Wednesday, 30 November 2011 02:59

What are Trojans?

Written by  Ganesh Datta

Botnet Example

The story of the Trojan horse is a common one. The Greeks gifted the city of Troy a wooden horse, but inside were malicious soldiers waiting to attack. Unfortunately, there are Trojans waiting to attack your computer as well. What are they, and what can they do? Read on to find out.

Trojans have the capability to access files and confidential information on your computer, and send them to third-parties over the internet. This includes sensitive information such as passwords, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, etc. Trojans can also be used to key-log your computer, meaning that everything you type is being seen by destructive people controlling the Trojan.  On the more sneaky side, Trojans can be used to download files to your computer. Usually, Trojans can download illegal wares or even more malicious software to take complete control over your computer.

One of the most dangerous features of a Trojan is that it they have the capability of making your computer into a botnet. What is a botnet? A botnet is a computer, connected to thousands of other such infected computers, that is now capable of sending out spam or unleashing Denial of Service attacks, among many others. When the “bot herder” or “bot master” sends out a signal to these computers, they can start doing the task they are programmed to do such as mass spamming, spreading adware or even other malicious software, and selling fake antivirus software. According to BitDefender, approximately 15% of computers are botnets, clearly showing how vital it is to take extreme precautionary measures to stay safe.

Trojans are commonly spread under the guise of antivirus software. Fake antivirus software that has been downloaded onto your computer first of all tries to get you to “buy” it, but in the background is hijacking your system. Such programs claim to eliminate viruses and malware from your computer, but in fact end up installing more malicious software. Keep this in mind – it’ll be helpful to know when preventing your computer from becoming hijacked.

Read 6498 times Last modified on Saturday, 16 June 2012 01:23
 

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