The term “Trojan virus” can refer to a broad spectrum of different virus types, but they all share one thing in common – the delivery method. Like the Trojan Horse of the ancient Greeks, a Trojan virus hides itself, typically within a legitimate software. When the user installs the software, that’s when Odysseus and the boys jump out, ready to cause mayhem.
Trojan viruses are most commonly obtained from downloading pirated software, but not always. Sometimes reputable download sites can accidentally host malware infected files, because of a light screening process. We’re not going to drop names, but it’s entirely possible to download a legitimate copy of trial software from a software hosting website, only to find that the software has infected you with malware like PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) or other little critters.
Okay, so here’s the thing. We already discussed that “Trojan virus” actually refers to the delivery method, so you’re not actually hunting for a Trojan virus. You’re hunting for any kind of virus that was delivered through the Trojan method. Got it?
So you need to be aware of the most common symptoms of your computer being infected with malware, any kind of malware. That’s a pretty broad range of definitions, so we’ll list some of the most common.
First, you need to think of any software you recently installed. Using a tool like CCleaner, you can organize the software installed on your computer by most recently installed. You should carefully scan this for anything you don’t remember installing.
Running a virus scan should take care of the problem in most situations, but some viruses can be particularly stubborn. Especially those viruses that have managed to corrupt your antivirus software. In this situation you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and get a little dirty.
You may need to try booting your computer into Safe Mode, and running the antivirus software from there. Also try Safe Mode without networking, to prevent the virus from communicating with its home base.
If your antivirus still refuses to launch in Safe Mode, you’ll probably need an antivirus rescue disk. This is a bootable antivirus, meaning it runs the antivirus scan without actually launching your operating system. There are many available, but if your computer is already infected, it may be almost impossible to download the tool and create a bootable disk from it. In this case, you’ll need a second computer.
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