RootkitRevealer is an advanced rootkit detection utility. It runs on Windows XP (32-bit) and Windows Server 2003 (32-bit), and its output lists Registry and file system API discrepancies that may indicate the presence of a user-mode or kernel-mode rootkit. It successfully detects many persistent rootkits including AFX, Vanquish and HackerDefender.
The reason that there is no longer a command-line version is that malware authors have started targetting RootkitRevealer’s scan by using its executable name. Updated RootkitRevealer to execute its scan from a randomly named copy of itself that runs as a Windows service. This type of execution is not conducive to a command-line interface. Note that you can use command-line options to execute an automatic scan with results logged to a file, which is the equivalent of the command-line version’s behavior.
[advt]Since persistent rootkits work by changing API results so that a system view using APIs differs from the actual view in storage, it compares the results of a system scan at the highest level with that at the lowest level. The highest level is the Windows API and the lowest level is the raw contents of a file system volume or Registry hive (a hive file is the Registry’s on-disk storage format).
Thus, rootkits, whether user mode or kernel mode, that manipulate the Windows API or native API to remove their presence from a directory listing, for example, will be seen by RootkitRevealer as a discrepancy between the information returned by the Windows API and that seen in the raw scan of a FAT or NTFS volume’s file system structures.