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What Is A Trojan Virus? | How to Get Rid of a Virus on Your PC or Phone!

Have you ever downloaded and installed an application on a computer or mobile device that looks legitimate software but ended up being a problem?

A trojan is a type of application that disguises itself as legitimate, but it is not. Trojans are used by hackers, cyber thieves, and other cyber-criminals to take control of your device and do malicious activity. The application has a design that enables it to steal, damage, disrupt, and cause harm to your machine, data, or network. 

Key Takeaways

  • Trojan viruses are a type of malware that invade your computer disguised as real, operational programs. When you execute the program, the malware can spread to other files and damage your computer.
  • Trojans aren’t problems for only laptop and desktop computers. They can also impact your mobile devices, including cell phones and tablets.
  • As with protecting against most common cybersecurity threats, effective cybersecurity software should be your front line of protection. An effective internet security solution should run fast, periodic diagnostic scans and alert you as soon as a Trojan virus is detected.

A trojan horse virus will act as a legitimate application to deceive you into downloading programs and executing them on your machine. Once it is on your PC or mobile device, the Trojans can execute the purpose for which it was designed. 

How Do Trojans Work?

Trojans get into your machine and execute in several ways.

For instance, you can get an email attachment from the email addresses of someone you think is known to you. The Trojans may be disguised as the email attachment and trick you into opening it.

Unknown to you, the email may be from a cybercriminal, and the malicious attachment will download additional malware and install Trojans on your device.

The Trojan malware can spread and infect other files in your PC's user account and can damage the machine. Also, find out more about malicious malware here.

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What Does a Trojan Virus Do on an Infected Computer?

Trojan viruses will conceal its true content from the user to trick you into downloading and executing it while using your computer or mobile device. Can Chromebooks get viruses is another question we get a lot. The name Trojan virus is derived from the wooden horse that was used to sack Troy. Just like the wooden horse that seemed harmless but was full of soldiers on the inside, the malware looks harmless from the outside. However, when you install it on your device, it causes serious harm and threats.

Once you activate the backdoor Trojan, it enables cybercriminals to steal sensitive data, spy on you, and gain back door entry into your device. So, learn how to tell if someone is hacking your computer by reading this article and learn how to recognize the threat with our 'What Antivirus Do I Have?' post.

Some of the harmful actions that the Trojan virus can execute include:

  • Modifying your data
  • Blocking data
  • Selecting data from your device
  • Copying data
  • Disrupting the performance of your computer or remote network connection
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Are Trojans the same as viruses?

The names Trojan malware and Trojan viruses are used interchangeably. A Trojan horse malware and Trojan viruses are similar in a variety of ways. For instance, a Trojan horse malware will execute itself on your computer and other devices to steal your user account information and destroy your sensitive data. It will also spy and track your online activities, just like a virus. The two will also negatively affect your computer's performance, just like the spyware, which we respectively explained in this article.

They are also similar in how they find their way into your machine. You can transfer the malware into your PC from links and email attachments, and other malicious programs running, disguising themselves as genuine.

On top of that, find out what a computer worm is, or find out how to detect keylogger spyware.

But a Trojan infection is different from a virus in several ways. For instance, a virus can replicate itself and spread to other devices through social engineering and weakens a computer’s performance without human interaction. On the other hand, a Trojan cannot self replicate itself in your device, but it requires you to execute it.

It will disguise itself as a genuine app to trick you into loading and executing it on your PC. Unfortunately, to get rid of Trojans, you are generally expected to opt for a higher antivirus payment package as already mentioned in our Lookout vs AVG post, or AVG vs. AVG Protection review.

How to Detect Trojan Viruses on Your Device

Be cautious and stay safe. Different types of Trojan are used to deliver different types of malware into your device. As such, if you suspect you have a Trojan infection, you should look out for the signs and symptoms of malicious program in your device and/or text messages or instant messaging.

So of the telltale signs will include:

  • A decline in the performance of the infected computer. The device can start running slower than usual, and applications can start crashing more frequently
  • You can start experiencing more malware pop-ups and spam interruptions on your computer. The number of pop-ups from your browser or email spam can become more frequent
  • You can also start noticing strange behavior on your device. Some specific programs can start running even when you don't execute them. The trojan virus can also modify your document such that you can start noticing new or strange icons on your device.
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If your device is exhibiting such symptoms, it's possible it has a Trojan or any other type of virus infection. Try to look for any programs or applications that you cannot remember downloading or installing on your PC. 

If you have an unrecognized file name or program, type its name on a search engine to determine if it is a recognized Trojan.

You can also get reliable free anti-virus software or anti-malware protecion to scan your computer that could give your PC real-time protection to determine if there is any malicious file in the device. Nonetheless, be cautious of the anti-virus software you use as some of them are disguised as antiviruses, but they are malicious viruses themselves.

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Common Types of Trojan Horses 

Backdoor Trojans 

A backdoor Trojan allows hackers and other malicious users to remote access the infected computer. The hackers can download, upload, and also execute files at will. They also have an  option to install additional malware onto your computer.

The remote access trojan can also send and receive files, display data and reboot the infected device.

