Malware Learning Guide

Windows Media Group Editorial Staff

This guide introduces you to three types of malware: spyware, spam and viruses. Each malware-specific section explains how to recognize the problem, protect Exchange and Windows from attack and handle the clean up if you've already been hit. You'll find the best malware articles,

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tutorials, tips and expert advice compiled from, and to get you up to speed on these critical security issues.

   Spotlight: Spam
   Spotlight: Spyware
   Spotlight: Viruses

Microsoft: "Malware" is short for malicious software and is typically used as a catch-all term to refer to any software designed to cause damage to a single computer, server or computer network, whether it's a virus, spyware, et al."

  Spotlight: Spam Return to Table of Contents

Spam is unsolicited e-mail on the Internet. From the sender's point-of-view, it's a form of bulk mail, often to a list obtained from a spambot or to a list obtained by companies that specialize in creating e-mail distribution lists. To the receiver, it usually seems like junk e-mail.

In addition to e-mail spam, researchers predict that the onslaught of spam via instant messages, or "spim," will triple this year -- to about 1.2 billion worldwide messages, from 400 million in 2003.

Overall, spam has become a major problem for all Internet users, and America has been named the undisputed spam-producing capital of the world.

Get help recognizing spam and preventing it from infecting Exchange and Windows with the following collection of editor-selected spam articles and tips bookmarked from

  Spotlight: Spyware Return to Table of Contents

Spyware is any technology that aids in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge. On the Internet (where it is sometimes called a spybot or tracking software), spyware is programming that is put in someone's computer to secretly gather information about the user and relay it to advertisers or other interested parties. Spyware can get in a computer as a software virus or as the result of installing a new program.

Spyware is often installed without the user's consent, as a drive-by download, or as the result of clicking some option in a deceptive pop-up window. Adware, software designed to serve advertising, can usually be thought of as spyware as well because it almost invariably includes components for tracking and reporting user information.

Get help recognizing spyware problems and preventing them from infecting Exchange and Windows with the following collection of editor-selected spyware articles and tips from

  Spotlight: Viruses Return to Table of Contents

A computer virus is a program or programming code that replicates by being copied or initiating its copying to another program, computer boot sector or document. Viruses can be transmitted as attachments to e-mail notes, in downloaded files, or on a diskette or CD.

The three basic types of viruses are file vectors that attach themselves to program files, systems or boot-record infectors that infect executable code found in certain system areas on a disk, and macro viruses that infect Microsoft Word applications and are among the most common, yet least damaging viruses.

Get help recognizing viruses and preventing them from infiltrating Windows with the following collection of editor-selected virus articles and tips from

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