Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Malicious computer software that interferes with normal computer functions or sends personal data about the user to unauthorized parties over the Internet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun computing Software which has been designed to operate in a malicious, undesirable manner.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[mal(icious) + –ware.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Blend of malicious and software

Examples

  • The term malware, derived from "malicious software," refers to any software specifically designed to harm your computer or the software it's running.

    Working together to fight malware

  • The term malware, derived from "malicious software," refers to any software specifically designed to harm your computer or the software it's running.

    Archive 2008-04-01

  • The term malware, derived from "malicious software," refers to any software specifically designed to harm your computer or the software it's running.

    Congratulations to our U.S. and Canadian Anita Borg Scholars

  • The term malware can be used to describe a program that is as harmless as an annoying pop-up box that attempts to direct a user to a website in order to increase the website's traffic.

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

  • The first is that it does indeed represent a significant innovation in malware; the fact that it targets a specific piece of technology – the Siemens controller – that plays a critical role in the industrial infrastructure of every advanced country is new and troubling.

    Meet the Stuxnet, so much subtler than a tactical nuclear device

  • The malware is in Unreality Mag's third party ad server - it's a rogue ad in rotation with regular ads, so you don't always see it, but if you visit Unreality Mag often enough, you'll find it.

    Top Ten A.I. Characters (redux)

  • ScanSafe says the malware is still active on parishilton. com, and some 15,000 other sites are similarly compromised.

    That's not hot: Hacked celeb sites pose security threat

  • The malware is in Unreality Mag's third party ad server - it's a rogue ad in rotation with regular ads, so you don't always see it, but if you visit Unreality Mag often enough, you'll find it.

    Top Ten A.I. Characters (redux) » E-Mail

  • Anyways, malware is the first thing that comes to mind when you say it started opening up a ton of windows unsolicited -- especially if they were, ahem, of a prurient nature.

    Jean's Knitting

  • Seems to me, this seeding malware is a direct violation of the laws on computer privacy/security in the US.

    MediaSentry Super-Secret Squirrel tech

Comments

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  • "Short for malicious software, software designed specifically to damage or disrupt a system, such as a virus or a Trojan horse." --Webopedia

    May 22, 2009

  • A rare case where contemporary coinage corresponds with traditional morphemes: mal- ("evil, bad") + -ware ("articles for sale, commodities").

    May 22, 2009