Backdoor Trojans can also be used to unite a group of infected computers to form a zombie or botnet network used to conduct criminal activities. Additionally, the botnet is capable of bringing an entire website down using a distributed denial-of-service assault.


Exploit trojan is a malicious program on your computer that contains malicious code or data that takes advantage of a vulnerability in your computer to infect it.

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Banker Trojan

A Banker Trojan or mobile banking trojans are dangerous programs designed to steal your account data or banking information for your e-payment systems, financial accounts, debit or credit cards, and online banking systems.

Trojan DDoS

These types of Trojan malware conduct Distributed Denial of Service DDoS attacks against a targeted web address.

The Trojans work by sending several requests from your computer and other infected devices. The Trojan attack will overwhelm the Trojan targets, which can lead to denial of service.

Downloader Trojans

A downloader Trojan will download and install new versions of unsafe antivirus programs on your device, including adware and other malware or Trojans.

adware alert

Fake AV Trojan

These Trojans will copy the activities of the antivirus software protection. The Trojans are designed to extort money from you, and in return, they are supposed to detect and remove threats from your computer system. However, the threats that they report on user's computer are non-existent.

SMS Trojan

This Trojan infects your mobile devices and is capable of transmitting and intercept text messages. As a result, texts to premium-rate lines can significantly increase your phone bill.

Mailfinder Trojan

This Trojan is designed to steal information and the email addresses stored on your device.

Ransom Trojan

This Trojan demands a ransom to repair the harm it has caused to your machine.

Rakhni Trojan

Since 2013, this Trojan malware has been active. Recently, it has been able to transmit ransomware or a crypto-jacker to compromised PCs, allowing thieves to utilize your system for mining bitcoin. Cryptolocker encrypts the user's hard drive's contents and requires a ransom to the developer to obtain the decryption key. “Coin mining grew exponentially in the latter months of 2017,” according to the 2018 Internet Security Threat.

How to Protect Your Device From Trojan Horse Malware

If you want to secure your machinefrom common types of Trojan horse virus attacks, here are some dos and don't that can be of help:


  • Your computer security depends on whether or not you have internet security tools. The software will scan your gadget for any type of malware and also help to eliminate it
  • Update your operating system with the latest updates from the software company. Cybercriminals and hackers take advantage of security loopholes to infect your computer system. The latest updates come with the latest security features and seals all the loopholes
  • Use Firewalls to keep your personal information safe
  • It will help if you back up your files regularly. In case of an attack, it will be easy to restore your data
  • Use unique passwords with combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols to protect data
  • Install a Trojan antivirus. The Trojan antivirus software will scan your gadget for Trojans and help to eliminate them


  • Don't be a victim, and don't download and install software from untrustworthy sources.
  • Don't be a victim and avoid opening emails from unknown sources. Don't open a link or attachment from an email you don't know as it may contain a Trojan malware attack
  • Don't be a victim and don't open pop up windows that offer free software with essential tasks. The pop-up windows may be enticing you to download and install a Trojan horse
  • Don't visit unsafe websites.
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How to Respond to a Trojan Virus Attack

Ideally, if a person suspects that their system has been infected by a Trojan or other type of malware attack, they should contact a reputable cybersecurity professional immediately to help rectify the situation and put proper measures in place to block malware attacks from occurring in the future. 

At a minimum, consumers should download an antivirus program and malware removal service from a reputable provider.

For enterprise clients, it is important to work with a trusted cybersecurity partner to assess the nature of the attack and its scope. As discussed above, many legitimate antivirus software and trojan malware removal programs will not adequately remediate existing threats or prevent future events.


What is a Trojan virus? This is a question that internet users grapple with. Trojan malware is disguised as a legitimate program to entice you to install it on your machine. When you install trojans, it can carry out various harmful tasks to steal data, modify and delete files, and enable backdoor access to your operating systems. You can prevent your system from Trojan attacks by preventing downloads from unknown sources, having Trojan antivirus software among other measures.


1. What does a Trojan virus do?

Trojan viruses are meant to extract money from you in exchange for detecting and removing dangers, even if the threats they report are fictitious. This type of software steals information about internet players' accounts.

2. Can Trojan virus be removed?

Yes, you can delete some Trojans by deactivating startup items that do not originate from trusted sources on your computer. To achieve the best results of removing the effect of trojan horse virus attacks, reboot your machine into safe mode first. This prevents the virus from preventing you from eliminating it.

3. Is Trojan virus dangerous?

Trojan horses (or Trojans) are among the most prevalent and destructive types of malware that may infect your computer or mobile devices. Most Trojans are typically disguised as benign or useful software that you download from the Internet, but they include malicious code intended to cause harm—hence their name.

4. How do you know if you have a Trojan virus?

Signs that your computer is infected with a Trojan virus hidden inside your machine..

- Awkward computer behavior.
- The dreaded blue screen of death.
- Odd pop-up windows.
- Unfamiliar plugins and add-ons installed.
- Applications that behave strangely.
- Security applications such as UAC have been disabled.
- Inadequate memory.
- Modified desktop settings.

5. Where Do Trojans Hide?

Trojans may conceal themselves in unexpected locations, including emails, downloads, and more. Therefore, it is always prudent to exercise caution to avoid this sort of virus. Anti-Trojan applications can help defend you against Trojan infections.

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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