Trojan – Explanation:
Definition: A trojan, short for Trojan horse, is a form of malicious software (malware) that disguises itself as legitimate or benign software or content. Its deceptive nature is analogous to the legendary Trojan horse in Greek mythology, which led to the fall of the city of Troy. Just as the Trojan horse concealed soldiers within its wooden frame, a computer trojan hides malicious code within seemingly harmless programs or files, with the intention of deceiving users into downloading or executing them.
Operational Mechanism: Trojans are often employed by cybercriminals and hackers seeking unauthorized access to a user’s computer system. These malicious files are distributed through various means, including email attachments, file-sharing networks, or deceptive websites. Users are typically manipulated through social engineering tactics to unwittingly install and activate trojans.
Cyber Threats and Consequences: Once activated, trojans can grant cybercriminals a range of capabilities, including remote surveillance, data theft, and backdoor access to the infected system. These malicious programs are instrumental in carrying out a variety of cybercrimes, from spying on personal information to manipulating and compromising files.
Historical Context: The term “trojan” was first coined in a 1974 US Air Force report that speculated on the potential compromise of computer systems. It draws its name from the ancient tale of the Trojan horse, symbolizing the deceptive nature of these malware entities.
Misconceptions: In the realm of cryptocurrency and computer security, the terms “trojan virus” or “trojan horse virus” are sometimes used, but these labels can be misleading. Unlike viruses, trojans do not possess the ability to self-replicate. Instead, they rely on human interaction to execute, often exploiting social engineering vulnerabilities or tricking users into taking actions that activate the malicious code.