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What is a Trojan?


A trojan is basically a malicious program that serves as a carrier for spyware and other unwanted programs. You can get a trojan through email attachments, messenger programs, or from an internet download. Trojans often look like a free program, song, etc. that would seem like it is useful. Similar to the Trojan Horse in Greek history (where the trojan got its name), you think you are getting something good for free, and end up with malicious and/or unwanted software. Once you download the trojan, it will install itself onto your computer. The important difference between normal viruses and trojans are that once the trojan is installed, it does not duplicate itself. Trojans are able to do some or all of the following:

  • Hijacking your browser, i.e., you type in a web address, but end up somewhere else
  • Log your keystrokes, which would give them access to passwords to any account you log into
  • Send spam through your email address without you knowing
  • Cause odd behavior, like random startups and removal of files and folders

Detecting and Removing a Trojan

A trojan can be detected by most antivirus and antispyware software, such as McAfee, Ad-Aware, and Spybot. ALL trojans are removable. If you have a particular trojan that you cannot get rid of by normal means, you can take the following steps:

  • If the computer in question is a laptop, bring it to the ZipSupport Center in Bierce Library, Room 52C
  • If the computer is a desktop, bring it to SCSS in The Computer Center