What is a Trojan Horse Virus?

Trojan horse viruses enter the victim’s computer undetected. It can be a sneaky program that runs on your computer unnoticed or disguised within a legitimate program which may have hidden functions you’re not aware of.

Trojans grant attackers unrestricted access to the data on your computer which can cause immense damage to the victim. They can be used to steal sensitive information such as passwords, email addresses and credit card information and/or they can execute an electronic attack that can be devastating for businesses and organisations.

Trojans can erase, corrupt or overwrite data, disable programs and antivirus software and help spread other malware. The infected computer can be used to hack, scan or infiltrate other machines on the network or internet.

Protect your Computers from Trojan Viruses

Types of Trojan Viruses

Backdoor or Remote Access Trojan

These give the hacker the ability to gain control over the operation of the computer, often functioning without being identified.

Downloader Trojan

Programmed to download and install other malicious software onto a computer including spyware, adware and viruses.

Spy Trojan

Invisible to the user as they go about their business, the spy can take screenshots, monitor program usage and collect keyboard data.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Trojan

Virus that causes network traffic to slow and sites to crash. It involves many zombie (infected) computers and they target a particular website or business.

Steps to protect your computer from Trojans

Now that you’re sufficiently terrified.

  • Keep your operating system up to date and back up your data regularly
  • Install good AntiVirus and AntiMalware software and schedule regular scans
  • Set up a firewall on your PC
  • Don’t open suspicious links or download unknown files. Be wary of free games, apps, movies or greeting cards. Often Trojan files will have extensions such as .exe .vbs and .bat
  • Beware of files with embedded macros code. Users should deactivate automatic execution of macros code in office programs.
  • Limit the sensitive information you store on your computer – don’t make it too easy for nasty bugs by having a file named “passwords” stored on your system.
  • Be careful when buying a second hand computer that it has been thoroughly checked and reconditioned by an expert.

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