Malware is a catch-all term which refers to a range of software programs that have a malicious intent towards the host computer. The scale and purpose of malware varies widely. Some fairly harmless malware programs will simple aim to record browsing habits; other more serious programs will aim to steal user details and gain semi or full control of the host computer.
Some of the most well known malware programs include the following,
It is somewhat difficult to categorise malware as it is continually expanding, and has led some security experts to speculate that more malware is developed per year than legal software. The less serious Malware (records browsing habits etc) is sometimes referred to as Grayware. As Internet usage has increased year on year, so has the proliferation of Malware. Malware is most commonly transferred via electronic mail, the World Wide Web, and when attached or integrated into apparently legitimate software programs. The good news is that there is a plethora of software applications which aim to combat and protect against Malware. Most anti-virus programs have expanded their service to include malware protection.