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Learning Path: malware

Give yourself a quick tutorial on malware vocabulary by reading this series of related definitions in sequence. After you read the definition, click the back button on your browser to return to the Learning Path. When you're done, be sure to try our related crossword puzzle and practice what you've learned!

> malware - programming or files developed for the purpose of doing harm

> virus - malicious programming code that causes some unexpected and undesirable event

> virus hoax - false warning about a computer virus

> e-mail virus - malicious computer code sent as an e-mail note attachment which, if activated, causes harm

> worm - self-replicating virus that does not alter files but resides in active memory and duplicates itself

> ethical worm - program used to automate network-based distribution of security patches

> Trojan horse - program in which malicious or harmful code is contained inside apparently harmless programming or data

> logic bomb - programming code designed to execute (or "explode"). Also called slag code.

> execute - run a program in the computer, and, by implication, to start it to run

> macro virus - computer virus that uses macro language to cause a sequence of actions to be performed automatically when application is started or keystroke triggers it

> payload - the eventual effect of a software virus

> antivirus software - class of program that searches your hard drive and floppy disks for any known or potential viruses

> stealth - refers to an event, object or file that evades methodical attempts to find it

> heuristic - gaining knowledge or some desired result by intelligent guesswork rather than by following pre-established formula

> in the wild - malicious computer code that spreads in the real world as a result of normal day-to-day operations

> zoo - malware that exists only in virus and antivirus labs, not in the wild.


Practice what what you've learned by completing our related crossword puzzle !

This was last updated in January 2006

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