Trojan Horse-Properties, Risks, Symptoms, Prevention, Safety precautions

Trojan Horse-Properties, Risks, Symptoms, Prevention, Safety precautions

Trojan Horse was first discovered on February 19, 2004. It is a name used by Symantec corp. to identify malicious software program which masquerade as benign applications. Various anti virus software vendors call it with different names as it is called Trojan-Spy.HTML.Smitfraud.c by Kaspersky, Phish-BankFraud.eml.a by McAfee, Trj/Citifraud.A by Panda Software, generic5 by AVG antivirus. Trojan horse is named after the famous historic deceptions. In ancient city Troy, the Greek army appeared as if it has left the war ravaged shores of Troy, and left behind a large wooden horse as a peace gift. Inside the large wooden horse an elite group of Greek warriors was hidden, unbeknownst to the City of Troy. When the horse was pulled inside the City, during night hours the elite warriors efficiently performed their planned operation and opened the city gates and the Greek army captured the City.

Trojan Horse-Properties, Risks, Symptoms, Prevention, Safety precautions

How Trojan Horse comes to a computer

· The most common methods for the Trojan to arrive in your is by opening an email attachment or clicking a link in an email. 

· Another similar method has the Trojan arriving as a file or link in an instant messaging client.

· Another means of arrival includes a method called drive-by downloads. A drive-by download occurs when a user goes to a web site that is either legitimate, but compromised and exploited or malicious by design

· A Trojan horse program can be dropped or downloaded by other malicious software or by legitimate programs that have been compromised or exploited on the compromised computer.


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What Trojan/Trojan Horse does to a computer

i. A Trojan horse program may create files and registry entries.

ii. It may copy itself to various locations. 

iii. Distributed Denial of Service attacks.

iv. Downloading infectious files.

v. It may start a service or inject itself into processes and then carry out its primary functions.

vi. Dropping additional malware

vii. Disabling security-related programs

viii. Opening a back door 

ix. Stealing confidential and financial information

Main Categories of Trojans

There are many types of Trojans/ Trojan Horse and each is identified with its particular function. Some Trojans perform multiple functions and have the prefix of Trojan, while others are categorized by their main functions.

(1) Backdoor Trojans- Back door trojans allows remote access to the compromised computer by opening a back door.


(2) Downloader Trojans- Downloader Trojans are aptly named as they download additional files the compromised computer. These files may be additional malware or updates of the Trojan.


(3) Infostealing Trojans- Infostealing Trojans collect sensitive information like password, bank/credit card/ debit cart details etc. from the computer and sends it to the cyber criminals. This information can be financial, related to the compromised computer or user credentials for various web sites.

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Signs to recognize a Trojan horse in your PC

As deception is the purpose of Trojan horse, many will run as hidden as possible. In the most of the cases, there will be no any visible signs from which one can know that a Trojan horse is present on his computer. Though some Trojans that may display messages or dialog boxes or may display picture files or open a text file.

Risks associated with Trojan Horse in your PC 

The risks associated with Trojan Horse may be categorised in two categories, the low risk and the high risk.

Low risks of Trojan Horse in Your PC

a. Risk of annoyance and nuisance. 

b. No high risk of destruction or loss to the user. 

c. Hidden files, modified registry entries and annoying but harmless. 

d. Display of pictures or error messages 

High Risk of Trojan Horse in your PC

1. The potential for identity theft is high risk, and is personally damaging to a user. 

2. Potentially destructive risk is the opening of a back door which can allow access to a remote attacker to the compromised computer to perform many actions, like-

i. Create administrator accounts. 

ii. Participate in a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS).

iii. Provide confidential computer information to cyber criminals.

iv. Redirect GRE, TCP, HTTP, HTTPS, SOCKS4 and SOCKS5 traffic


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How to avoid Trojan horse

· Use a firewall to block all incoming connections. 

· Turn off and remove unnecessary services, 

· Use a Complex passwords. 

· Computer to be used with lowest level of privileges. 

· Disable AutoPlay. 

· Turn off file sharing. 

· Keep your patch levels up-to-date. 

· Block or remove email attachments commonly used to spread 

· Torn off Bluetooth when not in use

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