Trojans are a very special form of malicious software that are designed to destroy your system files as opposed to Worm attacks which are designed to annoy you with pop ups or file duplication. Trojans tend to take the form of legitimate software packages and it’s typically too late by the time you find out you’ve been affected. Here are 5 reasons to stay clear:
- They steal your identity. Keyloggers are forms of Trojans. What they do is keep a record of whatever you strike on your keyboard. By doing so, it very likely that your username and password for various sites will be captured compromising your accounts by giving the attacker access. This is called identity theft and once your identity is stolen the attacker can personate you and harm your reputation. For instance, the attacker might send malicious URLs to your friends via email or social networks in order to get them infected as well.
- They can manipulate your requests. The man in the browser attack uses a Trojan to complete the attack. This type of attack is very popular especially in the banking sector where there are a lot of monetary transactions. The trojan will manipulate the total amount and destination account after the user confirms the transaction.
- They make you a part of their big project. Trojans are also used by hackers to perform DDOS attacks. DDOS attacks are a form of attack where the victim is flooded with hundreds of thousands, or even millions of traffic connections until the server is unable to handle the load and goes offline or is forced to disable security features. This does not mean that those DDOS hackers will invest into buying millions of computer to do so, rather they plant Trojans into your computer and make you their DDOS minions. Indirectly, you are part of their big project.
- They are difficult to detect. Unlike most computer threats, Trojans are much harder to detect and sometimes can’t be detected at all. They lie dormant for the most part only waking when there is something important for them to do. For example, Keyloggers will not log your keystrokes all the time but will only start logging them when you access an online banking or other secure site.
- They can gain control of your computer. Trojans allow hackers to take control over the victim’s computer allowing them to take pictures using their web cam, disable the mouse, keyboard or even restart the computer.
Trojan should not be taken lightly. You should at least get yourself an antivirus solution and scan your computer frequently to avoid such venomous infection.
About the Author: Alan Tay is a software engineer who specializes in digital security. He is also the author who runs IT Security Column, a IT Security blog where he mostly writes about computer security tips and security software reviews.