Malware (= malicious software) is the umbrella term for malicious programs that run unnoticed in the background of the user.
Put simply, malware is any piece of software that was written with the intent of damaging devices, stealing data, and generally causing a mess. Viruses, Trojans, spyware, rootkits and ransomware are among the different kinds of malware.
Malware is often created by teams of hackers: usually, they’re just looking to make money, either by spreading the malware themselves or selling it to the highest bidder on the Dark Web. However, there can be other reasons for creating malware too — it can be used as a tool for protest, a way to test security, or even as weapons of war between governments. More about malware.