Midland Computers

Virus, Trojan, Phishing….isn’t that all the same?

Virus, Trojan, Phishing….isn’t that all the same? Not really. Have a read on to give an idea of all the nasty’s out there….which all come under the banner of Malware.


A program that gets its name by its ability to replicate itself, on local PC’s and often across a network (Both in business and at home). Many viruses attach themselves to other programs…then when those programs are launched the virus code is launched as well leaving the virus to go about it’s business.


A Trojan (shortened from Trojan Horse) is a kind of malware that promises one thing but delivers another. For example, you’ve downloaded an application that promises to make you rich, cure illness and double the size of your inheritance. When you run this the contents of your computer are, instead, beamed to an underground data centre in the darkest reaches of the world.

The greatest risk in this scenario is the person operating the computer. If you obtain software from reliable sites and resist the urge to open a file you receive in an anonymous email message, you’re unlikely to get one of these Trojans.

Adware and spyware

a.Adware is software that has an embedded advertising component—one that displays or downloads ads when you run the software. Some adware is legitimate—part of the price of using a “free” application for example.

b.Spyware is malware that grabs data from your computer and often uses it for sinister purposes —sending personal information to someone up to no good or, when using your web browser, redirecting you to sites you really don’t want to visit.


Like Trojans, phishing schemes—those schemes that trick you into revealing personal and financial data—exploit the weakness of the person sitting at the computer rather than the computer itself. These are fraudulent offers or warnings that arrive via email or instant message demanding that you provide credit card, social security, password, or bank account information in order to maintain an account or service or confirm a transaction.

For example, you receive a message from your credit card company suggesting that you confirm your username and password in order to continue using the bank’s online services. Click the link that supposedly takes you to the bank’s website and you’re presented with a webpage that looks exactly like the real deal. But, of course, it isn’t. Provide the information they seek and woe is you in the form of a drained bank account or massive credit card bill.

To thwart phishing schemes all you need do is avoid taking the bait. Banks, lending institutions, credit card companies, auction sites such as eBay, online services, Internet service providers… any reputable outfit that holds personal information never demands this kind of information in the form of an email message.