A Trojan Horse is a malicious program that can gain unauthorized access to a computer system.
A trojan commonly represents itself as something desirable or useful in order to convince the user to install or download it. Although seemingly legitimate, the software can do a great amount of damage.
Often enough, a system infected by a trojan may be infected with other forms of malware or potentially unwanted programs (PUP’s).
The name “Trojan Horse” comes from the Greek myth about how, during the Trojan War, the Greeks built huge wooden horses that were to be offered to the people of Troy as a gift. Secretly, the Greek soldiers hid inside the horse and ambushed the city of Troy at night after the wooden horse was moved into Trojan territory. The plan worked perfectly and the Greeks soon won the Trojan War, whilst the city of Troy was left destroyed by the attack!
Due to their success, trojan horse programs have essentially become a hackers weapon of choice. So, the next time you download that software offering you “free smileys” for instant messaging, or that cool looking “game” from a site you’ve never visited before, think before you click…
“Given a choice between dancing pigs and security, users will pick dancing pigs every time.” – Edward Felten and Gary McGraw