student essay: trojans and worms


When people speak about worm and trojans they frequently say worms in place of trojans and vice verse, however, trojans and worms cannot be said interchangeably like that as they are different. The only thing that they have in common is that they are very harmful to ones computer.

Differentiation between Trojans and Worms

What Is a Trojan Virus?

A Trojan virus attempts to connect itself to a file so that as people share their files it spreads and multiplies, resulting in hundreds and thousands of people having the virus on their computer. There are different degrees of trojans viruses: Some may have minor effects and some may permanently damage one’s software or even hardware, that shall be discussed in much detail later.

A large number of  trojan viruses connect to a executable file. What that means is that the trojan virus may be present on one’s computer but it can not cause any damage or even spread the files because the hazardous program has not run on the disk. In order for viruses to spread there has to be a human act, actually the spreading of the trojan virus is caused by human activity of running the program on to their disks but note that their activity is without any knowledge.

What Is a Worm?

Worms are alike to trojans in terms of design and are regarded as a sub-class of a trojan virus. Worms multiply and they do this  even without human activity. Worms are able to commute from computer to computer without being sensed as it takes the lead on the file information transferring system.

The most hazardous feature of a worm is that one worm can make thousands of copies of itself and then it may send the replicas to one’s contact list of e-mails of which then causes a horrific effect.

Types of Trojan Viruses

Trojan viruses have become tremendously smart because each virus is different from one another. For better understanding, here is a more detailed list of the different types of trojan viruses.

Destructive Trojans

It has a single aim and that aim is to eradicate and delete the victim’s files off  the their computer. Destructive Trojans can easily delete the main core system files. The virus can be instructed by an enemy or programmed to initiate a destruction on the victim’s computer on  a specific date.

Password Sending Trojans

The main aim the Password Sending Trojan is to duplicate all the cached passwords and look for other passwords as you key them into your computer, then sends the passwords to many specific e-mail addresses. This behaviour of the Trojan virus is not observed by the victim. Passwords for messaging and e-mail services and secure websites are in danger from getting infected from the Trojan.

Remote Access Trojans

Remote Access Trojans are the most common Trojan viruses. This type of virus lets one to be able to hack into the computer of the victim. The person hacking into the computer may view the victim’s files and anything else that is personal, be it the victim’s financial information, residence addresses or even contact details.

Denial of Service Attack Trojans (DOS)

The main purpose of the DoS is to make a large number of internet traffic on the victim’s server to an extent that the internet connection jams to let anyone surfing the net to get onto the internet.

FTP Trojans

FTP Trojan virus is one of the oldest and simplest viruses and is therefore outdated.

Software Detection Killers

Software Detection Killers eradicate familiar antiviruses that serve as protection for the victim’s computer and this in turn assists the enemy in hacking into the victim’s computer.

A very important note: A Trojan virus could be made up of a single functionality mentioned above or it could be combined.

Types of Computer worms

Email Worms

This type of computer worm multiplies and increase through infected e-mails of which these e-mails may lead the victim to infected websites through infected links and attachments.

Instant Messaging Worms

This type of computer worm  increases and multiplies by performing actions through instant messaging applications by leading the victims to receive a link of an infected website whereby an entire contact list receives these.

Internet Worms

Internet worm usually try to get in devices that are exposed and that don’t have anti-viruses. The internet worm does this by scanning throughout the internet.

IRC Worms

This type of computer worm virus  spreads via chat channels.

History and background of Trojans & Worms

It was in the early 1980’s when the first Trojan horse came around when a couple of computers were affected. They were most likely developed to steal useful information from other computers, things like passwords etc. Trojans originate from hackers who use the passwords they steal for blackmailing purposes usually. Originally the first Trojan virus that was developed was to affect Windows 32 files, but due to globalization and due to the evolution of technology they can even cause more harm these days.

