Trojan Horse: A Gift From Your Enemy

Trojan Horse: A Gift From Your Enemy

I will give you the same advice I would have given the city of Troy:

Do NOT let that Trojan Horse within your walls (or firewalls in your case)!

If you know the story of the Trojan War, then you already know what a Trojan Horse is. If you don’t, it’s basically an attack disguised as a gift. For computers, this is usually malware masquerading as software you want to download.

For the people of Troy, it was an actual horse—one that was huge and made of wood. The Greeks built this wooden horse to conquer Troy. How? Well, they presented this horse at the gates of Troy, and those people foolishly let it in thinking it was a gift. Little did they know that within the horse’s belly laid soldiers waiting to attack. That night, the soldiers infiltrated the city from within its walls and Troy fell to its knees. This is exactly what a Trojan horse for your computer does.

Once a Trojan horse is in your system, cyber-criminals gain access to your system which they can use to steal your data, spy on you, and generally take over your system, like the Greeks did at Troy. Basically, they can do whatever they want once they’re in.

There are many kinds of Trojan Horses, or Trojan for short. These include backdoors, exploit, Trojan-DDoS, and Trojan-Spy, just to name a few. Each trojan is used for different purposes.

In order to protect your computer from these invaders, you must install an anti-malware software. You should also be careful when it comes to downloading software. Make sure that the software you are downloading comes from a trusted source and is not just a link sent to you from an email that looks legitimate.  When I receive an email with a link, there are two things I look at to determine if it’s safe, which are:

1. Check who sent it- Cyber-criminals are sneaky. They will send you an email from something like Microsoft_office@gmail.com. Be careful of this because any email you will actually receive from Microsoft will be from  ________@microsoft.com.  Any email from a legitimate business will be from an email linked to their site, not a personal account. Still, do not click on that link yet. You need to make sure that it’s legitimate software.

2. Make sure that the software is legitimate before downloading- Cyber-criminals are extremely sneaky—I cannot stress this enough! So, if you’re still having doubts after checking who sent it, then you need to google it and see if this is an actual software update that exists, and if so, DO NOT download it from the link provided in your email. Instead, download it from the actual company’s website.

Keep in mind that these two precautions are not enough to fully protect you. As I stated before, you must install an anti-malware software. In 2019, about 75% of cyber-attacks on computers were in the form of trojans, and although there is general awareness of the threat, a quarter of PCs remain unprotected. This makes them about 5.5 times more likely to be infected!

So, remember—don’t let your cyber security be the Achilles heel of your system. Make sure that you protect your information the right way!

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