Are you familiar with Greek mythology? According to the legend, even after years of fighting, the ancient Greeks were unable to take the mighty city of Troy. So, they devised a strategy to accomplish their objective: they would disguise a wooden horse large enough for 40 soldiers to hide in as a gift for the Trojans. The 40 men inside the city walls allowed a larger force to enter once the Trojans had pulled the horse inside the walls, and the city was then taken. Similar to the fabled Trojan horse of Greek mythology, a Trojan computer virus disguises itself as something else in order to bypass your defenses unnoticed. Its goal is to trick you into getting it into your device.

How do cybercriminals use trojans?

Well, Internet users aren’t stupid. A file called virus.exe won’t fool anyone. Cybercriminals know that, so the virus must be disguised. Once on your device, the malware can steal your personal information, including passwords and financial details along with spying on you, spamming, and encrypting your files for a ransom. Once a Trojan has infected your device, it can utilize it to launch assaults as part of a wider network or download further viruses without your knowledge.

How does a device get infected by a Trojan?

Unfortunately, a computer Trojan can take on the appearance of almost anything to catch your attention Have you received an email attachment claiming to be an invoice? That may be a Trojan. Have you tried to download an e-book from a not so verified source? That may be a Trojan. Have you opened a link that looks like your bank’s but is slightly different? That may be a Trojan. Have you downloaded an interesting app you saw on TikTok? That may be a Trojan. Trojans are not so easy to detect- Afterall they are meant to fool you.

How many types of Trojan are there?

There are four (4) different types of Trojan attacks to look after.

1. Backdoor Trojan:

Backdoor Trojans, as their name suggests, construct a form of backdoor: a gateway used to access your device. A backdoor Trojan can utilize this backdoor to enter if it has already established a way into your computer or mobile device. Your information may be stolen, or the computer may become infected with trojans and other viruses through the backdoor.

2. Banking Trojan:

This one is easy to guess; banking trojans care about your banking information, such as bank account login details, credit card information etc. The most common way of doing so is the following: the victim receives a phishing email which contains a malicious link. The victim falls for that, because when they click on the link, they are taken to a page which looks exactly like the login page of their bank. So, instead of logging in to their online bank, the victim is unintentionally providing cybercriminals with information about their bank accounts.

3. DDos Trojan:

This one is pretty common as well. The abbreviation DDoS stands for “Distributed Denial of Service”. In reality, this results in a server receiving a barrage of requests to increase traffic levels past their cap. The word distributed in this context refers to numerous diverse sources that are hitting the server at the same time. The phrase “dos attack” is used when a single source is the lone one driving all traffic. A trojan horse virus can utilize a user’s device to launch DDoS assaults by joining it to a bigger botnet of connected devices.

4. Downloader Trojan:

Last but not least, there is Downloader Trojan. Once a downloader Trojan has infected a device, it can download other harmful malware on the device. Think of him as an intermediary with the other virus, which can be extremely harmful as well.

How to avoid trojans?

Think of the myth again; if the Trojans hadn’t taken the horse in, they wouldn’t have been utterly destroyed. Likewise, Trojan viruses have no power on your device, unless you let them. After all, prevention is the best cure.

1. Use antivirus software

Antivirus can detect a harmful file and can block malware from infecting your device. You can also use apps to scan your files from anything suspicious; you can do your own research or consult an expert!

2. Avoid opening links and attachments

Unless you are completely sure about the source of an email, do not open attachments. Only open files from reliable sources. This is very important, do not trust anyone online!

3. Practice your eye and do not fall for phishing scams

Be careful with your emails. For example, your bank has sent you an email demanding urgent action. Think twice before clicking on a link: wouldn’t the bank refer to you by your last name instead of “Dear client”? Wouldn’t they be more careful with their grammar? Avoid falling victim to simple traps and be wary of unsolicited emails and messages that contain links or attachments.

4. Keep all software on your computer up to date with the latest patches and never install software from a source you don’t trust completely

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