The Art of the Trojan

“Hi, I think my computer has been hacked.  Can you help me?”

This is probably the most common call we receive from PC clients on a weekly basis.  The correct term is most likely not “hacked”, but “infected” with some sort of malware, or malicious software.

Malware comes in many different varieties, including viruses, worms, and Trojans.  The main difference between these is that a Trojan needs your help in doing its job.  Without you doing something, like clicking on a link or opening an e-mail, the Trojan is completely harmless.

Here’s a great article detailing what a Trojan is, and how it works.

Now, how do you stop a Trojan?  The easiest way is to NOT DO WHAT IT WANTS YOU TO DO.  Over the past few days a Google Chrome Trojan has been making the rounds.  If you’re using Chrome, you’ll go to a web site and a second window will open displaying the Chrome logo along with “Urgent Chrome Update”, and a download button.

Chrome_scam_8-1-2016 1-43-21 PM_half

Chrome won’t update this way, however, the bad guys are hoping you don’t know that and will simply click on the blue button.  Before clicking on any link, look at the address bar, or hover over the link to see where it takes you.  If you’ll look at the red arrow, you’ll see that it’s on a site called ahtaeeredidit (dot) org.  Does that sound like Chrome or Google (owners of Chrome)?  So what do you do?  First, don’t click on it.  Second, close the window or tab.

If you do click on it, the result will be that you’ll get infected with the Trojan, which can be something that you won’t even realize is happening (your computer becomes a surrogate sender of Spam), to all of your important files becoming encrypted and, unless you pay a ransom to the sender of the Trojan, losing your files.  This is called Ransomware.  As always, we recommend a good backup of your system.

Remember, by hovering over a link you can see where it wants to take you before you click on it.  If it looks garbled, confusing, or simply suspicious, DON’T CLICK ON IT!

PCMDX specializes in both malware removal or, even better, malware prevention.  Using the right software, we can prevent most malware from even happening, including Trojans.  We say “most” because there are new attacks being developed daily, so the second thing we highly recommend is doing a good backup.

We recommend two types of backup.  First, an image backup, and second a off-site cloud backup of your files.  Ask yourself this question:  “Is there anything on your computer that you absolutely, positively cannot live without?”  If the answer is yes and you don’t have a backup plan, contact us today.  It’s cheaper than you think and far less costly than if you lose your files to computer failure or malware attack.