Malicious Software: Impact on Society

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Every owner of the computers is aware of the harmful viruses that exist in the global webspace and are dangerous for the operating system. However, not many people might know what malware represents and how it sometimes appears on the device. Most importantly, there is a lack of awareness on how to provide protection from the Trojans and different viruses that can threaten the security of personal data and information. Businesses and law enforcement also faced those challenges and developed tools to fight cyberattacks. Thus, this paper aims to define the malicious software’s impact on society and discuss challenges law enforcement and businesses face regarding electronic crimes and how they deal with them.

Malware is a program whose purpose is to commit some kind of cybercrime, damage the computer system or invade in order to gain sensitive data. Malicious software is constantly developing and adapting to new technologies, and it complicates the process of its identification and elimination (Holt et al., 2017). Therefore, as a tool for protection, antivirus software has been developed and is widely used by people nowadays. Although usually, the producers install the antivirus system initially on the computer, users still may be exposed to unknown codes, and for that case, it requires additional protection.

Such cybercrimes affect society in many negative and unpleasant ways. Regular people may become the victims of the fraud and lose their money because of the lack of knowledge on the topic. Some can be exposed to the very personal information that can be used against them and damage their reputation. The perpetrator may even use it for blackmail, trying to get the money from the person or get any other benefits by being in the dominant positions since they are able to control and manipulate the individuals. Cyberattack overall is very dangerous because one code can simultaneously affect several computers and hack the systems. It also very quickly spreads, and even clicking accidentally on the wrong link or visiting some unsafe website can cause the appearance of malware. Internet users may experience different variations and consequences of the malicious software, from the exposure of private information to the irreparable damage of the files (Holt et al., 2017). Therefore, it makes people more careful during the activity on the internet, filters the information they keep on the computers, and find ways to protect it better.

However, it is hard to hold accountable those who create malware and assign a punishment for them, and this is the biggest challenge for prevention and control of the virus spread. While those programs are created to find vulnerabilities in the systems and make the process of hacking easier, no law would forbid them (Holt et al., 2017). Moreover, the creators might insist that it was made to test the computer security, and as long they do not use malware themselves, it remains legal (Holt et al., 2017). In addition, it is very costly tracking the violators and investigate cybercrimes, and usually, it requires a lot of time (Stambaugh, 2001). Nevertheless, if someone else uses the code for cybercrime, it can be penalized by the law, but the developers usually avoid any responsibilities.

Businesses as well struggle with cyberattacks and attempts to invade their systems through viruses. Sometimes hackers can implement malicious software to get some records to use for their own profit, and it also can be the strategy of competitors trying to eliminate the rival. Nonetheless, law enforcement and the private sector have several methods of dealing with the issue. To properly investigate electronic crimes, enforcement agencies aim to develop more complex and modernized tools to indicate the initiator of the attack (Stambaugh, 2001). Since this kind of violation still lacks all the necessary equipment and skills, officers are taking special courses and training to learn how to deal with the violations and what structure to follow to identify the source of the malware (Stambaugh, 2001). In the broader sector, as a preventive method, businesses are starting to report all the accidents consistently to law enforcement so that it would be possible to track the hackers. Thus, cooperation gives safer conditions for the State and private sectors for running the business and protecting the data.

Overall, malicious software is an electronic threat that can reach any computer user, from the regular individual to big corporations and governmental structures. Although the public still lacks a deeper understanding of the malicious software, people are becoming more aware of the importance of quality antivirus protection since with the progress the malware is developing as well. Businesses and law enforcement cooperate by sharing information about violations, gaining experience, and having training on the prevention of the attack and identification of the malware. Special equipment allows hackers to detect, but it is still very costly and time-consuming because the global web is much harder to find and track. The external invasion and the access to the data may lead to severe troubles by collapsing the computer systems, revealing personal information, and losing money. Therefore, in each sector of society, regular individuals and companies should be aware of the possible threats while law enforcements continue to develop and apply methods to fight electronic crimes.


Holt, T. J., Bossler, A. M., & Seigfried-Spellar, K. C. (2017). Cybercrime and digital forensics: An introduction. Routledge.

Stambaugh, H. (2001). Electronic crime needs assessment for state and local law enforcement. US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice.

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