What Are Hidden Objects in Avira?
By Ken White
Updated September 28, 2017
The Windows operating system hides files, folders, processes and registry entries so you don’t accidently delete them and make your computer inoperable. Rootkits, a form of malware, mimic this function, hiding files and processes to make detection more difficult. Avira AntiVirus includes a built-in anti-rootkit tool and a stand-alone anti-rootkit program to detect hidden files.
Of all the malware that can affect your computer, rootkits are the most insidious. Rootkit programs run at the root, or administrator, level of the Windows operating system and with administrator permissions can hide all files associated with the rootkit program, as well as any processes or registry entries spawned by the rootkit. Rootkits can also create hidden network connections to download additional files, upload your personal files and other information to the Internet or to use your computer to send spam emails.
Other Hidden Objects
Not all hidden objects that Avira detects are rootkits. In addition to the system files that Windows hides, some programs that run with administrator permissions create hidden files, registry entries and processes as part of their function. For example, the Sony-BMG Extended Copy Protection software used files and processes to protect music files from being copied and hid those files so they could not be disabled or deleted. Anti-virus software like Norton and Kaspersky also hides files from normal anti-virus scans, mimicking a rootkit.
Avira Anti-Virus lets you do a full system scan, which scans for hidden files as well as other malware, and also includes a targeted scan specifically designed to detect rootkits and other active malware. The “Scan for Rootkits and Active Malware” scan is in the System Scanner window of the PC Protection panel, and lets you choose the drive or drives to be scanned. It scans files, processes and the registry, reporting hidden files, running processes and registry entries, and enabling you to repair, quarantine, delete, rename or ignore the hidden files found.
Avira also has a free Anti-Rootkit tool that you can download from the support site at avira.com. The tool scans for hidden files, processes and registry entries that are active on your computer and won't detect hidden files that aren't running. For this reason, the tool is best used in conjunction with a full system scan or targeted scan that detects all hidden files. You can scan for all active hidden objects with the Anti-Rootkit tool or scan only for hidden files, processes or registry entries.
Ken White began his writing career in 1972 as a reporter for a local Florida newspaper. With a career in public safety as a police officer, firefighter and emergency manager, his fiction has also been published in magazines such as "Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine." White studied history and psychology at Mercer University.