When getting this post organized and reviewing the tools I still have tucked away in my USB collection, it turns out that many, many of them are outdated, haven’t been updated in many years, and quite probably will not work on either more “modern” Windows OS versions like Vista/Win7/Win8 nor detect newer variants of root-kit/boot-kit attacks. Many of the original source pages they came from are now HTTP 404. That doesn’t bode well for their continued usage even if you can find an old binary pack tucked away on a download archive.
So, just because tool is listed here is absolutely no guarantee that it will work on your system or even detect a threat if it is there.
Some of these tools are “detect and remove” types and others are more like advanced utilities that can be used to hunt for indication of hidden or masked processes and system hooks that could be indications of infection…but then leave it up to you to decide if they are a threat and to remove them yourself. While scan-and-remove tools are “easy” the second type are more helpful as you can better identify and collect data on what is going on for reference and sharing with the threat detection community.
AND…as we have learned (DEITYBOUNCE: NSA Exploit of the Day - SANS ISC) advanced threat persistence can be neigh impossible to shake off short of scrapping all your hardware and starting fresh…if you can even trust your new hardware.
That said, I did find a few “new-to-me” tools and have listed them here.
SO…I go back to my best-available solution…secure-wipe the drive(s)…zero those sectors out…then do a fresh reinstall using known-good install files, and bring the system up to a fully-patched and updated state before saying “Done!” And be sure to multi-scan any and all user-data and files you have backed up/recovered off the drive(s) before you put them back. Cross-contamination is a real pain…both on PC’s and kitchen surfaces.
Older GrandStreamDreams blog posts for way-back reference. Note, if you are really curious you can find many more “expired” AntiRootkit tools in these posts if you are really interested. I’ve left most all of them out of this post for reasons as stated above.
- grand stream dreams: Anti-Rootkit Tools Roundup Revisited - January 2008 post listing AR tools.
- grand stream dreams: Rootkit Storm and Solutions - January 2007 post.
- grand stream dreams: Windows Rootkit Detectors - July 2006 post.
“Advanced” Antirootkit tools - listed in semi-alphabetical order
aswMBR - Avast’s MBR rootkit scanner version 0.9.9.
AVG PC Rescue and Repair Toolkit - bootable CD provided by AVG that covers both malware & rootkit attack remediation. Version of posting is 120.130801. Offered in ISO (for CD burning), and RAR/ZIP versions for USB stick
AVG Free Bootkit Removal Tool - Rootkit specific tool. Download the “rmbootkit.exe” binary and run it on the system. Version details at time of post report V220.127.116.112.
Avira Rescue System - bootable CD version along with documentation files. As of this post binaries dated Dec 2, 2013 so it’s very fresh.
Comodo Rescue Disk for Windows - bootable CD that can look for and remove detected rootkits and has a feature to download latest signatures before execution to ensure it remains current on detection ability. Supports Windows OS from XP though Windows 8 builds.
F-Secure Blacklight Rootkit Eliminator - link via BleepingComputer - Current version as offered via the BleepingComputer page seems to be 2.2.1092.0. When ran on a “modern” Windows OS, it needs Administrator level access and complains about known compatibility problems and then exits without running. Probably still worth using as a backup scanner on XP systems but not likely useful under Win7/Win8.
GMER - Rootkit Detector and Remover - This one has been kicking around for a very long time. Latest version is 2.1.19163 released 04-04-2013 and reports support for Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/7/8 OS versions . The download page has some additional references including video files for tutorial usage.
Kaspersky Lab TDSSKiller Rootkit Removal Utility - Supports a wide range of Windows OS systems, uses a GUI interface, and can be run in both normal and safe modes. Current version as of this post is 18.104.22.168. Also available in a portable version: Kaspersky TDSSKiller Portable
Malwarebytes : Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit BETA - current version 1.07.0.1008. Download, run the file to extract it where you wish and then it runs. Follow steps accordingly. The page linked has some more details you probably want to review first. Comes up often in forum referrals as one of the top-referred cleaning tools FWIW.
NoVirusThanks Anti-Rootkit: Low-level system analysis tool - version 22.214.171.124 released 01-15-2011.
PowerTool Anti Virus&Rootkit Tool (x86/x64) - This is a new find to me. Offered in both x32 and x64 flavors. Appears to have had the most recent version release on 12-01-2013. Imgur has some great screenshots of version 4.2 here. The tool provides a significant number of system analysis points and data. Forum posts report earlier versions were buggy and lead to BSOD system crashes. You may want to try it out on a virtual Windows system first to check compatibility and stability before running on a production system.
RogueKiller - Offered in both x32 and x64 bit apps, latest version at time of posting is v 8.7.14 released on 12-27-2013. In addition to malware/AV scan and removal it also handles some root-kits/boot-kits and MBR infections as well as some Cryptolocker pattern detections. Review the Official Tutorial for more information. Note that the page clearly states in the disclaimer that use of the tool does send feedback to the developers automatically. Be sure you read their full statement before deciding to use. That’s not necessarily a deal-breaker for me but it may be against your comfort level and/or security policies.
RootKit Hook Analyzer - Another older (discontinued) analyzer product. I still have the original files myself but you cannot easily find and download them any longer. From Resplendence.
RootkitRevealer - Windows Sysinternals - really depreciated now but I just needed to list it for old-time’s sake. Only supported under Windows XP and Server 2003. Was helpful in its day. Was one of my very first anti-rootkit detection tools.
rootrepeal - version 1.3.5 and supports at least Windows XP though Vista. Hasn’t appeared to been updated since 2009. Was more useful for analysis of running processes and looking for hidden/hooked services rather than actual removal work…though you can try to use it to “clean” files manually that are found.
SanityCheck, Advanced Rootkit and Malware Detector - Resplendence - version 3.00 supports Windows 8 and Server 2012 (and almost all older version of Windows as well). Scans for malware/rootkits and is extra-nice in that it provides a detailed report of findings for use in analysis and response efforts. See the feature list for more details and background. Also contains an optional “expert mode” that can be used to give super-detailed feedback. free home edition and for purchase for Pro edition.
Sophos Anti-Rootkit Tool (SAR) - supported on Windows OS systems from 200 through Win 7. Doesn’t specifically says supports Windows 8 but might. Many more details including video and CLI help: Sophos Anti-Rootkit: Overview
Stream Armor - Advanced Tool to Scan & Clean Malicious Alternate Data Streams (ADS) - offered by www.SecurityXploded.com. Portable tool (installation option available) supports OS systems from Windows XP to Win 8. as of post time, version is 2.5 released 03-22-2013.
Trend Micro Rootkit Buster - Free tool offered in both X32 & x64 bit versions. Requires installation on the system. Appears to be last released 03-05-2013 as of the time of this post. Version is 5.00.1129. See these (x32)ReadMe and (x64)ReadMe txt files Trend Micro offers on the download page.
I generally don’t rely on these tools during an incident response unless “something” indicates to me a deeper bootkit/rootkit scan is in order. Otherwise, I’m using my primary first-line response and detection tools as posted in the Anti-Malware Response “Go-Kit” post.
Testing and evaluation of the tools you use is critical to validate they have worth. Just because I or others recommend a particular tool does not necessarily mean it will be effective or helpful in your particular environment or against every threat. And when dealing with these particular classes of threats, you might break your OS in the repair attempt.
I did find this old (published September 2007) guide from Symantec that might be worth looking at still, A Testing Methodology for Rootkit Removal Effectiveness (PDF file link) from Josh Harriman.
I’m sure I’ve left some additional tools out that other GSD users may have found valuable. If so and you have any additional recommendations to offer, please leave a note in the comments. Likewise for any more recent anti-rootkit/anti-bootkit testing & detection methodology documents or posts.