Complexity in rootkits is growing at a phenomenal rate, allowing malicious software to burrow deep and potentially go undetected inside Microsoft’s Windows platform, according to a security report released Wednesday by McAfee.

Rootkits–malicious software that operates in a stealth fashion by hiding its files, processes and registry keys–have grown over the past five years from 27 components to 2,400, according to McAfee’s Rootkits Part 2: A Technical Primer (PDF).

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