Malware, short for malicious software, is software designed to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems.

While malware is sometimes software, it can also appear in the form of script or code. Malware is a general term used to describe any kind of software or code specifically designed to exploit a computer, or the data it contains, without consent. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software.

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