Faculty Advisor

Shue, Craig A.


MITRE / Mitre Corporation


Rootkits are dangerous and hard to detect. A rootkit is malware specifically designed to be stealthy and maintain control of a computer. Existing detection mechanisms are insufficient to reliably detect rootkits, due to fundamental problems with the way they operate. This MQP has two major contributions. The first is a Red Team analysis of WinKIM, a rootkit detection tool. The analysis shows my attempts to find flaws in WinKIM's ability to detect rootkits. WinKIM monitors a subset of Windows data structures; I show that this set is insufficient to detect all possible rootkits. The second is the enumeration of data structures in the Windows kernel which can be targeted by a rootkit. These structures are those which a detector would have to measure in order to detect any rootkit.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

October 2015


Computer Science

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Computer Science