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Security education: What’s a Trojan?

One of the things security professionals find themselves doing over and over is explaining basic concepts. We dedicate the month of October to cybersecurity awareness, for example, and this blog had posts aimed at teaching cybersecurity concept.

But that’s not enough.

So we are going to introduce a series of education blog posts. We will define a subject and put it in everyday scenarios that everyone can understand. Let’s start off with Trojans.

There is a plethora of differing types of Trojans and we will explain those in blogs yet to come, but it is important to grasp what the root is first.

Trojan: The term is derived from the Ancient Greek story of the deceptive Trojan Horse that led to the fall of the city of Troy. It’s named after the wooden horse that the Greeks used to infiltrate Troy.

A Trojan horse or Trojan is a type of malware that is often disguised as a legitimate software.

A Trojan is any malware which misleads users of its true intent.

Trojans are destructive programs that mimic themselves as benign applications.

Trojans can enable cybercriminals to spy on you, steal your sensitive data, and gain backdoor access to your system to include deleting your data.

Imagine you have received an email from someone you know and click on what looks like a legitimate attachment. Only the email is not from the person you thought, the email is from a cyber-criminal. You click on the file that is in the email, it is automatically downloaded and opened; that file has just installed malware on your device. Upon executing the program malware spread to your other files and damages your computer. How you might ask. The truth is, it varies. Trojans are designed to do different things.

Unbelievably this has happened at LRS recently, and luckily our team member recognized that the email looked fishy and did not do anything with it. Granted the email looked like it came from a kindergartener; nevertheless, we all get busy and sometimes do not bother to look at the actual email address or the actual content of the email.

Not saying that the CEO will not write one of us separately but the chance weighs far more on the chance of it not happening. In this case the email looked like it came from CEO, and with skepticism on high alert our team member noticed the email address, which was a Gmail account. Kudos to our team member being vigilant, but that brings up a scary fact, we do our best protecting the environments that we are in and criminals slip through the cracks.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercrimes have increased 70%, so we all have to educate ourselves and stay aware of our surroundings at all times.

Some of the more common trojans all have differing "abilities" and what they do to your device, so stay tuned for our next blog post on Backdoor Trojans.

The Security team at LRS IT Solutions can help you understand security issues and develop an effective plan for dealing with them. Just fill out the form below for a free consultation.