Differences between viruses, malware, and exploits

Document created by parche Employee on May 15, 2017Last modified by jgolomb on Jan 23, 2019
Version 6Show Document
  • View in full screen mode

To properly explain the difference between a Virus, a Malware, and an Exploit, we will first need to define each term. We will start to explain this very briefly:

  • Malware is software with bad intentions.
  • Virus is software that runs against your wishes and replicates itself.
  • An Exploit is a vulnerability in a code.


From these basic definitions, we can derive that a Virus is a form of Malware, but not all Malware are Viruses. A lot of Malware is classified as a PUP or Potentially Unwanted Program. Then an Exploit is how, or the entry way for, the Malware to enter your computer.


For more information you can visit out blog article article Virus or Malware.


For more information on Exploits and why defense is so important, you can read more at our blog article Exploit Kits: A Fast Growing Threat.