Why Is Trojan Malware So Effective?

McAfee's latest Mobile Threat Report highlights the threat of Trojan malware related to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the report, more than 90 percent of malware involving pandemic issues came in the form of a Trojan virus.

Security researchers in India found one of the first pandemic-related viruses in November of last year. Cybercriminals sent out SMS and WhatsApp messages prompting users to download an app to apply for a vaccine, months before the availability of vaccines in that country. Once downloaded, the app releases the malware, which steals incoming SMS messages and makes purchases through the app store. It also forwards itself to everyone in the victim's contact list.

The McAfee report also revealed that Trojan attacks focused on banking increased by 141 percent. By using SMS phishing messages, the cybercriminals have been able to evade screening mechanisms in app stores. "Over 90% Of All Pandemic-Related Malware Took Form Of Trojans: Report" ahmedabadmirror.com (Jun. 28, 2021).


Trojan malware can attack laptops, desktops, and mobile devices, and comes disguised as legitimate software, files, or apps. Contrary to a worm attack whose goal is file duplication and creating annoying pop ups, Trojans will typically damage system files, install key loggers that record keystrokes, and manipulate your input requests. They are difficult to detect because they lay dormant much of the time, activating only for their intended use. For example, malicious key loggers will be inactive until the user logs into a banking website, which alerts the Trojan wake and start recording keystrokes.

Users can protect themselves from Trojan malware by installing security programs that run periodic scans at regular intervals and making sure the security software is up to date. Install firewalls to keep data safe, and back up files on a regular basis. This is key if you do become infected and need to restore data.

Since Trojans must be installed to do their damage, avoid visiting unsafe websites, only download apps from reputable sources, and scan any file attached to an email (even those from seemingly legitimate sources) before downloading it.

Finally, your opinion is important to us. Please complete the opinion survey:

What's New

Why A Balanced Approach Of Response And Preparation Is Needed For Data Security

A recent study found that IT personnel recognize how proactive risk assessment steps can minimize damage from a systems breach. However, do they have the time? Learn more.

Checking For Skimmers: A Day-To-Day Security Task

Performing visual and physical security checks can help you spot credit card skimmers. Learn more about this identity theft risk.

Online Account Takeover Fraud Spiking: Are Unique And Strong Passwords The Answer?

Account takeover fraud is on the rise. Read ways to protect yourself from this form of identity theft.