Taking its name from the well-known legend of the Greeks infiltrating the city of Troy using a massive wooden horse, a Trojan or Trojan horse is a form of malicious software engineered to masquerade as a legitimate product.

Trojans are often utilised by hackers and cyber criminals attempting to acquire access to an enterprise’s systems. Typically, users are fooled by some type of social engineered scam tactics such as spear-phishing and unwittingly download Trojans onto their systems. Once operational, Trojans can then make it possible for cyber criminals to spy on users, steal private data, and acquire a backdoor into a computer system or company network.

Once hackers have gained access, they can execute a wide range of malicious actions involving data, including copying, modifying, deleting and blocking user access to it, as well as causing havoc and disruption to the way networks and the devices connected to them perform.

Different types of Trojan and their impact

Trojans are labelled using the kind of actions they have been engineered to execute on a device. To illustrate some of the harmful effects they can have on devices and systems below is a small selection classified by security experts.

A Trojan-Banker is a program for stealing debit and credit card details, account information and is commonly deployed against e-payment platforms and banking systems based online.

Backdoor Trojans enable hackers to control infected computers remotely. The cybercriminal can then author any action they choose, including receiving, sending, and deleting private files, viewing data, and even rebooting devices. This kind of Trojan can facilitate the creation of botnet networks where cybercriminals enslave a group of devices and make them work together as part of criminal campaigns.

Exploits are Trojans containing code or specific data designed to take advantage when a known vulnerability exists in app software running on a device. Rootkits on the other hand, conceal insidious activities and objects on a system, working to stop malicious software being detected.

How to protect yourself against Trojans

Trojans are commonly delivered using targeted phishing emails or when company portals are infiltrated by hackers with stolen credentials. Educating employees of the dangers of phishing emails, ensuring they understand the protocols your company has in place, and what action to take when one is encountered, is important.

Installing a respected and reliable brand of anti-malware on all company devices is paramount to protect them against Trojans, but this security software must always be kept up to date or become susceptible to attack. Updates commonly contain the latest security patches that fix vulnerabilities, proofing devices against harmful malware like Trojans, so staying on top of them is vital.

At Galaxkey, we have designed a secure workspace that allows enterprise staff to operate safely from any location. With zero back doors, and no passwords ever stored, our system offers exceptional protection from malicious actors looking to install Trojans on your network. Contact our specialist team today for a free two-week trial and step up your data security.