Trojan horse

Trojan horse describes a type of malicious software (malware) named after the wooden horse the Greeks used to infiltrate Troy that masquerades as a legitimate computer program such as a game, image file, disk utility, or even an antivirus program.

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Users are typically tricked into downloading Trojan horses on their systems because they appear in the form of benign, useful software or files from a legitimate source. Once activated, Trojan horses can perform a number of attacks on a computer system that can cause pop-up windows to delete files, steal data, give malicious users access to a system, or activate and spread other malware, such as viruses. Unlike computer viruses and worms, Trojan horses do not reproduce by infecting other files, nor do they self-replicate.