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What is Malware?

Malware refers to any software specifically designed to harm, exploit, or compromise computer systems, networks, or user devices. Malware is created with malicious intent and is often used by cyber criminals to steal sensitive information, disrupt operations, or gain unauthorised access to systems. There are various types of malware, each serving different malicious purposes. 

Some common types of malware


Programs that attach themselves to legitimate files and replicate when the infected file is executed.


Self-replicating programs that spread across networks without requiring user interaction.


Malware disguised as legitimate software, tricking users into installing and executing it, often leading to unauthorised access.


Malware that encrypts files or locks users out of their systems, demanding a ransom in exchange for restoring access.


Software designed to spy on users, collecting sensitive information such as passwords, keystrokes, or browsing habits.


Displays unwanted advertisements to users, often disrupting the user experience and sometimes leading to further malware infections.


Malicious software that provides unauthorised access to a computer while hiding its presence from users and security software.


Networks of compromised computers, known as bots, controlled by a single entity to perform malicious activities, such as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

Malware is typically spread through various methods, including email attachments, malicious websites, infected software downloads, and compromised networks. Protecting against malware involves using antivirus and anti-malware software, keeping systems and software up to date, exercising caution when downloading files or clicking on links, and implementing robust cyber security practices.

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