What is a Trojan Virus?

A Trojan horse, often shortened to Trojan, is a type of malware designed to provide unauthorized, remote access to a user’s computer. Trojan horses do not have the ability to replicate themselves like viruses; however, they can lead to viruses being installed on a machine since they allow the computer to be controlled by the Trojan creator. The term gets its name from the Greek story of the Trojan War, when the Greeks offered the Trojans a peace offering in the form of a large wooden horse. However, once the Trojans wheeled the horse behind their closed gates and night fell, the soldiers hidden inside the horse climbed out and opened the city gates, allowing the Greek army to infiltrate Troy and capture the city. Trojan horse software operates the same way, where Troy is your computer and the horse is the benign-seeming application. Trojan horses can assist an attacker into turning a user’s computer into a zombie computer, stealing various data such as credit card information, installing more malware, keylogging and various other malicious activities. Also, it is possible for other crackers to control the compromised computer simply by searching for computers on a network using a port scanner and finding ones that have already been infected with a Trojan horse. Trojan horses continue to increase in popularity and currently account for the majority of known malware found on the web.

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