Why do people create viruses and malware?

Updated: 05/03/2022 by Computer Hope
computer virus

There are thousands and thousands of different viruses and malware on the Internet today. So, you may be asking, what motivates people to 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

Many viruses, malware, and spyware found on computers do not harm the computer all that much, other than slow it down. Instead, this malware is designed to capture information about the computer user and send it to the malware creator. The information they collect is then used to target advertisements to your computer. 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 they get people to buy something or visit the advertiser. Sometimes, all it takes is one virus or malware program to generate hundreds or thousands of ads on your computer.

Stealing account information

Online games and virtual goods have a 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 access a victim's account and steal their virtual goods and currency. They could even sell their ill-gotten virtual goods to other players for real money.

Causing problems and trouble

Some people create viruses and malware because they enjoy causing trouble and making others suffer. Some malware can crash an entire network system and cause system outages for large companies, like banks or production companies.

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

Why do people spread viruses?

Almost all viruses are spread unintentionally by the users who become infected by a virus. For example, someone might open an infected file that infects all other files and computers connected to that computer without even knowing what they've done.

What can you do?

Your best defense against malware and spyware is to keep your computer updated. You should ensure you have up-to-date antivirus and anti-spyware/malware software installed on your computer. Additionally, always be cautious of e-mail attachments, even from someone you know.