programs
We must not forget the importance of having security programs installed. Have a good antivirus, such as Windows Defender, Avast or Bitdefender, to name some of the most popular, will prevent the entry of malicious software that may affect our computer.
But beyond an antivirus we can also have other tools installed such as firewalls or even extensions for the browser that will help block malicious pages and the downloading of files that may be a danger.
Keep devices up to date
Something essential and that we should not overlook is update devices at all times. This will help us fix vulnerabilities that can be used by hackers to sneak rooting malware. But we must not only focus on the operating system, but also on any application that we have installed and that has security patches.
An attacker could exploit any known flaw. These vulnerabilities are solved thanks to the updates, so we must install them as soon as they are available, regardless of the type of operating system we have installed.
One more tip is the common sense. It is essential to avoid making mistakes. For example, do not click on suspicious links that reach us by email or messaging applications. Also, do not open e-mail attachments that could be a problem.
If we avoid making these types of basic errors, we will have a lot to do with protecting ourselves from rooting malware and any other type of security threat that could compromise our computers and serve as a gateway for an attacker.
In short, rooting malware is a very important problem that can seriously put our devices at risk. We have seen how they could infect us and what steps we must take to be protected and prevent the entry of viruses of this type.