The Virus Lab – What Is Malware and Why Does It Exist

Malware is an umbrella term for any kind of malicious software designed to disrupt operation, steal information, or gain access to private computer systems.

Once upon a time, creating malware was an individual pursuit by lone cyber criminals or black hat hackers. Today malware is a fully fledged industry with a global marketplace, and ultimately used to make a profit.

Malware includes:

Some Common  Effects of Malware:

  • Gaining access to your computer and personal files. This can happen most commonly through a trojan the user has unknowingly downloaded.
  • Sending endless spam or ads to your email. Not only does this slow down computers and disrupt the user’s experience, but it also collects user data.
  • Taking control of your computer as a ‘botnet’. Essentially an army of computers that will attack a single target.
  • Collecting payment from a 3rd party. What might appear just to be a pop-up is actually a sophisticated and illegal process.

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