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I'm NOT a computer tech type...

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Catbird, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. Catbird

    Catbird loves guns!

    May 21, 2001
    V I R G I N I A
    so please bear with me.

    Can someone explain what a "Trojan Horse" (in the computer sense) is?
    Is it a virus?

    I have the $39 Norton AntiVirus installed on my computer. FWIW, it will expiring in a few days. From what I read here on GT, it's NOT held in very high regard. About 2 months ago, I downloaded and installed the free 6.0 AVG antivirus software and have been letting it run simultaneously with the Norton. My intention was to see if I would feel comfortable in letting the Norton expire and use just AVG.

    About a week ago, I started getting a "TROJAN HORSE" warning message on my computer screen every couple of days while web surfing.

    Yesterday, when I ran my Norton virus definitions database update followed by a full system virus scan, NO VIRUSES were detected. This morning when I ran the AVG virus scan, it DID DETECT a "Trojan Horse" and indicated that AVG had "fixed" it.

    Could somebody please translate what happened and/or what's going on? How serious is/was this?

    I would be greatful for any information.
  2. AAshooter


    Nov 1, 2000
    I am not expert but here is a pass at it. The following is a definition I picked up from here:

    Trojan Horse -- A destructive program that masquerades as a benign application. Unlike viruses, Trojan horses do not replicate themselves but they can be just as destructive. One of the most insidious types of Trojan horse is a program that claims to rid your computer of viruses but instead introduces viruses onto your computer.

    The term comes from the a Greek story of the Trojan War, in which the Greeks give a giant wooden horse to their foes, the Trojans, ostensibly as a peace offering. But after the Trojans drag the horse inside their city walls, Greek soldiers sneak out of the horse's hollow belly and open the city gates, allowing their compatriots to pour in and capture Troy.

    I am not convinced that a Trojan horse has to be destructive as stated above. The point is that it is a program that appears benign but does undesireable things (one might put Windows in this category).

    One problem you run into with this stuff is the definitions. Trojan Horses are not viruses. So, not all virus scan programs scan for them. There is a class of nasty software that is spyware. Spyware can do some crazy things to your machine also but is not a virus. Consequently, most folks should be scanning for adware as well. You might want to read about spyware at the same site as I mentioned above.

    Spybot and Adaware are programs I use in addition to AVG. The combination of those will help catch most viruses, trojan horses . . . spyware, etc.

    Also, consider installing a firewall like Zone Alarm. This will also help protect your machine.

    Finally, the key is to update these programs frequently and run them frequently. All the programs mentioned above are available for personal use at no charge. It sounds like AVG took care of your Trojan horse. If you want more specifics about that Trojan Horse you can google on the specific Trojan Horse name.

  3. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

    Dec 28, 2000
    Malicious Code (MalWare) is broken up into basic sub-types:

    Virus: MalWare that requires the user to do something. Open an email, click on an executable, etc, before it actually infects. (BadTrans, I LOVE YOU)

    Worm: Seeks out and infects computers without user intervention (Morris is the most famous worm)

    Trojan: A piece of MalWare that is embedded into another exectuable that the user must run. Sometimes these appear to be benign (calculator) or benificial (anti-virus program) but in addition to whatever it is it supposedly is, it also plants and executes malicious code. (snow white)
  4. DeadMansLife

    DeadMansLife Senior Member

    May 7, 2000
    Carlisle, PA
    Too many issues with NAV and XP SP2. When mine expires I plan on going with Trend Micro(unless someone can tell me why I shouldn't).
  5. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

    Mar 28, 2001
    SW Oregon
    You have installed BOTH NAV and AVG?!

    You can't do that and expect no problems.

    Only one AV app can be installed at a time, since there is a high probability that one AV app will find the .dat files of the other, and report them as virii.

    I use either AVAST! or AVG, plus I go to Trend's website to run their Housecall online scanner once every two to three weeks.
  6. SamBuca


    Aug 9, 2002
    Carlisle, PA
    McAfee since 1993. Never let me down.
  7. Bronson7


    May 19, 2002
    What Fastvfr said. Running two avg's is bad juju.