The name Trojan horse comes from a Greek fable, relating to the siege of Troy,  The Greeks battled to conquer the city until they built a giant Trojan horse hidden with warriors inside, the Trojan horse was supposed to represent a present from the Greeks as a sign of surrendering and  saying they were leaving the city, the small army of Greeks camped inside the horse until dark then invaded the Troy, destroying it which in turn led to the end of the war, which brings to me to the definition of a Trojan virus is that it is disguised as something to be attractive but is in fact an imposter, they differ from True viruses in the way that when this virus is activated it may cause loss or theft of data. Online sources claim the first Trojan horse virus was given the name the Pest Trap also more well know as the Spy Sheriff. This virus managed to infect approximately one million computers, it didn’t damage any files rather led to the appearance of many pop ups on your screen, as soon as the virus came on board it is quite hard to remove. Even if the Trojan horse was attempted to be removed by the user, it would easily reinstall itself from hidden files that were affected on that particular computer.

Trojan horses come disguised as a package that is harmless until it ultimately affects your computer so hackers can remotely have access to your programs.  In the mid 1980’s a software called Bulletin board system increased its number of software, it a software that permits users to attack your computer through a phone line. The BBS was one of the reasons  why the Trojan horse spread fast , as after users logged in they  functioned by downloading and uploading software, some which of course was affected. This was only in the 20th century when viruses were developed to aim popular software traders.

The first recorded internet worm that didn’t require human intervention to spread was a worm called the Morris worm which was released in the late 1980’s. It spread like a plague affecting all machines that were vulnerable in a matter of a few hours, it attacked security holes and other  types of machines.  The techniques created by Robert Morris are found in the worms of today. The Morris worm became well-known due to the fact that it a certain bug in the code. It usually reinfected the machine and there were high chances the new infection wouldn’t be able to be removed, multiplying the number of worms in the system which ultimately caused many systems to run with a heavy load, this made the worm quite famous.

It Took some time until a new Worm called the Melissa worm came about which appeared in semi-active manner. It was as simple as when an infected file was open it would automatically send a copy of itself to the first 50 people on your contacts list. This dubbed it the first major email worm in 1999, which spread all over the world in a matter of days, the Melissa worm easily illustrated the dangers of mixing code and data.

Worms have recently come to the forefront again, thanks to the one that has attracted the most attention that being a worm called Code Red, this worm showed how easily it can infect other computers through the internet infrastructure of today.Then came Code Red 2 which ended up being  a more dangerous worm than the predecessor  Code Red, in summary once Code Red 2 infected a corporate firewall it in turn infected every single machine within the firewall, which in turn lead to corporate networks being infected.

Combating Worms and Trojans

The initial step in shielding one’s computer from any hazardous worms and viruses is to make sure that the operating system is has been recently updated as this important if one is running on the Microsoft Windows.

After that one has to make sure that they have an anti-virus installed on their computer, and this can be done by downloading an anti-virus software or purchasing it at an IT store and once you have that, it doesn’t end there: One has to look out for updated versions of their anti-viruses so that the latest worms and trojans can be combated too.

One should develop a habit of scanning through their disks and e-mails quite often as this combats viruses that just may be trying to enter.  One must make sure that there is a firewall present in their computer as a firewall prohibits any kind of unauthorized and unwanted use on one’s computer. They can be purchased at an IT store. But it is advisable that one purchases a software firewall as opposed to a hardware because one will find combatting worms and trojans with ease if they have a software firewall.

In order to combat a Trojan Virus  from getting into one’s computer is to look out for  anonymous e-mail attachments as it’s not always certain that attachments that come through are virus free but if one has an anti-virus it shall automatically sense a virus and request for an eradication process.

So in closing it seems like Trojans and Worms are here to stay antivirus are battling new viruses every minute hence updates from your antivirus, there’s a tough battle going on and word has it nowadays that the antivirus companies themselves are creating the viruses but that’s a whole new topic on its own, at the rate we are going it only seems these worms and Trojans only to come back stronger each time.

Please note: All sources in the above post are unverified and some cannot be found on Google at all.  For example:

Trojan horse virus was given the name the Pest Trap