Like is malware just a computer virus or is it something completely different? I am just curious, I did watch a video on it and it did not really give me my answer that i wished for.


Malware is a portmanteau for "malicious software". With that in mind:

A computer virus is a type of malicious software that, when executed, replicates itself by modifying other computer programs and inserting its own code.

From Wikipedia / Computer Virus.

Does that answer your question?


As mentioned malware is malicious in nature - it acts against the best interest of the users system. There is a large list of types of malware such as:

  • key loggers
  • unauthorized cryptocurrency miners
  • ransomware
  • botnet agents
  • viruses
  • worms

Viruses themselves are just a type of malware. What makes them a virus is they spread through the file system, replacing code in executable with a portion of themselves so upon the next execution they spread again. Depending on what technique they use to do this is can corrupt the executable making it unusable or work as expected just with some new functionality added. They may or may not include a payload which range from deleting your file system to simply popping a message up on screen.

You do not see many viruses these days as they were originally written as a hobby or challenge and there is not much in the way of money to be made from them when compared to other malware.

  • Is a botnet a type of malware, or something the malware builds? Is a bitcoin miner malware if I run it myself? If it replaces ads on a website? Generally a good answer though :) – Luc Dec 6 '18 at 20:48
  • @Luc yea fair points to be honest I could not recall what you would call the software joining you to a botnet other than client/agent. will remove the bitcoin miner as that is a payload rather than malware as pointed out - thanks :) – McMatty Dec 6 '18 at 21:02

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