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PC Security - Trojan Horse Viruses

Trojan horse viruses got their name from the siege of Troy, when the Greeks placed a large wooden horse outside the gates of Troy. The Trojans assumed it was a peace offering from the Greeks, and moved the horse inside the gates. The wooden horse was of course filled with hidden warriors, and once inside the gates, they broke out of the horse, and demolished the Trojans. Trojan horse programs work the same way.

Trojan horses can destroy files and data, but commonly contain spyware, and even backdoor programs. Trojans are usually contained in software downloads from unknown or untrusted sources. Some people don't consider a trojan horse to be a virus, because it does not reproduce itself as a virus does, however it's ability to destroy files and install programs without the user knowing do indeed make it a virus.

When a trojan horse is being used as spyware, it monitors your computer activities, and may even record keystrokes. This information is then sent to a third party, without you being aware of it. It may also cause pop up ads to display on your computer. The real danger is that information such as passwords and credit card and banking information can be delivered to that unknown third party, opening you up for identity theft.

When the trojan horse installs a backdoor program, it sends information to the third party, making it possible for hackers to get into your system, via the backdoor, and to use the system just as if it were their own. They will often do this to look around your hard drive for information, but may also use this to send spam with your email client, from your email address.

It is important to note that not all hackers are bad. Many of them are quite reputable, and would never harm a system, or use it for devious purposes. In fact, many financial institutions hire hackers in order to find security holes in their system to make it safer. Crackers on the other hand, are a danger. This group of people do indeed break into systems with the intent of causing harm, and they often write malicious programs as well.

Again, trojans may be distributed via free software downloads, but they can also arrive via email attachments, just as other viruses and worms do. You should also be careful about opening attachments from unknown sources, and also from downloading free software from unknown sources. If the software has a .exe extension in the file name, be especially careful.

These days, trojan horses can even be embedded in image files. People commonly send photos to each other online, and this is dangerous in every aspect, unless you know the person, and you know that they take precautions against viruses, worms, and trojan horses as well. Even then, you still run a risk.

One of the most well-known trojan horses is called Sub7. Sub7 will allow you to remotely control your own computer, but it allows others to as well. Never install any such software on your computer!

Some of the better brands of anti-virus software will detect, block, and even remove trojan horses. It is vital that you ensure that your virus checker does indeed do this, and it is also vital that you keep the virus definitions up-to-date. Again, always be cautious when opening email attachments, and when downloading free software.

  PC Security: Index
  PC Security: Internet Browsers
  PC Security: Spam
  PC Security: Stopping Spam Part 1
  PC Security: Stopping Spam Part 2
  PC Security: Spam Scams
  PC Security: Email Security and Spam
  PC Security: Email Security
  PC Security: Computer Viruses
  PC Security: Protecting Computers From Viruses
  PC Security: Worm Viruses
  PC Security: Trojan Horse Viruses
  PC Security: Rootkits
  PC Security: Removing a Virus
  PC Security: Virus Hoaxes
  PC Security: Server Viruses
  PC Security: Home Network
  PC Security: Cell Phone Viruses
  PC Security: Spyware
  PC Security: Firewalls Part 1
  PC Security: Firewalls Part 2
  PC Security: Parental Control Software
  PC Security: Malware - Spyware and Adware
  PC Security: Data Backups
  PC Security: Pop Up Windows
  PC Security: Safe Public Computer Use

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