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What is malware (malicious software)?

Answer

Software that is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system.

Background

Malware is designed to covertly operate on a compromised system without the consent of the user, such as:

Trojan Horse – disguised in what appears to be legitimate software, relies on the user to download it and run it on the target.
Virus – infects other programs/files of a target via code injection, can corrupt or delete data, use the user’s email to spread, or erase everything on a hard disk.
Worm – self-replicating viruses that exploit security vulnerabilities to automatically spread themselves across computers and networks.

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