The Trojan horse in computing is a destructive malicious code which looks benign and perfectly harmless on the surface. Once it runs itself on the computer, it starts spreading the infection, thereby slowing down the user’s computer. In that sense, the Trojan is very much like the Trojan Horse used by the Greeks in the yore.
A Trojan, though, is not like other malware like viruses or worms. It cannot replicate itself like those programs, so it is more harmless to that extent. In order that it is able to spread, the program has to actually be run by the user, so the destruction cannot occur by itself.
There are two types of Trojan horses. One is where actually legitimate software has been purposely hacked by one intending to destroy other machines by writing the malicious code onto the program. The other type of the Trojan horse is a program that is capable of spreading infection on its own strength. A good example is that of a harmless-looking image file or game, which starts running once the user clicks on it.
How exactly does the Trojan infection occur?
Most of the times, the computer is attacked by a Trojan only because the user was not observant enough to see through a seemingly benign code. Users are generally advised against opening unknown mails or clicking unknown but very attractive sites for this very purpose. Most of these are known to carry a Trojan malicious code. This infection does not particularly have to occur only due to infected email. It can come through infected online sites, shared programs like Limewire and iTunes or even from an external source such as a CD. Chances of your computer being infected through chat are low, unless the computer at the other end has been infected and they unknowingly send you an infected attachment.
How does one perform the ‘Trojan remove’ action?
It is always difficult to detect this malicious code, mostly because it does not replicate itself. Sometimes, it can actually go to the extent of silently attacking the operating system itself. Fortunately, though, you have a wide choice of Trojan removal software online. There are problem-specific Trojan removers available today. These are categorized under Trojan detectors, cleaners and removers. You also have what is known as ‘behavior blocker’ programs, which will bring to your notice suspicious scripts being written on your computer.
How does one prevent Trojan attacks?
Prevention is always better than cure. The wise thing to do is never to open email attachments from unknown senders. Always use anti-virus software, update it regularly and run a check at least once a week, if not more. If you suspect infection, immediately check the source of the problem and run the most suitable Trojan/virus/worm removal software.
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