- software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems.
Those folks at Oxford think it's simple. Isn't it?
A reverse-engineer defines it as ...
"1. Malicious software that is generally used to hack computers, typically for banking purpose"
A programmer defines it as...
"1. It is a program that is heavily aided by the stupidity of users.
2. Vulnerability sucks"
A debugger defines it as...
"1. Is it my mistake? I hope not"
An end user defines it as...
"1. What is the best antivirus?"
A computer scientist defines it as...
Good-type of hackers define it as...
2. Lulz at your security
You see, friends, that it varies how people see the word, 'malware'. Now, I assume you're an experienced malware-removal-expert. Our voluntary jobs seem difficult to keep up with. The end users are often not too savvy and often we need to re-explain our two-thousand character reply. They do not have the basic understanding of malware, often times they just say "help something went wrong". Sometimes they're infected with adware, and sometimes they're infected with a RAT. It all varies.
In my opinion, malware is too complicated and it is ever-growing. Groups like Annoymous, and LulzSec are rare. And even those two groups are loosely associated, they're too loose-organized. They try to fight the govt, but I don't see a Russian govt site down these days. Those groups possess no harms to us, the end users of the Internet, "The hate machine, the love machine, the machine powered by many machines".
But, of course, most "black hat" hackers' job is to create destructive software. Their job is to earn as much as stolen BitCoins as possible. Not only BitCoin factually, but our credit cards, our identities, our mobile and even our privacy. You see, antivirus devs are lacking compared to the sheer amount of "black hat" hackers. What is really bad, is that the illiteracy of computer science among users. Most professional non-computer engineers cannot answer any programming, engineering or virtual questions about computer science. And that's what they learnt, until third year...
Many new users install multiple antiviruses without the proper settings. By 'proper settings', I mean proper process exclusions, proper HIPS/BB/Firewall settings. They often face a BSOD. Then they come to computer repair forums, and are taught computer science's technics. That is too slow. Too slow. It takes days and perhaps even weeks to repair their computers (I've experienced trying to help them myself), and they barely read the red text in most cases after their computer is finished repairing.
Norton antivirus is still infamous over YouTube. People still believe that Norton is "slow" and "sluggish", "resource-hogger" as "it was in 2006". That antivirus is really good, but not my type actually. Do I recommend it? I do. But whenever I recommend that over YouTube (by replying comments and correct the original poster's facts, they just scorn me, telling me that I am a "script kiddy". I'd facepalm if I could, but that's hurt my face and my eyes. Even among some computer scientists, Java is considering "dead", it is considered slow. As it was "before Java 5", do they know that Java 8 has already been released?
Their knowledge is not up-to-date. Similar is our knowledge. When we review an AV, we should make sure we test all of its components. Things might not be as they were in previous versions. Or in 2002. In some aspects, it goes for malware also. Assuming you're a reverse-engineer, you already know that new malware in-the-wild means new code to test. But how sure you are that the latest version was released two months ago? What if the new, undetected version was released just a week ago? We should keep our knowledge up to date.
As for the not-so-tech users, be aware of what you install.
No, I am serious. That alone can prevent about sixty-five percent of problems. For example...
Jim wanted to download AVG antivirus. He clicked on the google's first yellow link, assuming a multi-mega corporation like Google wouldn't fail him. He, two hours later, ended up with alots of porn.
Well, not a good example. But that does it, I think. You try for software A, click on link B, get installer C, which in turn installs D, that triggers reaction E...Do not just click "next", do actually read the license agreement. You might not be an advocate and might not enjoy hundreds-of-lines of capitalized "HERE, WE, US, ("WWW.SOMEONE.COM"), but it helps.
I hope that one day, malware will be destroyed. I can hope, can't I?
It doesn't matter if you're a totally noob when it comes to computers, following simple statements provided by end users can save you millions of dollars. Literally.