mal·​ware | \ ˈmal-ˌwer \

Definition of malware

: software designed to interfere with a computer's normal functioning

Examples of malware in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The celebrity British cybersecurity expert charged in Milwaukee last year with creating malware aimed at banks has been hit with additional charges. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "WannaCry virus hero Marcus Hutchins faces new charges in cybercrime case out of Milwaukee," 6 June 2018 Unless the malware can somehow break out of that virtualized environment, Windows 10 Hyper-V (and Sandbox) should be able to create secure environments for testing. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft announces Windows Sandbox, a virtualized safe space for testing untrusted apps," 19 Dec. 2018 The malware, called DeepLocker, is able to identify its target using indicators such as facial and voice recognition and geolocation. Adam Janofsky, WSJ, "AI Could Make Cyberattacks More Dangerous, Harder to Detect," 13 Nov. 2018 The malware, alternately dubbed Triton and Trisis, was most likely designed to cause physical damage inside critical infrastructure sites, such as gas refineries and chemical plants, FireEye researchers said in a report published in December. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Russia was likely behind dangerous critical infrastructure attack, report says," 24 Oct. 2018 The malware allegedly slipped into the assembly line at Super Micro Computer Inc., a contractor that works with prominent tech firms in China. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Apple Denies Chinese Microchip Hack in a Fiery Letter to Congress," 8 Oct. 2018 The hackers used spear phishing to deploy malware and other means to intrude into a French aerospace company that was developing the engines with a U.S. company, prosecutors said. Brian Melley, The Seattle Times, "Chinese intelligence officers charged in US aviation hacking," 30 Oct. 2018 The hacking group, known as Lazarus, used the malware to infect the servers controlling the ATMs, allowing them to intercept their own fraudulent transaction requests and withdraw cash. Jon Porter, The Verge, "North Korea-linked hackers stole tens of millions from ATMs across the world," 8 Nov. 2018 You'll be informed of malicious malware on any of your home's devices, see if any devices are speaking to one another that shouldn't, and ensure that no one is stealing your WiFi bandwidth. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, "Meet the New Way to Make Your WiFi Faster — And More Secure," 5 Nov. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'malware.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of malware

1990, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for malware

malicious + -ware (as in software)

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Dictionary Entries near malware



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Statistics for malware

Last Updated

27 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for malware

The first known use of malware was in 1990

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More Definitions for malware


mal·​ware | \ ˈmal-ˌwer \

Legal Definition of malware

: software that is designed to interfere with a computerʼs normal functioning and that can be used to commit cybercrime (as by revealing passwords, PINs, and other sensitive data)

History and Etymology for malware

mal- bad + software

More from Merriam-Webster on malware

Nglish: Translation of malware for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of malware for Arabic Speakers

Comments on malware

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