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Malware, short for malicious software, is a general term for any software with malicious intent, including computer viruses, spyware and the Trojan horse programs.

Although there had been clear distinctions among such software or programs, they have become increasingly diversified and complicated in nature, making it difficult to clearly distinguish them from each other. That is why software with malicious intent is now called "malware" as a whole.

In the early days of the Internet, many of such malware were created so that the creators could demonstrate their technical abilities to the general public. In more recent years, however, an increasing number of malware are created with the intent of conducting "targeted attacks" with distinct purposes, such as stealing confidential information from specified targets.

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