Businesses face a growing threat from malicious code which uses sophisticated technology, known as rootkits, to evade anti-virus software, security analysts claimed last week.
Peter Wood, security consultant at First Base Technologies, predicted that organised criminals would increasingly turn to the technology as businesses improved their defences against hackers.
The most effective rootkits can be disguised as drivers for printers or other devices, said Wood. Once downloaded, they can fool anti-virus and anti-spyware software into believing no malicious code is present on the machine, he warned.
Researchers have demonstrated how hackers can implant rootkits into the Bios memory of a PC, allowing the machine to be continually reinfected, even if the disc has been disinfected of all malicious code.