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A Rootkit is defined as a virus/program that is designed to be hidden from Windows Operating system. This means that a regular virus/spyware scan will not see this infection since windows itself does not show it to the virus scanner.

There are some legitimate uses for rootkits but as you can guess this is too tempting to virus and spyware hackers not to use. It adds a layer that unless you look for it will never be found by regular virus programs, which makes this type of infection very dangerous.