What is Trojan Horse

Trojan or Trojan Horse

In computing,it is a type of malicious code or software that is often disguised as legitimate software. Trojans can be employed by cyber-thieves and hackers trying to gain access to users’ systems. Users are typically tricked  into loading and executing Trojans on their systems.

One of the most popular types of Trojan horse is a program that claims to get rid your computer of viruses.Instead it introduces viruses onto your computer. Trojan horses do not replicate themselves but they can be just as destructive. Trojan horse, by definition, is not a computer virus because it can not replicate itself. It is, however, a form of malware because of the damage it can cause.

History of Trojan horse

The Trojan horse gets its name from the story accounted in both ancient Latin and Greek mythology.  The term comes from the Greek story of the Trojan War. In order to end a 10-year siege of the city-state of Troy, Greeks gave a giant wooden horse to their foes, the Trojans, ostensibly as a peace offering. But after the Trojans drag the horse inside their city walls, Greek soldiers sneak out of the horse’s hollow belly and open the city gates, allowing their compatriots to pour in and capture Troy.

Whether the Trojan War actually took place, and whether the site in northwest Turkey is the same Troy, is a matter of debate. According to Wikipedia, “Animal” written by John Walker is the first Trojan virus created in April 1975.

How Trojan horse is used

The most common use of a Trojan horse is to gain remote access to an unsuspecting computer. This can lead to disastrous results, not only for the infected computer but also for reputations of the innocent computer users who are affected.
 Some of the ways that hackers can use remote access to their advantage:

1.Keylogging
-A form of data theft, keylogging allows a hacker to view information that’s being typed. This is a favored method of identity thieves.
2.Data theft – A hacker can use remote access to steal data from the infected computer. This could give the hacker access to personal information and photos.
3.File manipulation or deletion – Some hackers prefer to dig into a remote computer to attempt to re-write the code in software or manipulate data files. It can change your desktop or silly active desktop icons.
4. Screen viewing – A form of voyeurism, a hacker can also use a Trojan horse to view what a person is seeing on their screen. They may not be seeking to specifically steal any data or information, but it looks into your camera.
5. Spamming device-It may turn your device into a spamming device. This is one of the most nefarious uses of a Trojan horse. Remote access is to set up a base of operations for illegal activities through your computer by trojan horse attack.

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Type of Trojan horse

Trojan horse is broken down in classification based on how they breach/damage systems. The  main types of Trojan horses are:

1.Backdoor -It gives malicious users remote access over the infected computer. They can do whatever they want such as sending, receiving, launching and deleting files, displaying data and rebooting the endpoint. It was discovered on February 11, 1999, and affect windows system.
2. Exploit -It contains data or code that abuses a vulnerability within application software that’s operating on your endpoint. Discovered on March 30, 2007, and affect Windows.
3.Rootkit -These are designed to hide certain objects or activities in your system. This can effectively prevent malicious programs from being detected. They hide in the OS System core. Once a rootkit is installed, it allows an attacker to mask the active intrusion and to gain privileged access to a computer by circumventing normal authentication and authorization mechanisms.
4.Trojan-Banker– Its purpose is to steal your account data for online banking systems, e-payment systems, and credit or debit cards. It redirects banking site traffic to the attacker’s site.
5.Trojan-DDoS– This Trojan can start up the Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. Not only it can affect endpoints, but also websites. By sending multiple requests – from your computer and several other infected computers – the attack can overload the resources to process all the incoming requests leading to DDoS.
6.Trojan-Ransom -This Trojan can change data on your device. This can lead to malfunction. The cybercriminal will demand a ransom. They’ll only replace your computer’s performance or unblock your data after you have paid them.
7.Trojan-Mailfinder– This robs email addresses from your endpoint. Malicious programs of this type are designed to harvest email addresses from a computer and then send them to the malicious user via email, Stolen addresses are then used by cybercriminals to conduct mass mailings of malware and spam.

Some Famous Trojan horse malware

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1. Zeus – Also known as Zbot, Zeus is a successful Trojan malware package with many variants used to carry out a number of different types of attack. It’s perhaps most well-known for its successful hack of the U.S. Department of Transportation. It has infected more than 37,000 computers in the UK through a drive-by download. Once the trojan has access to the account, it checks to make sure that there is at least £800 available, then it begins to transfer anywhere up to £5,000 to various bank accounts. Once the transfer is complete, the virus then creates a false electronic statement to conceal the missing funds.

2.Wirenet – Wirenet is a password-stealing Trojan notable for being among the first to target Linux and OSX users, many of whom were migrating from Windows operating systems based on perceived security flaws. Wirenet is a trojan with backdoor features able to hit Linux and Mac users in a way that looks way similar to what trojans are currently doing on Windows.

3. Storm Worm-It was a particularly vicious malware that made the rounds in 2006 with a subject line of ‘230 dead as storm batters Europe’. Intrigued, people would open the email and click on a link to the news story and that’s when the problems started. Storm Worm was a Trojan horse that infected computers, sometimes turning them into zombies or bots to continue the spread of the virus and to send a huge amount of spam mail. 

Weird Trojan horse

1. A kvetching Trojan-This Trojan started like many others, slipping onto a smartphone posing as a useful app. Then the malware continuously pestered victims by asking them to grant it admin privileges. When the user closed one window, the Trojan opened another, again and again. The only way to stop it was to power down the phone and restore it to its factory default settings

2.Wifatch -Trojan that may open a back door on the compromised route and adding a couple of pages of generic advice for removing it and keeping it from infecting other devices. It also attempts to remove other well-known router malware.

How to detect trojan horse

some of the telltale signs of malicious software are-

1. Poor device performance– Your computer or mobile device running slowly or crashing more frequently than normal?
2. Strange device behavior– Are programs running you didn’t initiate or are other unexplained processes being executed on your device?
3. Pop-up and spam interruptions– pop-ups keep appearing on your screen even when you’re not browsing the internet?
Protection from Trojan Horse
4. Desktop change-desktop screen has changed. You will notice a big difference in the color of the screen/resolution. Sometimes, the screen will turn upside down for no reason at all.
5. Antivirus software disabled-your antivirus or any security software was disabled. A Trojan horse has the capability of disabling your anti-virus software.
6. Mouse Movements-you will notice that the mouse moves by itself or vice versa. You will also notice that there are some functions on your mouse that performs differently.

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Protection from Trojan horse

Please follow these steps to protect your device from Trojan Horse Malware

1. Keep your OS updated.
2.install  an internet security suite.
3. Protect your accounts with complex, unique passwords.
4. Keep your personal information safe with firewalls.
5. Never download or install software from a source you don’t trust completely
6. Never open an attachment or run a program sent to you in an email from someone you don’t know. 
7. Back up your files regularly

Remember these are basic precautions to protect devices from any type of malware.

Trojan Horse in one line-Appears useful but damages system, requires human action to run, do not self-replicate.





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