Why do people create viruses and malware?

There are thousands and thousands of different viruses and malware on the Internet today. So, you may be asking, why do people create viruses and malware?

There are three primary reasons why they create them:

  1. To make money.
  2. To steal account information.
  3. To cause problems and trouble for others.

Making money

Lots of viruses, malware, and spyware found on computers do not harm the computer all that much, other than slow it down. This malware is designed to capture information about the computer user and send it to the person or company responsible for making the malware. The information they collect is then used to target advertisements to your computer that you may be interested in viewing. These ads come in the form of e-mails and pop-ups on your computer.

If enough computers get infected they can earn money from all the ads displayed. The more ads they send out, the more chances they have of getting people to buy something or visit the advertiser. Sometimes, all it takes is one virus or malware program to generate hundreds, or even thousands, of ads on your computer.

Stealing account information

Online games and virtual goods have real life value attached to them and malware is created to steal online account information associated with online games. Using this type of malware a person could gain access to an infected persons account, log into that account, and then steal all their virtual goods and currency to sell to other players for real money.

Causing problems and trouble

On the other side of the spectrum, there are those people that create viruses and malware because they can. They enjoy causing trouble, seeing computer users get annoyed and have to fix their computer. Some malware can crash an entire network system and cause system outages for large companies, like banks or production companies.

In the end, it is the thrill of seeing the havoc and chaos they can create that drives them to create more viruses and malware.

What can you do?

Your best defense against malware and spyware is to keep your computer updated and to make sure you have an updated and active anti-virus and anti-spyware/malware program installed on your computer. Additionally, always be cautious of e-mail attachments, even if it is from someone you know.