Malware vs Virus: Difference and Comparison

Malware and viruses are terms used in computer language. They are often used like they have the same meanings. The core meaning is the same, but technically, the two words have many differences.

Malware is malicious software. A virus is a type of Malware. Therefore, the two terms are interchangeable, but there are more types of Malware. So, they are not the same.

Key Takeaways

  1. Malware is a malicious program designed to harm computer systems, while a virus is a type of malware that replicates itself by infecting other files.
  2. Malware can come in various forms like adware, spyware, ransomware, etc., while a virus is a specific type of malware with unique characteristics.
  3. Malware can be prevented by using antivirus software and keeping the system updated, while a virus can be removed by using antivirus software and deleting the infected files.

Malware vs Virus

A malware is a malicious software that poses as a threat to a computer, network or server. This software gives unauthorised access to computer systems that violate privacy and security. A virus is a kind of malware that spreads to computer programs to infect or damage data in the system. Computer viruses attach to computer files to corrupt them.

Malware vs Virus

Malware is any software that is designed intentionally to disrupt a computer and its networks. Programs that act against the interests of the user are also malware.

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There are many types of malware like viruses, spyware, worms, Trojan horses, scareware, wipers, etc. A range of firewalls is available in the market to detect and protect malware in computers.

A virus is a type of malware that copies itself and inserts its own code, which leads to the damage of files in the computer. These viruses can cause serious damage to the computer network.

They cause billions of dollars worth of economic damage per year. There is antivirus software available in the market to protect the computer from these viruses.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMalwareVirus
DefinitionMalware is any software that is designed intentionally to disrupt a computer and its networks.A virus is a type of malware that copies itself and inserts its own code, which leads to the damage of files in the computer.
ClassificationMalware is further classified into viruses, spyware, adware, wiper, Trojan horses, rogue software, etc.A virus is not classified further.
Anti-Software’sMcAfee antivirus plus, Kaspersky, etc.Malware Bytes, Spybot search, etc.
FirewallUsually, there is no firewall.There is a firewall.
ConflictsMalware doesn’t conflict with other anti-software’s.Anti-virus can conflict with other installed anti-viruses.

What is Malware?

Malware is software that is intentionally designed to gain authorization to a computer network and damage the files.

This software acts against the interests of the user and damages and disrupts the files and computer networks. However, if the software causes harm unintentionally, it is called a software bug.

Malware doesn’t affect only computers; and it affects laptops and smartphones as well.

Malware has further types like computer viruses, trojan horses, worms, spyware, adware, rogue software, scareware, wiper, and ransomware etc.

This malware is spread by the internet, which is used by everyone, like emails, websites, etc.

Earlier, the malware was intentionally made to experiment and used as pranks. However, these days, malware is used by hackers and governments as well.

They use malware to steal data like personal information, passwords, financial information, etc. They are also used to disrupt files in computer networks like illegal videos, audio, and images.

To protect desktops and laptops from this malware, there is plenty of anti-malware software present in the market.

The anti-malware software detects the malware in the computer and removes it as well as prevents the malware from gaining access to the computers.

malware

What is Virus?

A virus is a type of malware. A virus replicates itself and inserts its own code into the host program of the computer. A host program is the code that is executed by a computer to perform a specific task.

When the virus inserts its own code into the host program, the program first runs the virus’s code, which causes damage to the network of the computer. A virus is not classified further.

The viruses attach themselves to legitimate files and programs in order to corrupt them. They are distributed through infected websites, emails, and flash drives.

When a person opens the file, the virus accesses the computer drive. These viruses are created to seek profit by stealing personal, financial, and business information from the computers of people.

They are also used to send political messages. Indeed, these viruses can delete files, encrypt files, and disable system functions.

These viruses were created in the 1980s to gain access to computer networks and steal information from others. After that, other versions followed.

To protect the computers from the antivirus, anti-virus software is available. Some of the anti-virus software are McAfee Anti-virus Plus, Avira, Kaspersky, Avast Pro, etc.

virus 1

Main Differences Between Malware And Virus

  1. Malware is software that is made intentionally to damage computer networks. A virus is a type of malware that copies itself and inserts its code into the host program to damage the computer files and network.
  2. Malware is further classified into viruses, spyware, adware, wiper, rogue software, etc. A virus is not classified further.
  3. There is antimalware software that protects against malware. There are different antivirus software that specifically protect against viruses.
  4. Antimalware software can protect against threats that are not dealt with before, but antivirus software can only deal with viruses that are detected earlier.
  5. All the malware are not viruses, but all the viruses are malware.
Difference Between Malware and Virus
References
  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rajeev-Kumar-3/publication/220796366_Hybrid_analysis_of_executables_to_detect_security_vulnerabilities/links/0c96051d6d61258824000000/Hybrid-analysis-of-executables-to-detect-security-vulnerabilities.pdf#page=82

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