The Department of Academic Information Technology Presents...
What is Malware?
Malware is a general term used to describe any unknown,
unwanted software that compromises the integrity of a
computer or the information contained on one.
Malware falls in several categories:
Adware– Adware generates unwanted advertising pop-ups
on your screen. They usually appear when your computer is
connected to the internet.
Spyware– Spyware is software that tracks your internet
browsing and computer usage habits and reports them back
to a remote central database for use in marketing.
Betrayware– This is a program that pretends to detect and
remove malware, but actually installs more. It may also
simply pretend to detect malware as an inducement to
purchase a “full” version. Distinguishing betrayware from
legitimate malware removers has become a popular subject
among computer professionals.
Virus– A program specifically designed to hurt a computer
and spread to other computers.
Trojan-a program that appears desirable but actually
contains something harmful.
Worm-Independent program that replicates from machine to
machine across network connections often clogging networks
and information systems as it spreads.
Cookie-A small piece of information your computer accepts
when connecting to many internet sites. It is used throughout
your session as a means of identifying you. Most cookies are
quite harmless, some though are malevolent.
Logger– A program that records specific keystrokes or
screen shots and sends them back to a specified location,
such as an e-mail address.
Betrayware is often considered the most
egregious of malware. Very often the
user of betrayware is often duped twice,
first by installing something that is
going to harm their computer, and
second by actually paying for it.
The story is common: while surfing on
the internet, a user clicks on an ad for a
product that claims to cure their
computer of all spyware. The software
that is downloaded seems to do a s