In history, the Trojan Horse is a tale of trickery in which the Greeks managed to enter the city of Troy and win the war against their enemies. After a long and fruitless siege they finally succeeded by constructing a huge wooden horse, in which they hid a select force of men. The Greeks then pretended to leave and the residents of Troy haplessly wheeled the horse inside, thinking it was a parting gift or something from their defeated enemies. That evening the force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army and bob’s ‘yer uncle.
I’ve always thought it a pretty unlikely story. You’d have to be pretty stupid to fall for it really. But as a metaphor, it’s interesting.
The metaphor is that a Trojan Horse represents a trick or plan which managed to move an agent of one force into the territory of another, thereby allowing said agent to undermine and inflict damage upon the opponents.
The computer world adopted the same term to refer to a malicious piece of computer code which tricks a computer user into running it – whereupon it sets about opening a virtual door so that other software can come in and do damage.
In every respect though, the Trojan Horse is a ploy which can only work with the willing (if foolish) cooperation of the “enemy” or target. Like the legend of the traditional Vampire, it can’t hurt you if you don’t invite it in. But once you do invite it in, who knows what it might do?
Hat tip and (c) The Times for this image.
Original article can be viewed here.