Trojans are among the most common types of malware. They receive their namesake from their deceptive appearance. Trojans look like legitimate software, but they are actually malicious software. There are different types of trojans, however, including remote access trojans (RAJs). What is an RAJ exactly, and how do you know if your computer is infected with one?

What Is an RAJ?

An RAJ is a type of malware that provides a hacker with remote access to the infected computer. Like other trojans, it’s disguised as legitimate software. You may think you are downloading legitimate software, such as a note-taking app, when it’s actually an RAJ. Upon downloading and launching the deceptive software, your computer will be infected with an RAJ. The hacker will then have access to your computer’s settings, files and other data.

Remote access isn’t used exclusively for RAJs. On the contrary, most remote access applications are legitimate. Even Windows 10 comes with a built-in remote access app. Remote access allows a user to control a computer from a remote location. Unfortunately, hackers take advantage of it to conduct cyber crimes, such as data theft, against unsuspecting victims.

The Dangers of RAJs

RAJs are concerning because they provide hackers with unrestricted access to the infected computer. If your computer is infected with an RAJ, the hacker will be able to control it with administrative privileges. Other forms of malware often provide hackers with access as well, but they generally have limitations on what the hacker can and can’t access. RAJs give hackers full control over the infected computer.

With an RAJ, all the data stored on your computer could be seen or downloaded by a hacker. Assuming you use your computer for business purposes, sensitive data like your customers’ personal information could become compromised.

Some hackers use RAJ to extort money out of victims. They may install other forms of malware on your computer to essentially lock its files. The hacker may then ask you to pay a fee to unlock your files.

How to Spot an RAJ Infection

How do you know if your computer has been infected with an RAJ? There are a few telltale signs for which you can look. You can monitor network bandwidth, for instance, to determine whether an excessive amount of data is going into or out of your network. During an RAJ, the hacker may download or upload data, resulting in higher bandwidth usage.

You can also monitor the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to which your network is connected. The hacker must connect to your computer. Therefore, his or her IP address will show as an active connection.

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