If you’re using Windows XP, your PC is likely to be part of the reason why rootkit infections on Windows PCs are so high. A study done by Avast has concluded that Windows XP and pirated copies of the OS are responsible for 74 percent of rootkit infections on the web. In comparison, Windows Vista and Windows 7 amounted to just 17 and 14 percent, respectively. Windows 7 might have been a success, but users using older PCs still use Windows XP. The lack of an antivirus and no Windows security updates adds to the mess.
Time to upgrade, if you already haven't
Avast expert, Przemyslaw Gmerek has said that rootkits stay hidden in the operating system and that they are a perfect way to steal data from a PC. It’s clear that Microsoft’s efforts on the newer operating systems, Windows 7 and Vista are paying off. With features such as User Access Control, they offer better security and in comparison, are more effective at keeping rootkits, at bay. Still, rootkits manage to attack the system, and most of them target the Master Boot Record (MBR). Some 62 percent of all root kit attacks affect the MBR and some 27 percent of them attack drivers.