is a software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner's informed consent. It is a portmanteau of the words "malicious" and "software"
The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code.
Many normal computer users are however still unfamiliar with the term, and most never use it. Instead, "computer virus" is used in common parlance and often in the general media to describe all kinds of malware, though not all malware is a virus. Another term that has been recently coined for malware is badware, perhaps due to the anti-malware initiative Stopbadware or corruption of the term "malware".