Home Your IT Home IT BitDefender's free TDL4 bootkit/rootkit removal tool

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Although Kaspersky Lab has done a lot of analysis on the worrisomely evolving TDSS malware, and has released its own rootkit killer, BitDefender has also come forth with its own TDL4 removal tool protection.

With rootkits and malware only getting more sophisticated, the world's Internet and computing security companies have been very busily identifying, tracking, analysing, deconstruction and learning how to protect against these threats.

Kaspersky came out with a very detailed look at the latest TDL4 malware, going so far as to dub it virtually 'indestructible', while offering a removal tool of its own.

The Internet security industry is as competitive a space as any other, however, and so it should come as no surprise to see other security companies also releasing tools to help end users detect and remove TDL4.

The latest company to do so is BitDefender which has released its own TDL4 removal tool.

As both Kaspersky noted (using different words) in its analysis, and as BitDefender has stated, TDL4 is a 'rootkit-based e-threat that uses custom techniques to stay absolutely hidden after it has successfully infected your system'.

TDL4 is the latest version of the TDSS threat that first emerged in 2008, with this latest version 'one of the few threats of its type able to infect both 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows, which makes it particularly more dangerous.'

As Kaspersky explained in its analysis, and as BitDefender states in its media release, once TDL4 has successfully infected your computer, it 'compromises the operating system's security and prevents some antivirus solutions from detecting and eliminating the threat. Compromised computers are added to the TDL4 botnet and used for various illegal purposes such as advertising fraud, amongst others.'

The head of BitDefender's Online Threats Lab, Catalin Cosoi stated that: 'We have been monitoring this threat since it first emerged. Whilst it has no direct damaging potential itself, the danger lies in how it is used by other pieces of malware to hide themselves and gain illegal access to PCs.

'This threat has the potential to prevent detection and removal by some antivirus solutions. In light of this, it's a sensible precaution to check your PC and make sure that it hasn't been infected.'

If you're concerned over whether you might be infected by TDL4, you can try Kaspersky tool linked above, or BitDefender's removal tool, available here.

You should also consider using software such as TrustDefender, which is no relation to BitDefender, but is an added protective tool that fills in the gaps that traditional Internet Security products lack.

Finally, the whole affair is yet another ongoing example of the incredibly sophisticated nature of the online criminal industry, where the attacks are now commonplace and affected more end-users, primarily of Windows-powered computers, than ever.

Use the right protective software, follow safe computing guidelines and remember - as Smoky Bear never said: only you can prevent (or stop) malware fires burning on your computer when armed with the right defences, for this is one arms race that shows no signs of dying down anytime soon!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks, including stints as presenter of Ch 10’s Internet Bright Ideas, Ch 7’s Room for Improvement and tech expert on Ch 9’s Today Show, among many other news and current affairs programs.