Trojan horses, much like their counterparts from Greek literature, infect your computer in disguise then wreak havoc when you least expect it. Trojan horses are a type of malware. They most often come disguised as games, software or even antivirus programs that claim to want to assist you in removing other Trojans or viruses from a computer system. It is even possible to transfer a Trojan via an e-mail attachment. One the file is run or executed on the system the Trojan is activated and infects the computer. Trojans have the ability to:
- Control a computer
- Monitor keystroke entries using a keylogger
- Disable software or programs (usually antivirus programs or firewalls)
- Change computer settings
- Download more Trojan horses to the computer
- Transfer themselves to USB and other portable drives and infect any computer they are plugged into
Knowing how to remove a Trojan as soon as it is noticed is extremely important. To do this will require the following Tools and Materials:
- Computer infected with the Trojan horse
- Active internet connection
Knowing the signs that the computer is infected a computer that needs to have a Trojan horse removed may display any of the following warning signs:
- Printing documents on their own
- Screen resolution changes
- Shuts down or restarts by itself
- Taskbar disappears
- Popups appear
- Unusual processes are seen in the task manager
- Wall paper changes
- Mouse moves by itself
- Browser windows redirect to other sites
How to remove a Trojan horse using antivirus software
- Disable the Trojan horse if you can find it. This is done by pressing ctrl + alt + Del and opening the task manager. Go through the list of processes and see if any stand out as unusual.
- Check these process names using a search engine and doing some research. Searching for the name will quickly let you know if the process is “safe” or a Trojan
- When you find a Trojan right click the process and select “kill process”
- If step three doesn’t work and you get a message saying “access denied” the Trojan has made itself run as soon as the computer starts. To disable this from happenings click Start > Run > type “msconfig”.
- Search for the Trojan again in the start up list. The name will be the same or similar to the one in the processes list. Look for it and uncheck the box beside it and select the option to restart when prompted
- Once the computer has restarted, do a manual search for the Trojan and delete it.
- Run the trusted antivirus program of your choice to ensure that all traces of the Trojan have been removed
Tips and warnings
- The sure way to get rid of a Trojan horse is to format the infected computer. Keep in mind that this will also delete your files so it may not be the best option
- Some Trojan horses will have special removal instructions. These will come up when the name of the Trojan is searched for. If this is the case, download the necessary file and execute it to remove the Trojan.