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Malware attacks are only increasing in frequency and severity. Cyber criminals are gaining intelligence and strategizing to even more terrifying levels. They love how many workers are now remote and clueless when it comes to keeping their devices safe. Valuable and vulnerable corporate secrets are ripe for the taking via Trojan Horse attacks that tap into the barriers outside secure company servers.

Design

Malware has to be designed and this type of malware is a very broad category. The goal of this malicious software is to sneak in as something that appears benign. Without raising any flags, the goal is for the user to activate malware via misleading file names, popular, trusted file extensions, or simply through false promises.

To prevent breaches, companies need to understand how malware is designed. Team members should be able to spot malicious files to protect data. This can be achieved through training so threats can be identified and neutralized. One team member’s mistake can cripple a company.

Infiltration

Infiltration begins as the malware infects a company device. Because the malware was invited, it lurks until an employee opens the floodgates. This can be something as simple as looking for an app to open something like a password-protected PDF. Google will produce a result and the malware will appear within that program. As it unlocks the PDF, it also unlocks its malicious code.

Infiltration also happens with malicious email attachments. However it gets onto the computer, infiltration leads to the next phase of execution.

Execution

When the malware runs its malicious code, the execution phase has begun. There may not even be a single sign that it’s happened. Trojan Horses can simmer in the background as they collect data, like keystroke data, for an impending hack using your passwords and login credentials. Data is thrown back to the cyber criminal’s server so they can plot their next move.

Infestation

Some malware skips the infestation phase, spreading to other devices on the same network. However, this is a sign that the malware is incredibly dangerous. This is when the attack gets serious. Other users don’t even have to open the program to activate the malware. The code itself can look for ways to infect other computers.

Discovery

Fortunately, there is an end to the attack phase of a Trojan Horse. After the malware is noticed and cyber security devices are deployed, the discovery process begins. Getting to the discovery process as soon as possible is always best to avert major damage. A severe infestation requires an extended recovery phase, slowing or stopping operations. Monitoring 24/7 is essential for exceptional cyber protection when protocols are in place to manage an infected device.

Companies should not punish employees if they mistakenly download malware, especially if no training has been implemented during the onboarding process. Mistakes happen and some employees are not tech-savvy.

Removal

After identification, cyber security team members must remove the malware and minimize as much damage as possible. Malware has been known to create multiple copies of itself and hide in folders to avoid total removal. The IT team may need to shut down the company’s infrastructure to avoid the further spread of malware. An attack can be very costly in terms of time and money for a company. Recovery is possible with a Trojan Horse attack. The goal is to not lose any data and get the malware completely removed. Companies should have an incident response plan to prevent another attack.

Complete recovery is a challenge for severe attacks. Regular backups stored in safe locations help when a malware attack occurs. The IT team can wipe infected computers so operations can resume.

Most common types of Trojan malware

Trojans are designed to damage, disrupt and steal data from your company network. They present as a desirable application or file to trick you into downloading the malware. Trojans are not viruses; they cannot replicate themselves. A Trojan is malware and needs a user to execute it.

An attack can begin with an email that has an attachment impersonating someone from someone in the company. Clicking on the attachment begins the attack because it installs malware on your device.

Laptops, desktops, cell phones and tablets are all at risk for Trojan attacks. Harkening back to Greek mythology, Trojans are designed to look like a legitimate program. They can be a fake version of a real app and be loaded with malware. They can also be found on unofficial and pirate app markets for downloading.

How to Protect Against Trojans

Here are some do’s and don’ts to help protect against Trojan malware.

DO:

DON’T:

 

If you do find yourself the victim of a Trojan attack, don’t worry — there are a number of things you can do to remove the malware and protect your computer. First, run a diagnostic scan with your internet security software to identify and delete any malicious files. Then, run a full system scan to make sure that your computer is clean.

By understanding how Trojans work, you can avoid becoming the victim of an attack. Studying cybersecurity can help you to protect your personal information and keep your computer safe. Knowing how to remove malware from your computer can save you and your company a lot of time and frustration, and make you a more desirable job candidate.

Find out more about our programs and how we upskill and reskill the workforce of the future at https://thrivedx.com/.

 

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