How do computers get infected with Trojans?
How would a cybercriminal infect your computer with a Trojan or “creepware”?
Remote access Trojans (RATs), or what we might call “creepware,” are programs that are installed without the victim’s knowledge and allow a cybercriminal to have access and control of the compromised computer from a remote location. Often, the cybercriminal will trick a victim into installing a Trojan, through clicking on a malicious link or downloading a malicious email attachment.
Ways your computer could get infected include:
- Drive-by downloads – By visiting a website, the user unknowingly downloads a Trojan onto their computer
- Malicious links – Malicious links, leading to websites hosting drive-by downloads, are distributed using social media, chat rooms, message boards, spam email, etc. The cybercriminal may also hack user accounts to make it seem like the link is being sent by a friend. Others may try to lure victims by posting enticing messages.
- Exploit kits – Potential victims may visit compromised websites or click on malicious links and are then redirected to the exploit kit’s server where a script runs that will determine what exploits can be leveraged. If an exploit is viable, the victim is infected with the “creepware” and the cybercriminal is notified.
- Packaged with other downloads – A Trojan can be spread through being packaged with other software or apps, such as with freeware that you might download from a website, app store, or through peer-to-peer file-sharing/torrents. Once you open and run the program, the Trojan could install with or without your knowledge too.
Once the Trojan gets on a device, the hacker can see what you do online, capture your keystrokes such as when you type a username and password (keylogging), and could take full control of your computer, including your webcam.
The multi-layered protection in Norton Device Security helps protect your computer against these threats. Even if you do inadvertently click on a bad email attachment, a link to a malicious website, or download something that has malware inside, Norton protection has many ways to identify, quarantine, and remove the threat so your PC stays malware-free.