short for malicious software, is software used to disrupt
computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to
private computer systems. It can appear in the form of code, scripts,
active content, and other software. 'Malware' is a general term used
to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software.

Malware includes computer viruses, ransomware, worms, trojan horses,
rootkits, keyloggers, dialers, spyware, adware, malicious BHOs, rogue
security software, and other malicious programs; the majority of
active malware threats are usually worms or trojans rather than
viruses. In law, malware is sometimes known as a computer contaminant,
as in the legal codes of several U.S. states. Malware is different
from defective software, which is a legitimate software but contains
harmful bugs that were not corrected before release. However, some
malware is disguised as genuine software, and may come from an
official company website in the form of a useful or attractive program
which has the harmful malware embedded in it along with additional
tracking software that gathers marketing statistics.

             or advertising-supported software, is any software
package which automatically renders advertisements in order to
generate revenue for its author. The advertisements may be in the user
interface of the software or on a screen presented to the user during
the installation process. The functions may be designed to analyze
which Internet sites the user visits and to present advertising
pertinent to the types of goods or services featured there. The term
is sometimes used to refer to software that displays unwanted

             is software that aids in gathering information about a
person or organization without their knowledge and that may send such
information to another entity without the consumer's consent, or that
asserts control over a computer without the consumer's knowledge."

is mostly classified into four types: system monitors,"
trojans, adware, and tracking cookies. Spyware is mostly used for the
purposes such as; tracking and storing internet users' movements on
the web; serving up pop-up ads to internet users.

Whenever spyware is used for malicious purposes, its presence is
typically hidden from the user and can be difficult to detect. Some
spyware, such as keyloggers, may be installed by the owner of a
shared, corporate, or public computer intentionally in order to
monitor users.

While the term spyware suggests software that monitors a user's
computing, the functions of spyware can extend beyond simple
monitoring. Spyware can collect almost any type of data, including
personal information like Internet surfing habits, user logins, and
bank or credit account information. Spyware can also interfere with
user control of a computer by installing additional software or
redirecting Web browsers. Some spyware can change computer settings,
which can result in slow Internet connection speeds, un-authorized
changes in browser settings, or changes to software settings.

Sometimes, spyware is included along with genuine software, and may
come from a malicious website. In response to the emergence of
spyware, a small industry has sprung up dealing in anti-spyware
software. Running anti-spyware software has become a widely recognized
element of computer security practices for computers, especially those
running Microsoft Windows. A number of jurisdictions have passed
anti-spyware laws, which usually target any software that is
surreptitiously installed to control a user's computer.

In German-speaking countries, spyware used or made by the government
is sometimes called govware. Govware is typically a trojan horse
software used to intercept communications from the target computer.
Some countries like Switzerland and Germany have a legal framework
governing the use of such software. In the US the term policeware has
been used for similar purposes.

             is the act of attempting to acquire information such as
usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes,
indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an
electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular
social web sites, auction sites, banks, online payment processors or
IT administrators are commonly used to lure unsuspecting public.
Phishing emails may contain links to websites that are infected with
malware. Phishing is typically carried out by email spoofing or
instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a
fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the
legitimate one. Phishing is an example of social engineering
techniques used to deceive users, and exploits the poor usability of
current web security technologies. Attempts to deal with the growing
number of reported phishing incidents include legislation, user
training, public awareness, and technical security measures.

A phishing technique was described in detail in 1987, and (according
to its creator) the first recorded use of the term "phishing" was made
in 1995 by Jason Shannon of AST Computers. The term is a variant of
fishing, probably influenced by phreaking, and alludes to "baits" used
in hopes that the potential victim will "bite" by clicking a malicious
link or opening a malicious attachment, in which case their financial
information and passwords may then be stolen.

.A Trojan horse, or Trojan,
                                    in computing is a
non-self-replicating type of malware program containing malicious code
that, when executed, carries out actions determined by the nature of
the Trojan, typically causing loss or theft of data, and possible
system harm. The term is derived from the story of the wooden horse
used to trick defenders of Troy into taking concealed warriors into
their city in ancient Greece, because computer Trojans often employ a
form of social engineering, presenting themselves as routine, useful,
or interesting in order to persuade victims to install them on their

A Trojan often acts as a backdoor, contacting a controller which can
then have unauthorized access to the affected computer. The Trojan and
backdoors are not themselves easily detectable, but if they carry out
significant computing or communications activity may cause the
computer to run noticeably slowly. Malicious programs are classified
as Trojans if they do not attempt to inject themselves into other
files (computer virus) or otherwise propagate themselves (worm). A
computer may host a Trojan via a malicious program a user is duped
into executing (often an e-mail attachment disguised to be
unsuspicious, e.g., a routine form to be filled in) or by drive-by

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