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and Removal of Various Trojans|
|Detection and Removal of Various Trojans|
- What does
a Trojan do?
and Removing Trojans
There are several common questions people ask about Trojans, and some
common mistakes that they make when talking about malware in general, so I'll
try to deal with those first.
i. What is
Malware is the generic term often used to loosely describe
all classes of "unwelcome" software. This basically can be said to
include : Viruses, Worms, Trojans, and more recently Spyware.
the word malware is used interchangeably with any of these terms, but most
commonly with the class of programs called Trojans. For the purposes of this
article, I will deal exclusively with Trojans.
ii. What is a
A Trojan, more properly a "Trojan horse" is a program that is
usually delivered under the guise of another innocent program. It may or may not
be malicious, damaging, compromising to security, annoying, or any number of
things. Often they can combine any or all of those attributes. They can be
carried by viruses, but it is important to realize that they are not in
iii. Why isn't a Trojan a virus?
can also be Trojans, but Trojans are not viruses.
Confused yet? So is
much of the world, and with more and more viruses being released with Trojan
components - a good example is the Iworm.Badtrans virus - the distinction gets
harder to define all the time.
Basically, to be a virus, there must be a
replicating portion of code.
Trojans do not replicate, ergo, they are not
viruses. If they did replicate they would be viruses!
iv. Why is it called a Trojan?
A long time
ago in a galaxy far far...oops, sorry wrong story. Well, anyway, a long time
ago, a writer called Homer, not the bald yellow guy, a different one, wrote a
book called the Iliad.
In the book he relates the story of the fall of
Troy. What happened was this:
The Greeks, deciding that they wanted to
invade Troy, came up with an idea how to accomplish this. Troy was a strong
city, and they knew that there was little point holding it to siege, so they
built a big wooden horse and sent it to Troy as a gift. The people of Troy, the
Trojans, thought this was a lovely gesture, and brought the horse into their
city. Later that night, a couple of Greek warriors crawled from their hiding
place in the belly of the wooden horse, and opened the gates of Troy to allow
access to their buddies waiting outside. The Greek armies rushed in and captured
definition a Trojan Horse does something other than it is advertised to. They
arrive looking like something harmless and without asking or informing you,
"drop" their "payload".
A trojan's "payload" can be any number of
things, the most "popular" Trojans are a class called "Backdoors". Without your
knowledge, this type of Trojan opens up a "door" or "hole" in the security of
your computer. (Often they exploit known vulnerabilities in common software)
This can allow anything from your keystrokes being logged and sent to
someone, your passwords or Credit Card details transmitted to third parties, to
allowing someone to remotely control your machine across the Internet. These are
probably the most common Trojans, and some well known "Backdoor" Trojans include
SubSeven, Keylogger, BackOrifice (BO2K), and
AOL Password Stealer.
are literally hundreds of such Trojans, a good listing can be found at the
bottom of this page. There are other
types of Trojans, with functions ranging from randomly opening folders or moving
your mouse, to deleting random files or formatting your hard drives.
This is another good reason that Trojans are distinguished from Viruses,
to exist Viruses need to replicate, they don't wish to destroy themselves,
Trojans have no such qualms, and will quite happily wipe themselves out along
with all your data.
Detecting and Removing Trojans is often a tricky business. Some of them
hook themselves deeply into the operating system, making them hard to remove
In recent times more and more
companies have caught onto the idea that viruses are not the only threat to
computer users, but that many viruses are now carrying Trojan portions.
However, it's still probably wise to use a specific Trojan detector /
cleaner to find or get rid of Trojans. There are a few of these programs about.
For more information
read Generic Detection
Software in this site.
Removal Tools for Viruses / Malware
The best way to protect your computer from Trojans is not to do anything
likely to allow one on to your system. Basically, if you don't run one, it won't
compromise you. Have a look at the Safe-Hex
guidelines on this site, diligent following of these rules will almost
certainly ensure that you don't fall victim to a Trojan (or virus). If you do
happen to pick one up, then having a personal firewall in place can help alert
you to the fact, it can also prevent the Trojan from being effective by blocking
access to it from external sources. Have a look at the firewall page on this site for more info.
Detection and Removal Instructions for Trojans
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