Saturday, 5 May 2012

Definition of Software and Malware

Following my friend Afiq Roslan (aka Hitman) post for the Introduction, I will give a further explanation about the Software and the Malware. 

Software is a collection of computer programs and related data that provides the instructions for telling a computer what to do and how to do it[1]. Software refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of the computer for some purposes. In other words, software is a set of programs, procedures, algorithms and its documentation concerned with the operation of a data processing system. Program software performs the function of the program it implements, either by directly providing instructions to the computer hardware or by serving as input to another piece of software. The term was coined to contrast to the old term hardware (meaning physical devices). In contrast to hardware, software "cannot be touched"[2].Software is also sometimes used in a more narrow sense, meaning application software only. 

And the next one Malware, short for malicious software, is software designed to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems. While it 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.[3]
So basically, software is a programs which is an instruction or tool for our computer to do works. For example, software of Microsoft Word is a tool for our computer to do typing. So do other computer programs like Internet Browser, Paint, your-favorite game Call of Duty and others. All of the programs made of tiny-tiny data and numbers that being programmed by the programmer and then work together to produce an instruction that create the software.

On the other hand, Malware, the combination of words of Malicious and Software, work as the villain or destructor for your computer. They are:

The Malware are also software, where they also made up from data and numbers. However, unlike software which gives instruction to the computer, they exploited our computers. I will give further explanation about the categories of the malware.

1.       Computer viruses : computer program that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another, e.g. Elk Cloner(the first personal computer virus)

2.       Trojan horses : program with a benign capability that conceals another malicious program.

3.       Spyware : program installed on computers that collects information about users without their knowledge. 

4.       Adware : software package which automatically renders advertisements.

5.       Rootkit : stealthy type of malicious software (malware) designed to hide the existence of certain processes or programs from normal methods of detection and enable continued privileged access to a computer.

6.       Malicious programs : Other than above categories, if the program are malicious and exploited our computer, they are malicious program, e.g. Hijackers, Toolbars and Dialers

This is the easy definition for both Software and Malware. For the next post, I will explain further on the Software vs Malware in the legal field. Oh, last but not least, if there is any question on our topic, just post it in the comment box on respective post, thank you!

[2] " WordNet 2.0", Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.


  1. Thumbs up on the definition, simple and quite straight foward. But i think the layout of this blog is a bit dull. Sorry bro.

  2. Highly informative. Thanks for the info.