Knowing what a Trojan Horse virus is needs to be learned by all computer users. It can spell the difference between keeping your data safe or losing it all.
What it Does
For starters, the name is actually a misnomer since it is not actually a virus. It is a malware. When installed it a computer, it appears harmless. It might even appear to be doing something helpful. But in truth the malware has hidden codes. These are programmed by its author and are activated at a predetermined date. When it kicks in, the author will gain access to your computer and files.
The question of what a Trojan Horse virus is can also be answered by its behavior. Some are merely annoying. Error or joke messages might pop on the desktop every now and then. Others are more lethal. It can unleash a command to delete files. Still others are capable of stealing personal data stored in hard disks. This can be relayed to the virus’ author. It can be sold or used in malicious activities.
The Different Variants
Today these programs are categorized by their payloads or the assigned commands. The data destruction types are aimed at your files. When a specific function is accessed, the malware kicks in and will destroy all the files. Some render the disk inaccessible by locking the boot drive. Others attack the Registry itself.
When studying what a Trojan Horse virus is you must also know those targeting network connections. These usually attack HTTP. FTP and email services. These can range from disconnecting servers to spamming email. Some hijack data on local nodes and send them to the author.
Some target firewalls and antivirus programs. They penetrate the Windows Registry and other program files. Subsequently it removes or alters the settings to disable the software. The Trojan will then download more malware and viruses. This can cause large problems in a standalone or networked computer.
How to Avoid Them
Knowledge is the key to eliminating these threats. As you study what a Trojan Horse virus is, you’ll learn that they are mostly embedded in software. There are ways you can steer clear of them though.
Rule number one is never install pirated software. These programs have been altered by hackers. Very often there are malicious executables in there too.
Always turn on your antivirus when browsing the Web. Some sites try to download files in your computer without your knowledge. With an antivirus, this will be prevented. Even then, always scan any files you download. Just because the site is owned by a large company doesn’t mean it is safe. On the contrary, these are the ones that are often the target of hackers. Virus scan the zip files before you extract them.
It’s often said that we live in the Information Age. By studying the facts, you will know what a Trojan Horse virus is. This in turn will give you all the weapons you need to overcome this ever present threat.