Software designed with malicious intent containing features or capabilities that can potentially cause harm directly or indirectly to the user and/or the user’s computer system

EXAMPLES Viruses, worms, trojans.

Source: ISO/IEC 27032:2015, Information technology — Security techniques — Guidelines for cybersecurity, First Edition, July 2012. Global Standards


Software that compromises the operation of a system by performing an unauthorized function or process.

Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-83.

Source: NICCS™ Portal Cybersecurity Lexicon, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies ( as of 11 November 2015, Global Standards

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