Malware, short for malicious software, refers to software programs or code designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems, networks, and data. Malware includes various types of malicious software such as viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, spyware, adware, and rootkits. Malware can infect systems through email attachments, malicious websites, removable media, and software vulnerabilities. Antivirus software, firewalls, and security awareness training are essential for protecting against malware threats.