Trojan Horse (computing)

In computing, Trojan horse, or Trojan, is any malicious computer program which is used to hack into a computer by misleading users of its true intent. The term is derived from the Ancient Greek story of the wooden horse that was used to help Greek troops invade the city of Troy by stealth.[1][2][3][4][5]

Trojans are generally spread by some form of social engineering, for example where a user is duped into executing an e-mail attachment disguised to be unsuspicious, (e.g., a routine form to be filled in), or by drive-by download or from spam links and fake pop up & Advertisement. Although their payload can be anything, many modern forms act as a backdoor, contacting a controller which can then have unauthorized access to the affected computer.[6] This infection allows an attacker to access users' personal information such as banking information, passwords, or personal identity (IP address). Download and install other malware, such as viruses or worms. Unlike computer viruses and worms, Trojans generally do not attempt to inject themselves into other files or otherwise propagate themselves.[7]

Purpose and uses

If installed or run with elevated privileges a Trojan will generally have unlimited access. What it does with this power depends on the motives of the attacker.



Use of resources or identity

Money theft, ransom

Data theft

Spying, surveillance or stalking

Trojan horses in this way may require interaction with a malicious controller (not necessarily distributing the Trojan horse) to fulfill their purpose. It is possible for those involved with Trojans to scan computers on a network to locate any with a Trojan horse installed, which the hacker can then control. .[10]

Some Trojans take advantage of a security flaw in older versions of Internet Explorer and Google Chrome to use the host computer as an anonymizer proxy to effectively hide Internet usage,[11] enabling the controller to use the Internet for illegal purposes while all potentially incriminating evidence indicates the infected computer or its IP address. The host's computer may or may not show the internet history of the sites viewed using the computer as a proxy. The first generation of anonymizer Trojan horses tended to leave their tracks in the page view histories of the host computer. Later generations of the Trojan horse tend to "cover" their tracks more efficiently. Several versions of Sub7 have been widely circulated in the US and Europe and became the most widely distributed examples of this type of Trojan horse.[10]

In German-speaking countries, spyware used or made by the government is sometimes called govware. Govware is typically a trojan horse software used to intercept communications from the target computer. Some countries like Switzerland and Germany have a legal framework governing the use of such software.[12][13] Examples of govware trojans include the Swiss MiniPanzer and MegaPanzer[14] and the German "state trojan" nicknamed R2D2.[12]

Due to the popularity of botnets among hackers and the availability of advertising services that permit authors to violate their users' privacy, Trojan horses are becoming more common. According to a survey conducted by BitDefender from January to June 2009, "Trojan-type malware is on the rise, accounting for 83-percent of the global malware detected in the world." Trojans have a relationship with worms, as they spread with the help given by worms and travel across the internet with them.[15] BitDefender has stated that approximately 15% of computers are members of a botnet, usually recruited by a Trojan infection.[16]

Notable examples

Private and governmental

Publicly available

Detected by security researchers

See also


  1. ^ Landwehr, C. E; A. R Bull; J. P McDermott; W. S Choi (1993). A taxonomy of computer program security flaws, with examples. DTIC Document. Retrieved . 
  2. ^ "Trojan Horse Definition". Retrieved . 
  3. ^ "Trojan horse". Webopedia. Retrieved . 
  4. ^ "What is Trojan horse? - Definition from". Retrieved . 
  5. ^ "Trojan Horse: [coined By MIT-hacker-turned-NSA-spook Dan Edwards] N.". Retrieved . 
  6. ^ "What is the difference between viruses, worms, and Trojans?". Symantec Corporation. Retrieved . 
  7. ^ "VIRUS-L/comp.virus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) v2.00 (Question B3: What is a Trojan Horse?)". 9 October 1995. Retrieved . 
  8. ^ "Hackers, Spyware and Trojans - What You Need to Know". Comodo. Retrieved 2015. 
  9. ^ Robert McMillan (2013): Trojan Turns Your PC Into Bitcoin Mining Slave, Retrieved on 2015-02-01
  10. ^ a b Jamie Crapanzano (2003): "Deconstructing SubSeven, the Trojan Horse of Choice", SANS Institute, Retrieved on 2009-06-11
  11. ^ Vincentas (11 July 2013). "Trojan Horse in". Spyware Loop. Retrieved 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Basil Cupa, Trojan Horse Resurrected: On the Legality of the Use of Government Spyware (Govware), LISS 2013, pp. 419-428
  13. ^ "Dokument nicht gefunden!". Federal Department of Justice and Police. Archived from the original on May 6, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Swiss coder publicises government spy Trojan -". Retrieved . 
  15. ^ Malware and Spam Survey
  16. ^ Datta, Ganesh. "What are Trojans?". SecurAid. 
  17. ^ "Mega-Panzer". 
  18. ^ "Mini-Panzer". 
  19. ^ "Trojanized adware family abuses accessibility service to install whatever apps it wants - Lookout Blog". 
  20. ^ "Shedun trojan adware is hitting the Android Accessibility Service - TheINQUIRER". 
  21. ^ "Lookout discovers new trojanized adware; 20K popular apps caught in the crossfire - Lookout Blog". 
  22. ^ "Shuanet, ShiftyBug and Shedun malware could auto-root your Android". 5 November 2015. 
  23. ^ Times, Tech (9 November 2015). "New Family Of Android Malware Virtually Impossible To Remove: Say Hello To Shedun, Shuanet And ShiftyBug". 
  24. ^ "Android adware can install itself even when users explicitly reject it". 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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