When You Hear the Term Trojan Horse What Comes to Mind?

We have all heard the term Trojan Horse, but may not have a clear idea what one is, so let’s talk a little about what a Trojan Horse is. It is a destructive program that masquerades as a harmless application. Unlike viruses, Trojan Horses do not replicate themselves, but they can be just as destructive. One of the most dangerous examples of a Trojan is a program that promises to rid your computer of viruses but instead introduces viruses into your computer. But the Trojan can be tricky.

Who hasn’™t been online and had an advertisement pop up claiming to be able to rid your computer of some nasty virus? Or, even more frightening, you receive an email that claims to be alerting you to a new virus that can threaten your computer. The sender promises to quickly eradicate, or protect your computer from viruses if you simply download their “free”, attached software into your computer.

Although you might be somewhat skeptical, you believe – based on the looks of the software – it’s legitimacy and in so doing you endorse the company’s reputable. So you proceed to take them up on their offer and download the software. In doing so, you have immediately, potentially exposed yourself to a massive headache and your computer to a laundry list of ailments.

When a Trojan is activated, numerous things can happen. Some Trojans are more annoying than malicious. Some of the less annoying Trojans may choose to change your desktop settings or add silly desktop icons.

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The more serious Trojans can erase or overwrite data on your computer, corrupt files, spread other malware such as viruses, spy on the user of a computer and secretly report data like browsing habits to other people, log keystrokes to steal information such as passwords and credit card numbers, phish for bank account details (which can be used for criminal activities), and even install a backdoor into your computer system so that they can come and go as they please.

To increase your odds of not encountering a Trojan, follow these guidelines:

  1. Remain diligent
    Trojans can infect your computer through rogue websites, instant messaging, and emails with attachments. Do not download anything into your computer unless you are 100 percent sure of its sender or source.
  2. Ensure that your operating system is always up-to-date. If you are running a Microsoft Windows operating system, this is essential.
  3. Install reliable anti-virus software. It is also important that you download any updates frequently to catch all new Trojan Horses, viruses, and worms. Be sure that the anti-virus program that you choose can also scan e-mails and files downloaded through the internet.
  4. Consider installing a firewall. A firewall is a system that prevents unauthorized use and access to your computer. A firewall is not going to eliminate your computer virus problems, but when used in conjunction with regular operating system updates and reliable anti-virus software, it can provide additional security and protection for your computer.

Nothing can guarantee the security of your computer 100 percent. However, you can continue to improve your computer’s security and decrease the possibility of infection by consistently following these guidelines.

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Computer Viruses that Come Calling

Every day new computer viruses are created to annoy us and to wreak havoc on our computer systems. Below are ten viruses that have been cited as being the most prevalent in terms of being seen the most or in their ability to potentially cause damage.

New viruses are created daily. This is by no means an all inclusive list. The best thing you can do is to remain vigilant, keep your anti-virus software updated, and stay aware of the dangerous computer virus threats both known and yet to come.

Virus: Trojan.Lodear – A Trojan horse that attempts to download remote files. It will inject a .dll file into the EXPLORER.EXE process causing system instability.

Virus: W32.Beagle.CO@mm – A mass mailing worm that lowers security settings. It can delete security-related registry sub keys and may block access to security-related websites.

Virus: Backdoor.Zagaban – A Trojan horse that allows the compromised computer to be used as a covert proxy and which may degrade network performance.

Virus: W32/Netsky-P – A mass-mailing worm which spreads by emailing itself to addresses produced from files on the local drives.

Virus: W32/Mytob-GH – A mass-mailing worm and IRC backdoor Trojan for the Windows platform. Messages sent by this worm will have the subject chosen randomly from a list including titles such as: Notice of account limitation, Email Account Suspension, Security measures, Members Support, Important Notification.

Virus: W32/Mytob-EX – A mass-mailing worm and IRC backdoor Trojan similar in nature to W32-Mytob-GH. W32/Mytob-EX runs continuously in the background, providing a backdoor server which allows a remote intruder to gain access and control over the computer via IRC channels. This virus spreads by sending itself to email attachments harvested from your email addresses.

Virus: W32/Mytob-AS, Mytob-BE, Mytob-C, and Mytob-ER – This family of worm variations possesses similar characteristics in terms of what they can do. They are mass-mailing worms with backdoor functionality that can be controlled through the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) network. Additionally, they can spread through email and through various operating system vulnerabilities such as the LSASS (MS04-011).

Virus: Zafi-D – A mass mailing worm and a peer-to-peer worm which copies itself to the Windows system folder with the filename NortonÃ, Update.exe. It can then create a number of files in the Windows system folder with filenames consisting of 8 random characters and a DLL extension. W32/Zafi-D copies itself to folders with names containing share, upload, or music as ICQ 2005a new!.exe or winamp 5.7 new!.exe. W32/Zafi-D will also display a fake error message box with the caption “CRC: 04F6Bh” and the text “Error in packed file!”.

Virus: W32/Netsky-D – A mass-mailing worm with IRC backdoor functionality which can also infect computers vulnerable to the LSASS (MS04-011) exploit.

Virus: W32/Zafi-B – A peer-to-peer (P2P) and email worm that will copy itself to the Windows system folder as a randomly named EXE file. This worm will test for the presence of an internet connection by attempting to connect to http://www.google.com or http://www.microsoft.com. A bilingual, worm with an attached Hungarian political text message box which translates to ‘?We demand that the government accommodates the homeless, tightens up the penal code and VOTES FOR THE DEATH PENALTY to cut down the increasing crime. Jun. 2004, Pcs (SNAF Team)’.