What Is Malware?

January 9, 2024

Malware, or malicious software, is a harmful computer program intentionally designed to disrupt computers, mobile devices, networks, and other digital systems.

The most common forms of malware include:

  • Worms. Standalone malware that replicates itself across different computers.
  • Spyware. Collects data from infected devices and sends the info to the hacker.
  • Viruses. A program that replicates itself across programs on the target device.
  • Ransomware. Encrypts data and demands payment from the victim to restore access.
  • Adware. Software that displays unsolicited advertising.
  • Trojans. Malicious programs disguised as legitimate software.

Malware-based cyber-attacks aim to steal valuable personal data for fraudulent use, disrupt business operations, or advance politically motivated agendas.

Anastazija is an experienced content writer with knowledge and passion for cloud computing, information technology, and online security. At phoenixNAP, she focuses on answering burning questions about ensuring data robustness and security for all participants in the digital landscape.