What Is a Trojan Dropper?
Everyone is a target for cybercriminals. Malicious parties are always developing new ways of exploiting victims, with the bounty for such attacks becoming more alluring by the year. One particular program used by cybercriminals in their illicit dealings is a Trojan dropper. So, how does this work, and how can you avoid it?
What Are Trojan Droppers?
A Trojan dropper, also known just as a dropper, is a computer program that attackers use to infect targeted devices. The word “Trojan” (which relates to the infamous ancient Greek story of the Trojan horse) is used in this case because these programs are designed to look like harmless applications, when, in reality, they are malicious.
The entire purpose of a Trojan dropper is secrecy. It is made to hide its malicious code within an app that is useful to the victim, hence making it difficult for them to find out that their device has been infected. This makes it much easier for the attacker to dodge the targeted device’s antivirus protocols, a hurdle that can be tricky to overcome.
Trojan droppers themselves do not carry out malicious activities on a victim’s device. Instead, they simply deploy the malware that will then go on to cause harm to the user, their device, or their data. This malware will be deployed via the installation of various harmful files, which is also known as a payload. The Trojan dropper is the sneaky vehicle used to infect targeted devices.
These programs are also known as “droppers” because it “drops” and decompresses the malicious file and saves it to the targeted device. Then, it executes the file. It can additionally disable User Account Control (UAC) on Windows devices, which is responsible for stopping any kind of unauthorized changes being made. This allows the attacker to make any alterations necessary to carry out their scheme.
Trojan droppers usually contain other Trojan programs, and can also carry other types of malware. Regular, benign files can also be thrown into any given dropper program to make its purpose even less discernible, especially to the untrained eye.
Droppers are most commonly used on Android and Windows devices, particularly smartphones. They’re now commonly used, but there are things you can do to protect yourself.
How to Protect Yourself from Trojan Droppers
Unfortunately, there isn’t really an airtight solution to the problem of Trojan droppers. All you can do is equip your device to protect itself from such programs as much as possible. So, what can you do?
Firstly, it’s crucial that you never install apps outside a legitimate app store unless absolutely necessary. A lot of malicious apps fitted with Trojan droppers can be downloaded from illicit services that claim to be legitimate, so it’s always worth using a trusted vendor when you’re installing any application.
Additionally, it’s important to vet the websites you download any kind of program or file from. Downloading something malicious is one of the easiest ways through which an attacker can install malware on your computer, as they don’t have to be actively involved in the infection process and don’t need to conduct any kind of social engineering to persuade you. Consider running the URL of any website through a link-checking site to ensure it’s legitimate.
You should also consider using a firewall to lower the chances of infection via Trojan dropper. Firewalls analyze and filter information, programs, and files received and sent by your computer via the internet. Most trusted antivirus providers offer firewall protection, so take a look at yours to see if yours is activated if available.
Trojan Droppers Are Dangerous but Avoidable
While you can’t guarantee that you’ll never be affected by a Trojan dropper, you can massively lower the chances of such a scenario by employing proper security measures on your devices. So, if you want to keep your devices and data as safe as possible, consider some of the suggestions above to steer clear of Trojan droppers.