This is the fourth of a multipart series on common types of malware and other computer hazards. For those who have managed services with Micro Visions, we’re keeping an eye on threats for you. However, there are always small things you can do to further protect yourself.

Part 4: Trojan Horses

The term “Trojan Horse” comes from Homer’s Iliad. During the Trojan War, the Greeks built a large wooden horse, pretended it was a peace offering, and snuck into the city of Troy by hiding inside the horse. The key to getting inside the city? The people of Troy had to bring the “peace offering” inside the wall. Similarly, victims of Trojan horse malware generally download or click on something that they expect to be innocuous. (Spoiler, it’s usually pretty nasty.) Good news is they don’t replicate (like a virus does), but the bad news is that they can still do damage. They also tend to be pretty invisible while they’re at it.

According to Symantec, there are a few major categories of Trojan: backdoor, downloader, and infostealer. Essentially, the backdoor type allows the attacker to access your machine and its data and programs. Sometimes this results in someone taking control of your computer while you’re not actively using it (or even while you are). The downloader type acts as a carrier for other types of malware. In this case the Trojan malware is the large wooden horse, and the other kinds of malware are the Greeks. Infostealer Trojans include Emotet, which steals sensitive information from your machine. This type can allow the attacker to  monitor your device for passwords and other login information.

What to do?

Micro Visions protects against Trojans and other malware with monitoring and antivirus software. To protect yourself, beware of phishing emails. Avoid websites or links that seem suspicious. IMPORTANT: Your phone can also get Trojans, and it is especially vulnerable to apps with malware. Do your research before downloading.