The Virus Lab – What Is A Trojan?

A Trojan Horse is a type of Malware that is often unknowingly, yet willingly, downloaded onto a users computer. These are most commonly bundled with free downloads from the internet, such as games, emails, or a disguised legitimate file.

Where does the name come from?

The Trojan Horse was named after the Ancient Greek “gift” to Troy because of their sneaky resemblances. The Ancient Greeks had been relentlessly sieging the ancient city of Troy. Odysseus, a Greek king, thought of building a giant statue of a horse, the symbol of troy, as a fake gift for the city. Inside the hollowed out wooden horse, many Greek soldiers were hiding within the  “gift”. Once through the gates of the city, the Greek soldiers poured out and took over Troy.

Once a trojan has entered your computer, it has gained access to spread throughout your system.

Traits of a Trojan:

  • Unlike viruses, Trojan Horses don’t replicate themselves – they are one sole malicious program containing various hidden infections.
  • They can create gateways to welcome other Trojans Horses – “backdoors” and Trojan-Downloaders can be used to steal your banking or personal information as well as harm the software on your computer.

Five Common types of Trojan Horses:

  • Downloader Trojan  – continuously downloads additional malicious files.
  • Infostealer Trojancollects and steals personal data.
  • Remote Access Trojan connects the hacker to take over your system.
  • Backdoor Trojan opens a backdoor to your system to allow more infection in.
  • DDoS Attack Trojan (Distributed Denial of Service) – floods your network with traffic enabling it to be taken over.

How to Avoid a Trojan Infection:

  • Do run a routine FixMeStick scan.
  • Do research a program you would like to download.
  • Don’t open email attachments from unknown senders or strange emails.
  • Don’t click on pop-ups.
  • Don’t visit suspicious websites.

Want to learn more about the different types of computer viruses? Check out other blogs in our Virus Lab series below!

What is Malware and Why Does it Exist?
What is Spyware?
What is a Backdoor?
What is Scareware?