How To Prevent, Detect And
Remove A Trojan Computer Virus

A Trojan Computer Virus or a Trojan horse is a software program that looks genuine, legitimate, useful and harmless, but instead has a malicious intent such as deleting data, stealing data, compromising security and allowing remote access to the infected system.

Christened after the mythical Trojan Horse from Greek mythology, this non-replicating malware which when executed performs undesirable activities on the victim's computer. Independent studies indicate that this type of malware infection is on the rise which is why it makes sense to know more about them, understand their ways of working and importantly how to avoid, detect and remove them.

Trojan Computer Virus - Various Types

There are several types with specific characteristics.

  • FTP Trojan Horse Virus – The most common of the lot, this type opens the FTP port on infected computer. Once activated, anyone can gain access into your computer using the FTP protocol. Some smarter ones employ password protection feature to ensure that only the hacker gains access to the infected computer.
  • Remote Access Trojan Horse Virus – As common as FTP Trojan, and equally dangerous, a remote access Trojan computer virus gives its writer, the hacker, full and complete control over the infected computer. The hacker, in turn, can use this unauthorized privilege to access and steal personal information. 
  • Denial of Service Attack Trojan Horse Virus – When you download a Denial of Service (DoS) Attack Trojan virus, it uses your computer as a zombie for attacking a specific computer or web server.
  • Proxy Trojan Horse Virus – Also known as Wingate virus, proxy Trojan virus turns your computer into a proxy server or Wingate, allowing other computers to use your computer for accessing the Internet. It is usually used by its writers for conducting illegal activities over the Internet, like shopping online with a stolen credit card.
  • Keylogging Trojan Horse Virus - With the sole aim of spying and recording every activity on the computer, they transmit the recorded information to the hacker via email.

What are common ways of getting infected by a Trojan Computer Virus?

A Trojan Horse is usually carried by another program. The most popular methods of catching an infected are through e-mail attachments, via compromised websites. Other common modes of distribution are by bundling the Trojan in cracked or pirated software, and by exploiting known security flaw in a web browser, email clients, instant messengers, media player or other applications. They may even arrive in the form of a joke program.

What is the potential impact on security caused by a Trojan Computer Virus infection?

Its a bad news if you are infected with this malicious software. They can slow down your computer, consume resources, generate unexpected network traffic, prevent you from using your computer (Denial Of Service) or even cause data destruction and crashes. These symptoms are not always the main intent of a Trojan, they are generally designed to create 'backdoor infection' which means permissions to tinker with system files and settings.

Another usual attempt is to steal personal and private information such as bank accounts, passwords, e-mail or postal address, credit card numbers. Some may even cause the computer to perform some undesirable actions like sending spam or be even hijacked by the author of the Trojan to perform notorious activities. Its advisable to take swift and decisive actions to detect and eliminate any such software that may have infected your system.

Preventing A Trojan Computer Virus Infection

It’s better to be safe than sorry, which is why care must be taken to prevent such dangerous computer threats. Here are some of the best practices:

  1. Avoid opening files or programs received from untrusted sources or ones with suspicious extensions. Similarly do not open emails attachments from unknown senders.
  2. Abstain from using pirated or cracked software.
  3. Regularly update the operating system, Anti-Malware software, browsers and all installed application.
  4. Periodically scan your computer with reputed Anti-Malware, Anti-Trojan software.
  5. Use a firewall, avoid setting too relaxed rules and keep an eye on prompts.

Identifying and Removing a Trojan Virus

Usually designed to perform their functions without the victim knowing, infected users may not be able to notice any symptoms at all. It is important to stay on top of your computer's security and practice safe browsing. Avoid storing critical information in plain text, word or excel files, password protect every important file, this will help in minimizing damage.

Anti-Malware programs are capable of detecting and removing Trojans, nevertheless it is better to use dedicated and specialized Anti-Trojan software. Sometimes manual removal may be required too.

Recommended Software

  1. Malwarebyte’s Anti-MalwareAn on-demand scanner with a simple interface is equally adept at detecting and removing Trojans as it is against other forms of malware. Thanks to the underlying proprietary Chameleon Technology that is powers both free and pro versions, it can be easily installed on an infected computer. The free version though lacks real-time scanning capabilities which is available in the pro version.

  2. Emsisoft Anti-MalwareEasy to use tool with heuristic scanning and removal capabilities. Features include quarantine capabilities, access to online updates. A fully functional trial is available for 30 days.

  3. Trojan RemoverUser friendly, extremely light on resources, quick scanning and powerful detection engine make it a suitable choice as dedicated Anti-Trojan software. A fully functional trial for 30 days is available after which it must either be uninstalled or registered by paying the registration fees.

  4. Trojan Hunter - High-speed scanning engine capable of accurately detecting modified Trojans with memory scanning for detecting modified variants of a specific build of a Trojan. An Anti-Trojan that complements your other dedicated security software, it can be evaluated free of charge for 30 days, thereafter interested users can purchase either the single computer license or family license.

Bottom Line

Trojan Computer Virus differ from other forms of malware, while being unique in their own ways, they are equally menacing and are extremely popular malicious software. However, adopting precautionary measures coupled with dedicated Anti-Trojan software can go a long way in securing our data and computers.

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