You’ve probably heard about the Trojan horse infection and how harmful it is to computer software. But, what is a Trojan horse and how does it work? In simple terms, a Trojan horse is a type of malware that can effectively hide within your computer system. It can do this by pretending to be something other than what it actually is. Its stealth is part of the reason why it’s so effective at infecting and infiltrating different computer systems.
Even the name Trojan is borrowed from the Greek story of the Trojan war. The story says that the Greeks hid inside a giant wooden horse in order to infiltrate the otherwise impenetrable walls of Troy. Their plan worked because the Trojans brought the horse into their city walls. They thought it was a gift from the gods only to find that it contained a group of stealthy Greek soldiers who made light work of ravaging their city overnight.
Similarly, cybercriminals use the same approach to hide malicious code in the network of an unsuspecting user. This way it can pounce when you take a triggering action.
Trojans vs. Viruses
What is a Trojan horse? Is it a virus? Most people assume so but it’s actually a type of malware that can manifest in a number of different ways. The Trojan horse virus acts and looks like a regular computer program when it’s actually a malicious piece of malware. That’s why a lot of people fall for it unknowingly. The problem with a Trojan horse virus is that it often seems innocent and you won’t notice its true motives or intentions until it’s too late.
On the other hand, a virus is something that can embed itself into a host program’s code in order to self-replicate and spread. It acts on its own without being triggered by user action, as is the case with a Trojan. Lastly, you have a worm which is also a type of malware that can spread without the use of a host application.
If you own a computer or any other online device or application, it’s important to understand and distinguish between these different types of malware. A lot of people make the mistake of using Trojan malware and virus interchangeably without realizing that these terms refer to different things.
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How Can Trojans Infect Your Computer?
You might still be asking yourself, what is a Trojan horse? Well, it often starts with a free gift such as a free screensaver or game that you receive while browsing the net. The only problem is that this free gift often contains malicious code known as malware.
It’s not uncommon for criminals to use legitimate-looking logos and branding materials in order to look as trusted companies. This makes it easier to lure people into downloading whatever gimmick they’re offering, effectively infecting multiple devices with their Trojan.
One of the first things a Trojan will ask for after a download is permission from the administrator. Most people don’t think much of this because it’s the same process employed by legitimate programs. The only problem is that by clicking “Agree” you’re basically giving the hacker full access to your computer.
Phishing is another form of cyberattack that hackers might use to infect your device with a Trojan horse. Phishing happens when you get an official-looking email which actually comes from the cybercriminal. These emails typically come with an attachment that requires your urgent attention. Once you’ve opened the attachment, the cybercriminal will gain access to your computer, enabling them to steal all kinds of sensitive data. This may lead to fraud or worse.
Removing Trojan Malware
Now that you know what is a Trojan horse, you must learn how to identify and remove it. The good news is that removing a Trojan horse is similar to removing any other type of malware. there are plenty of free resources and tutorials that you can turn to online to help you learn how to remove a Trojan horse malware from your computer and also to protect yourself from further infiltration.
Did you find this article helpful? Do you know what is a Trojan horse now? Let us know in the comments section below!