Rootkits and What we Know: Assessing US and Korean Knowledge and Perceptions

Rootkits and What we Know: Assessing US and Korean Knowledge and Perceptions

Kirk P. Arnett (Mississippi State University, USA), Mark B. Schmidt (St. Cloud State University, USA), Allen C. Johnston (University of Alabama Birmingham, USA), Jongki Kim (Pusan National University, Republic of Korea) and Hajin Hwang (Catholic University of Daegu, Republic of Korea)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/jisp.2007100105
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Abstract

Respondents from eight Korean and US higher education institutions were surveyed as to their knowledge and experience with various forms of computer malware. The surveys provide insight into knowledge of rootkits that have become coffee lounge discussion following the once secretive Sony rootkit news break in late 2005 and then the rash of accusations and acknowledgments of other rootkits that followed. The surveys provide an empirical assessment of perceptions between students in the two countries with regard to various forms of malware. The two groups are similar in many respects, but they exhibit significant differences in self-reported perceptions of rootkit familiarity. US respondents report higher levels of familiarity for all assessed malware types, including the fictional “Trilobyte” virus. A timeline-based comparison between virus and rootkit knowledge reveals that relatively little is known about rootkits today. This highlights dangers related to existing knowledge levels but presents hope for solutions and an accelerated rootkit awareness curve to improve worldwide malware protection.

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