Mal Ware

[Mentioned in "AskBeforeAttaching" of EmailNetiquettePatterns.]

"MalWare" is a general term for computer viruses, Trogen Horses, worms, and other "malicious" software.

Quite often people consider AdWare? to be MalWare. OTOH some "freeware" give lots of warnings about advertisements that come with the software. So perhaps there is a gray area somewhere. Legitimacy is more difficult to argue for SpyWare though.

Regarding files attached to email messages you get from friends or peers...

Executable attachments are dangerous; they may contain MalWare. Microsoft Excel and Word documents may contain macro viruses, like Melissa.

On the receiving end, never execute code received through email unless you trust the person who sent it and you're sure they sent it intentionally. Call the sender (or exchange more messages) to clarify things if there is any doubt at all. "Explore Zip," for example, is a very malicious program that sends itself to your friends in your name.

Be careful.

News and other resources

Ten worst Malware lists, both list CoolWebSearch

MicrosoftCorporation acquisition of Giant (known for its spyware detecting software) in Dec04

CategorySecurity CategoryJargon

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