F-Secure reveals rootkit secrets via security tool

Internet Security 2006 does not only protect against spamming, spyware and viruses, but it can also eliminate bad rootkits through its BlackLight technology.

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By  Caroline Denslow Published  September 27, 2005

Security vendor F-Secure, together with its local partner RAS Infotech, is launching this week, at Gitex, the latest version of its internet security product, F-Secure Internet Security 2006. The unveiling of the product at the show coincides with the product’s global launch today. F-Secure Internet Security 2006 is a Windows-based solution that combines the company’s latest security technologies against spyware, viruses and spamming. It also includes parental control features and a firewall for more robust internet protection, says Juhani Kivela, F-Secure’s regional manager for regional sales. “It provides the most comprehensive security solution for single-user Windows workstations. It has a lot of features, and more importantly, it is easy to use,” says Kivela. At the core of the new product is its ability to eliminate what Kivela calls malicious rootkits in the operating system. The process of elimination is done via the company’s proprietary BlackLight rootkit elimination technology. “BlackLight is something that we have been working on already for a year or so. We have released beta versions of the technology last April, and now we are bringing out the final product,” he says. Rootkits are not completely new, according to Kivela. “They have been around in the Unix platforms already for years. The name comes from the idea of how they operate. They are in the root, in the deepest level of the operating system. They are in the kernel level,” he explains. BlackLight detects objects that are hidden from users and security tools, and offers the user an option to remove them. The main purpose is to fight rootkits and all kinds of malware that use rootkits. It works by examining the system at a deep level, which enables it to detect objects that are hidden from the user and security software. “The idea is, by definition, rootkits hide themselves. And the problem for traditional antivirus is that if something is hidden the antivirus product cannot see them. You cannot cure something that you cannot see,” Kivela says. “With our rootkit technology we can identify what rootkits are doing and that way, although we cannot see them we can sense if something wrong is happening very low in the operating system. From there, we can eliminate the malicious codes,” he concludes.

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