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Malware is any software or code that has the potential to negatively impact the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of a system. Examples include viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware and some forms of adware.

For malware to work, the perpetrator must get it onto a device or network by exploiting a security vulnerability. From there, it can perform its function of stealing information, corrupting data, or encrypting files. It may even stop devices from running and require a ransom payment in order to regain functionality.

Viruses, worms, Trojan horses, adware, and spyware are all types of malware that can infect your computer or mobile phone. Each type of malware does something different to your system. Viruses replicate to spread to other files and systems, while worms use network file sharing to spread to other computers or networks. Trojans masquerade as programs that do useful functions, while attempting to steal information such as login credentials and passwords. Logic bombs conceal themselves in programs and can be triggered by user action or set to activate at a specific time.

Malware can be introduced to a device through email attachments, peer to peer file-sharing programs, and malicious websites. Almost any device that uses a web browser or is connected to the Internet can be infected with malware. iOS devices are less likely to be infected with malware, as Apple vets all applications before allowing them into the App Store. However, if an iOS device is jailbroken, it becomes more vulnerable to malware attacks.