An Overview Of Trojans In Cybersecurity
By Tom Seest
At BestCybersecurityNews, we help young learners and seniors learn more about cybersecurity.
Trojans are malicious programs disguised as legitimate software or apps that attack computers, tablets, and mobile phones.
ANIMAL was the original Trojan released in 1974 and it contained software designed to search all directories on an infected computer for specific files before installing them in those directories.
Backdoor Trojans allow hackers to gain entry to an infected device and install more malware, spy on its users, and steal data. They can also be used to recruit an infected device into a botnet for larger-scale attacks.
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Table Of Contents
As its name implies, Trojans are programs designed to sneak inside other programs in order to steal information and access files without being noticed by their victims. They allow attackers to gain control over devices or networks before expanding onto more systems without ever being noticed by victims.
Trojans, like other forms of malware, can be hard to spot and remove once infected. To help reduce their presence and spread, update all devices and operating systems regularly; be wary when clicking unsolicited links or downloading attachments; use strong passwords with unique login credentials for all online accounts and devices; practice responsible online behavior by restricting where you visit and what programs you install; as well as practicing responsible online conduct in terms of number of visits/program installations.
One way a trojan may gain entry to your system is via files downloaded from an insecure website or peer-to-peer program, typically by accident. Once clicked or opened, it will install itself and run every time your computer boots up – potentially infecting even more files and programs while also doing damage.
SMS Trojans infiltrate mobile phones to steal personal and financial data from users; for example, Faketoken sends mass SMSes to premium overseas phone numbers, which results in costly bills for victims. Meanwhile, Banker Trojan horse malware targets information used in banking or financial transactions through either backdoor methods or by disguising itself as legitimate software being used by its victim.
A worm trojan can quickly infiltrate devices by connecting to remote servers that host malicious code, downloading additional malware, or initiating attacks. Once connected to the internet, or even just via USB drives, it can infect other machines and spread across networks. A rootkit Trojan hides the malicious actions of other programs so they may remain running longer; this allows attackers to gain backdoor access into corporate systems or spy on online activity and steal data; it could even alter an operating system’s firmware in order to gain total control.
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Trojans can be used for many different purposes, from stealing sensitive information and installing malicious software, to giving cybercriminals remote control of an infected device. Trojans can be spread using social engineering techniques like phishing emails or masquerading as legitimate downloads such as games, tools or apps.
Trojans take advantage of software vulnerabilities or by being included in bundles of malware to spread. Some of the more dangerous types include banking Trojans that harvest personal financial information and ransomware Trojans that encrypt data for ransom. Malicious programs like this are typically combined with other types of malware to avoid detection and maximize damage during an attack.
Trojans differ from viruses and worms by not self-replicating or spreading through executable files, so they do not directly attack other computers unless connected to the same network. Instead, Trojans rely on end users launching or opening files that launch the trojan program – for this reason, it’s essential not to open files without first knowing their source and intent.
At one time, trojan attacks were predominantly seen on PC users; however, with the rise of macOS and mobile devices comes an increase in this form of threat. Trojans can infiltrate desktop and laptop computers but also infiltrate tablets and phones connected to the internet; symptoms that an active Trojan may exist on one, such as programs running without user permission or sudden increases in pop-up ads and spam messages as indicators that its presence exists on your device.
Popular Trojans include Exploit, DDoS, and Downloader Trojans. Exploit Trojans take advantage of software vulnerabilities, while DDoS Trojans recruit the victim’s device into an infected botnet used by hackers to send multiple requests from victims’ computers to one IP address simultaneously, creating a denial-of-service attack against a website or server. A Downloader Trojan, on the other hand, spies on computers and then downloads additional malware, such as ads or new versions of Trojans, onto them.
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There is a range of Trojan malware, from standalone attacks to platforms for more serious threats. Many programs of this nature can remain undetected without special software tools until later detection. They may appear hidden inside system files or ads and be difficult to identify without using special scanners, opening your device up for attack and stealing data before encrypting files; changing computer settings; running continuously in the background creating performance issues and communicating with attackers who alert them of your device’s location.
One of the most pervasive and dangerous types of Trojans are banking trojans. Banking trojans are malware programs designed to steal data related to financial transactions you conduct online by imitating bank login pages or concealing themselves within apps you download on your device – examples being Zeus and Dyre/Dyreza banking trojans.
Other types of Trojans include downloader trojans, which wait for you to connect to the internet before installing malicious code on it. They can act as backdoors that enable attackers to gain entry to your device at will – this way they can install new malware, spy on you or redirect your device towards a server where they will receive instructions for where your files may be found and accessed.
Rootkit trojans are hard to detect, as they use stealthy techniques to conceal an object on your device and are often part of an attack using spamming tactics, which could include clicking on seemingly harmless email attachments or advertisements posted online.
Understanding how Trojans function can help you recognize when your device is under threat and take measures to lessen their effects. As a general guideline, avoid opening emails from unfamiliar sources or downloading programs from websites unfamiliar to you; in addition, keeping operating systems, apps and software updated can reduce vulnerabilities and limit damages from Zero-Day attacks.
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As with other forms of malware, Trojans can cause significant harm, from stealing sensitive information to providing cybercriminals with remote access. But unlike computer viruses or worms, which tend to self-replicate themselves quickly upon infiltrating computers, Trojans use social engineering techniques like email attachments disguised as harmless emails or software updates that contain hidden malicious programs and remain undetected until activated by an event such as downloading.
Depending upon the type of Trojan, its trigger may vary; some can be activated simply by visiting certain websites or entering specific passwords; other Trojans require direct user interaction in order to begin performing their functions. an effective example of such an attack would be when malicious code reveals itself as a screen saver or popup window to attract attention and begin its destructive work.
Trojans can be used to gain access to sensitive information ranging from passwords and credit card numbers through photos and documents, as well as passwords and identity credentials. Cybercriminals tend to focus on specific forms of data in order to maximize their gains – for instance, Tiny Banker was designed specifically to steal banking data, while another Trojan known as ANIMAL appeared disguised as a game in 1975 and copied itself onto shared directories so it could spread throughout entire networks.
To prevent Trojan malware from spreading, make sure that operating systems and software programs are regularly updated as soon as updates become available. It is also wise to scan any downloaded file prior to opening it, while being wary of links or popup ads may help guard against social engineering attacks.
Trojans that infiltrate a device can present numerous issues for its victims, from slowing down system performance and downloading additional malware to creating backdoors and changing security settings in order to circumvent anti-virus detection software. Trojans may even use computers within a botnet network used by cybercriminals to perform distributed denial-of-service attacks against networks or machines – this is why it’s vital that firewalls be installed and antivirus software kept updated regularly.
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