Trouble With Trojans

Friday, 6 December 2002, 10:56 AM EST

A security crisis is starting to emerge in the world of computing. The year 2002 will prove to be the worst year yet for malicious hacking. The following year will probably be worse. The number of breaches of computer security and the money lost has been escalating rapidly ever since the Internet was born. If you characterise computer security as a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil, then at the moment you have to conclude that the bad guys are winning. Here's why:

It all has to do with Trojans. A Trojan is a program that is put onto a computer by a malicious hacker to allow him to do various nefarious things, like record all your keyboard activity so he can know all your passwords or take a screen shot of what is showing on your screen.

When a malicious hacker breaks into a computer he copies his toolbox - his collection of Trojans - onto your machine and gets to work. What the hacker will usually do is to try to make his activity invisible, so that even if you know a little about how the computer works you will neither be able to see his programs nor any traces of what he may have done.

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