Trojan horse

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Proper noun[edit]

Trojan horse

  1. The hollow wooden horse by which the Greeks allegedly gained access to Ilium/Troy during the Trojan War.



Trojan horse ‎(plural Trojan horses)

  1. (by extension) A subversive person or device placed within the ranks of the enemy.
  2. (computing) A malicious program that is disguised as legitimate software.
    • 1991, Katie Hafner & John Markoff, Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier (1995 revised edition), Simon and Schuster, ISBN 0684818620, pp. 255-256:
      Worse than what could be observed about the program was the fear that it might be a Trojan horse program -- apparently innocent, but carrying a string of code instructing the computer to carry out a specific damaging instruction at some later time.
  3. (business) A seemingly favorable offer designed to trick customers into making exorbitant payments.
  4. (politics) A person, organization, social movement, piece of legislation, or ideology with a negative agenda or evil intentions under the guise of positive values or good intentions.
    • 2003, Krugman, Paul R., The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century (2004 reprint), W. W. Norton & Company, ISBN 0393326055, p. 449:
      Indeed, it may turn out to be a Trojan horse that finally allows conservative ideologues, who have unsuccessfully laid siege to Medicare since the days of Barry Goldwater, to breach its political defenses.


  • 1981, Michael R. Hill, "Positivism: A 'Hidden' Philosophy in Geography" in Themes in Geographic Thought edited by Milton E. Harvey & Brian P. Holly, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 0709901887 pp. 48-49:
    Thus positivist ideas can slip into geography just as the Greeks slipped into Troy via the belly of a wooden horse. .... Fortunately, the Trojan Horse hypothesis today describes fewer and fewer geographers.


See also[edit]