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Malware is an umbrella term for malicious software that is used to disrupt the normal functioning of a computer. These malicious programs are often used by hackers to gain access to sensitive personal data. It can also be used to infect a network.

Viruses are a type of malware. They are typically contained within an executable file. When the user opens the file, the virus is activated and begins to copy itself throughout the system. Some viruses can destroy the hard drive and core functionality of a system. Others can be delivered by email or instant messaging.

Worms are another type of malware. These viruses are designed to spread without the host’s intervention. The worms replicate themselves and infect other computers on the same network. Many worms remain active on all infected machines. However, some worms can be activated manually.

Spyware is a type of malware that tries to gather personal information about users. These programs can monitor the activity on a computer, including the websites and apps a user visits. Often, these programs will deceive the user into thinking they are harmless and only collect important information.

Ransomware is another type of malware. This form of malware will encrypt files and deny access until a ransom payment has been paid. Once the user pays, the data will be restored.

Rootkits are another form of malware. These tools allow a threat actor to gain remote administrative control of a system.