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Malware is a type of malicious software. It is usually designed to attack computer systems and steal sensitive data. Its history goes back to the 80s, when the Elk Cloner virus spread through floppy disks to infect Apple II systems. The following decade saw the rise of more sophisticated malware, such as the Vienna virus, which corrupted files. It was subsequently followed by the Cascade and Lehigh viruses, which were used to attack Windows PCs.

Some types of malware are incredibly dangerous. For example, ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts data and locks down systems. The cybercriminals then demand payment to unlock the device. It is important to report any ransomware infections to the Federal Internet Crime Center. Meanwhile, spyware is another type of malware that appears as pop-ups and deceives users into downloading unwanted software. It also tracks the websites you visit and sends data to third parties.

Malware also includes worms, which replicate malicious software and spread from computer to computer. Trojans are other types of malware that insert themselves in existing software to take control of the computer. They can corrupt data, use the user’s email to spread themselves, or even completely erase the hard drive. Moreover, worm malware is a type of malware that hides in the operating system and can even be installed manually by a threat actor.

Malware is an ever-evolving threat. Cybercriminals use it to spy on users and steal information. It spreads through email attachments disguised as legitimate files, as well as by inserting malicious code into trusted applications.