Share On

Malware Defined and Explained in Simple English

Malware is an abbreviation for ‘malicious software.” It is used as an umbrella term to refer to worm, spyware, rootkit, trojan, virus and other threats to a computer system. These are basically software designed to damage a computer system(s) and/ or steal data. Yisrael Radai in the year 1990 coined the term malware, which was earlier referred to as a virus. Malware is infamous for breaking into computer systems, exhibit unwanted advertisements, and gather confidential information. Malware is referred to as computer contaminant in the field of law, and infecting systems with malware can lead to criminal offense.

Malware can vary from causing serious and harmful computer intrusion and damage (e.g. infecting and disrupting computers, stealing confidential data, stealing passwords etc) to simple annoyances (e.g. exhibiting unwanted pop-up advertisements). They don’t include software that causes accidental harm done due to some kind of deficiency. These are disguised often as non-malicious files. Due to the advancement of the technology, there are software like anti-virus and firewalls that help to protect the computers from these kinds of unwanted harmful attacks, which are even available free of cost. A computer that is often slow and has frequent pop-up ads, frequent crashes and so on can be considered to be afflicted with malware.

A few categories of Malware are listed below:


As the term suggests, these are malicious and harmful software that spreads without the user’s knowledge and damage a system. Fred Cohen coined the term in the year 1985. Viruses can self- replicate programs on a computer without the consent of the user and lead to harmfully infect the host computers. Some scenarios may include intruding the hard disk space, access private and confidential information like credit card numbers, passwords etc, spamming the user's email contacts, displaying humorous or offensive messages on the user’s screen etc.


Also known as advertising-supporting software, an Adaware is software that alters the settings of the browser and creates a desktop shortcut and projects pop-up advertisements when connected to the Internet. When the browser is hijacked, the user will be redirected to other advertising sites or different sites that collect information regarding the web usage of the user. These are generally created for computers but are also found in mobile phones.


Software that targets to collect information about an organization or a person without their consent or knowledge, to send or share the private and confidential information to a different entity is defined as a spyware. Spywares like ‘Keyloggers’ are installed by owners of a public computer, shared or corporate intentionally to monitor the users.

Back Door

A back door is a malware that bypasses security mechanism of a computer to access a computer program. It is also a useful software, wherein programmers will install a back door so that in future they may be able to access the software for troubleshooting or other purposes. However, hackers use it to detect or install programs as a part of exploiting.



The Importance of Gamification in Cybersecurity

White Paper By: Circadence

Top-notch cybersecurity is an essential part of our world. Data breaches can bring a business to its knees in the blink of an eye.  Gamification has a tremendous opportunity to revolutionize the speed, efficacy and relevancy of training in the quickly evolving landscape of the Cybersecurity sector.   Cybersecurity awareness trainings are usually a boring affair, by training...

Lastline Advanced Malware Detection

White Paper By: Lastline

Today’s sophisticated malware is a major culprit in many of the rampant cybersecurity incidents. Unfortunately for organizations, advanced malware is getting harder to detect. Malware assaults are so common that many IT managers admit that their enterprise networks are likely to experience a cyberattack at some point because their conventional security systems cannot effectively...

Remediation 101: Common Pitfalls and Best Practices to Succeed at Vulnerability Remediation

White Paper By: NopSec

A lot of vulnerability remediation pitfalls can be avoided by investing in the right Vulnerability Risk Management technology. This means implementing a solution that effectively automates as many processes as possible. Vulnerability Risk Management is often under-sourced and under-tooled, and yet stands at the epicenter of protecting the organization from a breach.  In this white...

The World's First Mobile Malware Celebrates Its 10th Birthday

White Paper By: Fortinet

From Cabir to FakeDefend, the last decade has seen the number of mobile malware explode. In 2013, Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs has seen more than 1,300 new malicious applications per day and is currently tracking more than 300 Android malware families and more than 400,000 malicious Android applications. Besides the sheer growth in numbers, another important trend to note is that mobile...

Gamifying Cybersecurity for the Financial Services Sector

White Paper By: Circadence

Cyber‐attacks and threats against the financial services sector are ongoing – common targets include banks, payment processing companies, investment firms, and other organizations that manage financial transactions. A 2016 study reported that 83% of financial services companies cite defending against cyber threats and protecting personal data as one of their biggest challenges in...

Buyer’s Guide: Self-service Password Reset Solution

White Paper By: SPECOPS

If you have identified the need for a self-service password reset solution, you are likely familiar with the cost-savings, usability, and security benefits. The next step is identifying the criteria to use when evaluating the desired outcome of your investment. A self-service password reset and management solution not only reduces the number of help desk password tickets but also...

follow on linkedin follow on twitter follow on facebook 2018 All Rights Reserved | by: