Trojan Horse Virus: A Hoax or the Real Thing?

The latest discovery on the virus front is a type of virus that results when you view a video clip or download a seemingly innocuous executable file from the Internet. Contained in the execution of the action is a program that launches itself on your computer.

While you are still online, the program transmits your Internet address to another location where it can be recalled at any time to carry out specific orders, such as sending out data to other addresses. Perpetrators can then send instructions to your Internet address, (not necessarily the ones in your address book) activating the virus and compelling your computer to carry out certain commands.

It is estimated that approximately 200 of these programs already exist on the Internet. Steps are being taken by the FBI and other groups to find the originators of the programs.

So far, computers that are protected with firewall security programs seem to be safe from these types of viruses. Many large companies have firewalls in place, and firewalls may be purchased in retail stores for home use.

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