Ask the Expert

Categorizing malware

I am trying to categorize viruses by their different types and the platforms they affect. For example, I have categorized some viruses by either worm or Trojan horse, but I do not know what the difference is between the two in terms of what platform types they can affect. Could you supply any information on what the distinction is?

Requires Free Membership to View

To fully understand the world of "malicious threat," you must first understand the following definitions. I recommend going to the Symantec glossary at to look up the following terms.

  • Blended Threat
  • Hoax
  • Joke
  • Trojan Horse
  • Virus
  • Macro virus
  • Polymorphic Virus
  • Retrovirus
  • Worm
  • Variants

For more information on this topic, visit these other resources:
  • Ask the Expert: What is malware?
  • Ask the Expert: The difference between a virus and a worm
  • Best Web Links: Glossaries and Definitions

    This was first published in February 2003

  • There are Comments. Add yours.

    TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

    REGISTER or login:

    Forgot Password?
    By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
    Sort by: OldestNewest

    Forgot Password?

    No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

    Your password has been sent to: