What is a Trojan Virus?

Frank  — October 19, 2018  ·  Read user reviews

One of the scariest types of viruses in the internet security is called a trojan virus. Sometimes they are also referred to as a trojan horse. If you remember your literature history from middle school, this name should ring a bell!

In Greek mythology, during the Trojan war, the Greeks constructed a massive wooden horse and hid soldiers inside to trick their opponents in the city of Troy.

Trojan viruses work in a similar manner. They act like legitimate applications to get into your computer and get past your defenses. Once they’re inside, they release the malicious code and start doing damage.

Viruses, malware, ransomware and phishing schemes are abundant online, and if you’re not careful, you might get infected with one. This is why it’s so important for you to have the proper security set up on your computer.

Owning a computer is a wonderful tool that gives you access to so many different kinds of information that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Unfortunately, this access also opens your computer up to a variety of security threats.

There are several types of trojan viruses that you need to watch out for, each has a different purpose. Let’s take a look at the different trojan viruses and what they do.

Types of Trojan Viruses

Knowing what kind of trojan viruses are out there can help you better protect your computer against them. These are the most common types of trojan viruses:

  • Backdoor Trojan – This is probably the most common type of trojan virus. Many experts believe that the first trojan viruses were this type. These viruses infect your computer which then opens the “backdoor” of your system to the attacker. They can then take control over your system, enabling them to do or steal whatever they want.Today backdoor trojans are most commonly used to group together many infected computers to form a botnet. A botnet can be used for further criminal purposes.
  • Ransom Trojan – Ransom trojans are newer kinds of trojan viruses that have become a real problem. Once it’s on your computer, it takes control over a certain part of your computer or locks down certain files so you can’t access them anymore. Then, the attacker contacts you through the virus and gives you the option of paying money to unlock your computer again. Many times, the attacker still doesn’t restore full functionality, even after you’ve paid the ransom!
  • Rootkit Trojan – Rootkit trojans target administrator access, or even super administrator on your computer. Once they get on your system, they typically work to conceal other malicious activities from being detected. Attackers use rootkit trojans so they can infect your computer with more viruses without you or your antivirus software from noticing. These types of trojan viruses are exceptionally dangerous because they can infect everything on your computer – including the operating system itself.
  • GameThief Trojan – Online gamers consider themselves to be pretty well-versed in the world of technology and online security. Unfortunately, they are a major target for online thieves. Most game services require gamers to store their personal and financial information online so they can pay for new games or continuing subscriptions. GameThief trojans targets online games with the intent of stealing this financial and personal information.
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) Trojan – A distributed denial of service attack is a trojan virus that targets specific websites in order to overload their services with multiple requests at once. This, in turn, slows the website down and can even shut them down for a period of time. A DDoS trojan virus conducts these attacks from your computer to overwhelm certain websites so the origin of the attacks remains unknown.
  • Downloader Trojan – Downloader trojans are pretty self-explanatory. These viruses exist solely to download other malicious programs and viruses to your computer. Downloader trojans try to operate as quietly as possible on your system so you don’t notice them and they can continue to download more to your computer.
  • Banker Trojan – Banker trojans live on your computer and watch your browsing habits to identify when you use your credit card to make an online purchase or log in to your banking accounts. Once you do any of these things, the virus then logs the information and sends it to the attacker.
  • And many more… These aren’t the only kinds of trojan viruses out there in the world, not by far. Trojan viruses come in all shapes and sizes, but most of them have a single malicious purpose.

How to Protect Your Computer from Trojan Viruses

As you can tell, there are lots of different ways your computer can be infected by a trojan virus. But with so many different viruses coming at you from so many different directions, how can you stay protected?

One of the easiest ways to protect your computer from trojan viruses is to install a robust and reliable antivirus software. These tools will scan your computer for any instances of trojan viruses and quarantine them immediately if found.

You should also practice safe browsing while you are browsing online. Avoid downloading files from unknown sources and don’t visit suspicious websites.

Your browser has built-in security features and often warns you when you’re about to do something potentially dangerous. It’s in your best interest to follow these warnings.

Do You Have a Trojan Virus?

 Since trojan viruses can be so sneaky, it’s helpful to learn how to tell if your computer has a trojan virus. Fortunately, there are many ways to tell if there’s a trojan on your device, wreaking havoc and causing problems.

First, occasionally check to see if there are applications on your computer that you don’t remember downloading. Trojans often download suspicious software to your computer without your knowledge.

Next, consider your computer’s overall performance. Have you noticed a dip in speed? Are there random pop-ups directing you to download other kinds of software? If you’ve noticed any of these things, your computer may be infected with a trojan.

If you have antivirus software, take the time to perform a full scan of your computer. It’s possible that the antivirus software missed the trojan when it initially got installed on your computer. During a full scan, your antivirus scans every portion of your system and can find even the most hidden trojan viruses.