Trojan Malware Virus: The Definitive Guide

A Trojan horse, or Trojan, is a kind of malicious code or software testing ...

By Andy Walker Updated

A Trojan horse, or Trojan, is a kind of malicious code or software testing that looks legitimate but can take control of your machine. A Trojan is designed to destroy, interrupt, steal, or inflict other harmful actions on your data or network in general.

A Trojan is behaving as a bona fide program or as a trick script. It tries to trick you into loading and running the malware on your computer. When mounted, a Trojan will do the action for which it was intended. Sometimes a Trojan is called a Trojan virus, or a Trojan horse virus, but that’s a misleading term.

Viruses will have themselves executed and repeated. Trojans must be executed by a person. Nevertheless Trojan malware and Trojan virus are often used interchangeably. Whether you prefer to call it Trojan malware or a Trojan virus, knowing how this infiltrator works and what you can do to keep your devices safe is a smart one.

How Does IT Work?

A Trojan horse or Trojan is a form of malware frequently disguised as legitimate software. Cyber-thieves and hackers will hire Trojans attempting to gain access to users’ networks. Users usually get tricked into loading and executing Trojans on their systems by some form of social engineering.

If enabled, Trojans will spy on you, steal your confidential data, and gain backdoor access to your device by cyber-criminals. Here is an example of Trojan malware, showing how it operates. You may assume that someone you know got an email and click on what looks like a valid attachment.

Yet you were misled. The email is from a cybercriminal, and the file you clicked on and downloaded and opened —has been mounted on your computer with malware. The malware will spread to other files when you run the program and destroy your machine.

How Trojan Can Be A Threat To Your Network?

Including free software and music to browser ads to seemingly legitimate applications, Trojans can look like just about anything. Any number of unwise user activities will lead to an infection with the Trojan. Here are only a few examples as given by a coursework writing service:

  • Backdoor: A Trojan backdoor provides remote control to malicious users over the compromised device. They allow the author to do whatever they want on the infected computer-including sending, receiving, launching and deleting files, displaying data, and rebooting the machine. Backdoor Trojans are also used to combine a group of victim computers to create a botnet or network of zombies that can be used for criminal purposes.
  • Exploit: Exploits are programs containing data or code that exploits a flaw inside the application software running on your computer.
  • Rootkit: Rootkits are intended to conceal other artifacts or events within your program. Their main objective is also to avoid the detection of malicious programs – to prolong the time during which programs will run on an infected machine.
  • Trojan-Banker: Trojan-Banker programs are designed to steal your online banking, e-payment, and credit or debit card account info.
  • Trojan-DDoS: These programs carry out DoS attacks (Denial of Service) against a targeted web address. The attack will overload the target address by sending several requests – from your machine and many other infected computers – leading to a denial of service.
  • Trojan-Downloader: Trojan-Downloaders can download and install new versions of malware, including Trojans and adware, on your computer.
  • Trojan-Dropper: Hackers use these programs to mount Trojans and/or viruses-or to avoid malware detection. Not all antivirus programs will search all of the components within this sort of Trojan.
  • Trojan-FakeAV: antivirus software simulates the activity of Trojan-FakeAV programs. They are built to extort money from you – in exchange for threat identification and elimination … even if the threats they report are in reality non-existent.
  • Trojan-GameThief: This type of software steals online gamers’ user account information.
  • Trojan-IM: Trojan-IM applications steal instant messaging logins and passwords – such as ICQ, MSN Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Pager, Skype, and many more.
  • Trojan Ransom: This sort of Trojan will change data on your machine – so your machine doesn’t work properly or you can’t use your data anymore. The thief can only restore the output of your device or unblock your data after paying them the ransom money they are asking for.
  • Trojan-SMS: Such services will save you money-sending text messages to premium phone numbers from your mobile device.
  • Trojan-Spy: Trojan-Spy programs can spy on how you use your computer, such as monitoring the data you enter through your keyboard, taking screenshots, or having a list of applications running on them.
  • Trojan-Mailfinder: These programs can use your machine to collect email addresses.
  • You can protect your devices by installing successful anti-malware software.

How to Detect a Trojan Virus?

Trojans are incredibly good at hiding. The whole point of their life is to trick users into installing them, and then work behind the scenes to attain their target. You might not even know whether you fall prey until it is too late. Since Trojans are used as a delivery mechanism for a variety of different forms of malware, you can look for several of the same telltale signs of malware if you think your network may have been breached by a Trojan. These can include

  • Poor output of the system and if your machine or mobile device run slowly or crash more frequently than normal.
  • Strange system activity if you did not start programs but such programs are running as well as other mysterious processes running on your computer.
  • Pop-up and spam interruptions- Do you note an upsurge in the amount of browser pop-up or email spam interruptions? If your system shows these signs, a Trojan virus might have been able to sneak its payload on your computer. Seek to search your machine for any programs or software that you don’t even remember downloading. Enter any unrecognized file names or programs into a search engine to determine if they are Trojans recognized. Eventually, if you’ve not already, search your computer with antivirus software to see if a suspicious file has been found.

How to Protect Your Network from Trojan?

You can protect your devices by installing successful anti-malware software. As with defending against other common threats to cyber-security, successful cyber-security tools should be your frontline defense. An efficient Internet protection system will run quick, regular scans and notify you as soon as you detect a Trojan virus.

Trojan Virus Infographic
Trojan Virus Infographic

See our page on removing malware infecting your device if you are reading this because it’s too late already. If you are reading this to remain protected from these types of attacks in the future, there are a few best practices to help keep yourself secure in addition to installing cybersecurity apps:

  • Never download or install software from a source that you don’t fully trust.
  • Never open a file or run a program sent to you by someone you don’t know in an email.
  • Keep all the software on your computer up to date with the new patches.
  • Whether it’s a website, communication, or apps, stick to trusted brands at all times.
  • If the general public attempts and checks businesses, you’ll know if any issues have occurred.
  • Reputation on the internet is king so always test independent feedback.
  • Always enable Firewalls to screen data from the internet which enters your computer. Although most operating systems come with a built-in firewall, the use of a hardware firewall for full security is also a good idea.