As a computer user…yes you most certainly should.
If you have any information on your computer that you don’t want criminals to get hold of, or if you access something like internet banking from your system, then you need to do something to prevent becoming a victim of a Trojan attack.
How do you get one?
Most Trojans, like the one making normally fearless Apple Mac users quake in their boots, are delivered to your computer via a malicious website, P2P file transfer or email attachment.
You can be surfing along, minding your own business, when you land on a webpage that automatically starts downloading something to your computer in a way that you don’t notice, and boom, the Trojan is delivered.
What does it do?
Like the famous wooden horse that Brad Pitt hid inside in Troy, the Trojan hides inside the malicious website or email and when you innocently invite it onto your computer it springs out (sometimes a while later when you’ve gone to bed) and starts hunting through your hard drive looking for personal or financial information that it can then send back to its evil creator.
The sneaky thing is that it poses as a legitimate program, file or document, so it can be really tough for you to spot.
There are several different types of Trojan too, though they are all quite similar:
- Key Logging Trojan. Records the keys you type on certain websites i.e. gets your passwords.
- Remote Access Trojan. Gives the scoundrels administrative control and lets them use your system to send out more Trojans; establishing a botnet.
- Back Door Trojan. Leaves your system open so the attacker can get in and out at will.
- Internet Relay Chat Trojan. Attackers can send commands to your computer via an IRC server.
Unlike a ‘Virus’ which aims to mess with and/destroy your files and system, Trojan’s main goal is to creep about and steal information to mess with you personally. Nasty!
What can you do about it?
In the case of the Trojan infecting Macs at the moment, a security patch has been issued that upgrades your computer so that it can either identify and remove the Trojan already on the computer or it can shore up your defenses so that the gap in the security wall is closed up.
If you are just generally afraid of getting one in the future you can invest in one of the many types of anti-virus software out there, or call up IT support and ask them to test and secure your computer. Aside from that you just need to be really careful about going to websites that you don’t trust and downloading email attachments from people you don’t know.