A Trojan horse is a computer program that is downloaded into a victim's computer with the intention of disguising itself and collecting information, corrupting the computer, installing other malicious programs and stealing passwords. These Trojans have many different forms and different threats, which are detailed below:
- Monitoring tools: This detects activities on the computer and sends information to the hacker.
- Replacement: delegitimates user control of the computer to another person.
- Denial of service: position that prevents other software from functioning.
A Trojan can be used to execute malicious code. This code is hidden inside the Trojan and when activated it will download the malicious program and install it. Sometimes it can also delete files on the computer. Besides, it can also damage other computer applications and causes hard drives to become heads of viruses. The following are some of the Trojan attacks methods:
- Virus downloads: when the user visits a website, the Trojan downloads the virus and runs it.
- Monitor downloads: when a user visits a download site, the Trojan downloads the program and runs it.
- Other viruses: These viruses include spyware and worms. Spyware and worms will run in the background of the computer and track activities being done on the computer. They can copy themselves to other computer systems as well as to the ones outside the computer. Once it copies itself to another computer, it can be activated, and this can be done by an Internet user who downloads it. Once activated, it can perform tasks that the creator of the Trojan wants done.
Worms are more malicious than viruses. It is called a worm because it replicates itself, by sending itself to other computers through network drives or through emails.
Spyware: This is any software that collects information about the user through the Internet or through the machine. This information is then transferred to the third party. Sometimes, the information transferred is encrypted so that the third party cannot decrypt it. It can also perform tasks that impact a user's privacy, including recording keystrokes and sending cookies with attachments to the user.
Deceptive adware: This is a misleadingly advertised software program that promises a service that it does not provide. It can harm a user's computer and/or steal private information.
What steps can you take to protect your computer?
- Make sure that you have a comprehensive software protection suite installed and up to date on your computer.
- Make sure that you have anti-virus software installed and up to date. If your anti-virus is out of date, update it.
- Make sure that you have a spyware and adware removal tool installed and up to date.
- Use adware and spyware removal programs weekly or even daily.
- Programs that provide cloud protection should have anti-virus and spyware protection.
- Invest in Identity Theft Protection. It offers real-time protection from spam, online phishing, malicious websites and free website blocking.