What is a Trojan virus

The story of the Trojan Horse is one of the most well-known in history. In 1188BC the Greeks, locked in a gruelling siege of Troy for over ten years with the Trojans, deceived their enemies by pretending to quit the battlefield and sail away, leaving a giant wooden horse outside the gates of Troy.

The horse, the emblem of the city, fooled the Trojans into claiming the spoils of war and they brought it into the city.   Of course, it happened to be filled with some of the bravest Greek soldiers and that night, as the city slept, they emerged from it and opened the gates to let in the returned Greek army who then broke the siege and raised the city.

The story is as relevant today as it ever was and is an object lesson in how you shouldn’t let your guard down just because things look trustworthy. That’s why the term “Trojan Horse,” or “Trojan,” is used to describe sneaky malware that disguises itself as legitimate software to fool users into letting it gain a foothold on a computer system, typically by tricking users into loading and executing Trojans on their system using some form of social engineering such as instant-messaging software, e-mail attachments, or Web downloads

Once activated, Trojans can enable cyber-criminals to spy on you, steal your sensitive data and gain backdoor access to your computer systems leading to all kinds of problems including:

  • deleting data
  • blocking data
  • modifying data
  • copying data
  • installing a keylogger to record keystrokes thereby obtaining log-ins and passwords
  • turning on your webcam to take secret pictures
  • Disrupting the performance of computers or computer networks

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