A: The term rootkit was developed as a hacker term, although rootkits can also be used for what some vendors consider valid purposes. For example, if Digital Rights Management (DRM) software is installed and kept hidden, it can control the use of licensed, copyrighted material and prevent the user from removing the hidden enforcement program. However, such usage is no more welcomed than a rootkit that does damage or allows spyware to thrive without detection.
Q: I have an infected system and I cannot figure out what is wrong. Where can I look to find further information on the Internet?
A: Information about specific viruses and instructions on how to clean an infected system is available at www.symantec.com and www.mcafee.com. Both antivirus vendors provide detailed databases that list and describe known viruses. For more information on viruses, worms, and Trojans, see the article How Computer Viruses Work, at www.howstuffworks.com/virus.htm.
A: A cookie is just a bit of text in a file on your computer, containing a small amount of information that identifies you to a particular Web site, and whatever information that site wanted to retain about you when you were visiting. Cookies are a legitimate tool that many Web sites use to track visitor information. .
For example, they may track your Web surfing habits across many different Web sites without informing you, and then use this data to customize the advertisements you see on Web sites, which typically is considered an invasion of privacy. It is difficult to identify this and other forms of cookie abuse, which makes it difficult to decide whether, when, and how to block them from your system. In addition, the acceptable level of shared information varies among users, so it is difficult to create an anticookie program to meet everyones needs.