Hi, I was wondering what exactly "rooting" or "rooted" means ( in terms of hacking ). Judging by the name, it means the hackers gains root access to your server and roots it with a new password completely cutting you off ( basically, hijacking your server ). Is this correct? Is there a way to prevent it? Truth be told, on this particular server I am referring to I do not have access to the root account, there are no PHP scripts or anything of the sort running, it is a simple gameserver, not used for anything else.
Rooting a server doesn't imply the server password is changed. It just means that the server has been backdoored and the attacker can access it willy nilly. Whether the original owner of the server can still login or not is secondary to the eyes of the attacker. As a matter of fact, attackers rarely change passwords so the owner does not become suspicious and reload the OS.
UNIXy is correct. The term "rooted" is sort of a slang term used when a hacker has got administrative/root privileges on the server. In the vast majority of cases, the server administrator is not aware of it. If the server administrator becomes aware of it, often the hacker has made it hard to find how they are using the server. It is usually some sort of silent back door running on the server.
Is there a way to prevent it? Truth be told, on this particular server I am referring to I do not have access to the root account, there are no PHP scripts or anything of the sort running, it is a simple gameserver, not used for anything else. Doesn't this make the chances of someone doing this to me very unlikely? Again, I do not have access to root...
There are simple security procedures that you can go through to harden the security of your server. You should look for some guides on google. Here is one I found in moments (although not sure how useful it will be):
You should make sure you have good firewall protection. If you're using cPanel, install CSF ConfigServer Security and Firewall. Make sure you block incoming/outgoing data on any ports that aren't in use, so hackers cannot run a backdoor program through a port that has been left open.