2 replaced http://security.stackexchange.com/ with https://security.stackexchange.com/
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See this answerthis answer for some musings about the definitions of such terms, and, in particular, how fuzzy and mostly irrelevant they are.

If we really want to make distinctions, then:

  • A spyware is some software which spies on the user.
  • A trojan is some malicious software which gets installed by the victim himself, who was deceived into thinking that the software was benign.

So the two terms are not opposite at all ! In fact, they are orthogonal. A given piece of malware (the generic term, meaning "malicious software") can be a trojan or something else (depending on how it enters the victim's computer), and can be a spyware or something else (depending on whether, once there, in engages into spying activities).

In older times, malware was mostly virus (i.e. malware which propagates by grafting itself on executable files exchanged between computers) and worms (automatic exploit of network-based vulnerabilities). Some had no payload, they just replicated for the fun of it; but most tried to be destructive, wiping out files and operating systems, and even breaking the hardware. Nowadays, a lot of malware exploits the gullibility of the human user (that's much easier than relying on some exploitable vulnerability), making up the large "trojan" category. Also, most malware tries to be inconspicuous: typical malware does not try to break your machine; instead, it silently siphons out your secrets (e.g. passwords).

"Taking control" is not a well-defined category. By definition, malware running on a machine is "controlling" it, if only transiently. Most malware will include some backdoor so that the malware author can use an installed malware instance as an entry point for pushing new attack code, whether such an escalation is actually planned or not.

See this answer for some musings about the definitions of such terms, and, in particular, how fuzzy and mostly irrelevant they are.

If we really want to make distinctions, then:

  • A spyware is some software which spies on the user.
  • A trojan is some malicious software which gets installed by the victim himself, who was deceived into thinking that the software was benign.

So the two terms are not opposite at all ! In fact, they are orthogonal. A given piece of malware (the generic term, meaning "malicious software") can be a trojan or something else (depending on how it enters the victim's computer), and can be a spyware or something else (depending on whether, once there, in engages into spying activities).

In older times, malware was mostly virus (i.e. malware which propagates by grafting itself on executable files exchanged between computers) and worms (automatic exploit of network-based vulnerabilities). Some had no payload, they just replicated for the fun of it; but most tried to be destructive, wiping out files and operating systems, and even breaking the hardware. Nowadays, a lot of malware exploits the gullibility of the human user (that's much easier than relying on some exploitable vulnerability), making up the large "trojan" category. Also, most malware tries to be inconspicuous: typical malware does not try to break your machine; instead, it silently siphons out your secrets (e.g. passwords).

"Taking control" is not a well-defined category. By definition, malware running on a machine is "controlling" it, if only transiently. Most malware will include some backdoor so that the malware author can use an installed malware instance as an entry point for pushing new attack code, whether such an escalation is actually planned or not.

See this answer for some musings about the definitions of such terms, and, in particular, how fuzzy and mostly irrelevant they are.

If we really want to make distinctions, then:

  • A spyware is some software which spies on the user.
  • A trojan is some malicious software which gets installed by the victim himself, who was deceived into thinking that the software was benign.

So the two terms are not opposite at all ! In fact, they are orthogonal. A given piece of malware (the generic term, meaning "malicious software") can be a trojan or something else (depending on how it enters the victim's computer), and can be a spyware or something else (depending on whether, once there, in engages into spying activities).

In older times, malware was mostly virus (i.e. malware which propagates by grafting itself on executable files exchanged between computers) and worms (automatic exploit of network-based vulnerabilities). Some had no payload, they just replicated for the fun of it; but most tried to be destructive, wiping out files and operating systems, and even breaking the hardware. Nowadays, a lot of malware exploits the gullibility of the human user (that's much easier than relying on some exploitable vulnerability), making up the large "trojan" category. Also, most malware tries to be inconspicuous: typical malware does not try to break your machine; instead, it silently siphons out your secrets (e.g. passwords).

"Taking control" is not a well-defined category. By definition, malware running on a machine is "controlling" it, if only transiently. Most malware will include some backdoor so that the malware author can use an installed malware instance as an entry point for pushing new attack code, whether such an escalation is actually planned or not.

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source | link

See this answer for some musings about the definitions of such terms, and, in particular, how fuzzy and mostly irrelevant they are.

If we really want to make distinctions, then:

  • A spyware is some software which spies on the user.
  • A trojan is some malicious software which gets installed by the victim himself, who was deceived into thinking that the software was benign.

So the two terms are not opposite at all ! In fact, they are orthogonal. A given piece of malware (the generic term, meaning "malicious software") can be a trojan or something else (depending on how it enters the victim's computer), and can be a spyware or something else (depending on whether, once there, in engages into spying activities).

In older times, malware was mostly virus (i.e. malware which propagates by grafting itself on executable files exchanged between computers) and worms (automatic exploit of network-based vulnerabilities). Some had no payload, they just replicated for the fun of it; but most tried to be destructive, wiping out files and operating systems, and even breaking the hardware. Nowadays, a lot of malware exploits the gullibility of the human user (that's much easier than relying on some exploitable vulnerability), making up the large "trojan" category. Also, most malware tries to be inconspicuous: typical malware does not try to break your machine; instead, it silently siphons out your secrets (e.g. passwords).

"Taking control" is not a well-defined category. By definition, malware running on a machine is "controlling" it, if only transiently. Most malware will include some backdoor so that the malware author can use an installed malware instance as an entry point for pushing new attack code, whether such an escalation is actually planned or not.