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What is a Trojan Virus and why is it named a “Trojan”?

A Trojan is a malicious software that is usually added to a rather useful software without the knowledge of the installer. Trojan should not be mistaken for a virus.

Instead, a Trojan would go into your computer masked as a safe and useful application where it would sit back and wait. The Trojan then would execute and do harm to your computer from inside. Trojan might send your data to other computers or execute external commands.

This was a Trojan but have you ever imagined where did the name come from. Nothing happens without a reason and so the name Trojan is aptly chosen to represent the malicious software.

The origin of the term Trojan! (The Trojan Horse)

Trojan comes from a famous part in the history where a huge city was conquered using a Trojan horse. Here is the story.

In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husbandMenelaus, the king of Sparta.
The Greek attacked troy with a huge army but troy was protected by huge walls from all side and even after trying all their tricks they could not get through the walls or break the main gate.

Odysseus devised a new ruse — a giant hollow wooden horse, an animal that was sacred to the Trojans. It was built by Epeius and guided by Athena, from the wood of a cornel tree grove sacred to

Apollo, with the inscription: The Greeks dedicate this thank-offering to Athena for their return home. Its insides were to be hollow so that soldiers could hide within it.

Once the statue had been built by the artist Epeius, a number of the Greek warriors, along with Odysseus, climbed inside. The rest of the Greek fleet sailed away, so as to deceive the Trojans.

The rest of the army burned the camp and sailed for Tenedos

One man, Sinon, was left behind. When the Trojans came to marvel at the huge creation, Sinon pretended to be angry with the Greeks, stating that they had deserted him. He assured the Trojans that the wooden horse was safe and would bring luck to the Trojans.

Believing the war was over, they “joyfully dragged the horse inside the city”, while they debated what to do with it. Some thought they ought to hurl it down from the rocks, others thought they should burn it, while others said they ought to dedicate it to Athena.
Both Cassandra and Laocoön warned against keeping the horse. While Cassandra had been given the gift of prophecy by Apollo, she was also cursed by Apollo never to be believed. The Trojans decided to keep the horse and turned to a night of mad revelry and celebration. Sinon, an Achaean spy, signaled the fleet stationed at Tenedos when “it was midnight and the clear moon was rising” and the soldiers from inside the horse emerged and killed the guards.

What are the similarities?

So now you can see the similarities, the trojan software is thought to be useful like the trojan horse and once it is inside your computer ( or the city troy), it releases the malicious code (the soldiers from inside the horse). And destroys the computer ( the city troy).

It is funny and intelligent at the same time to use such an etymology for the software. Let us know what do you think?


What do you think?

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Written by Shashank Agarwal

I am an android developer, hacker, web developer, professional blogger and a complete tech freak. I love computers and everything related to computers. I love learning new things and sharing the knowledge with the world.


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