Antivirus, malware and computer viruses

What is malware? Virus?

Definition of Virus / Malware

A computer virus is a programme written to spread quickly and insidiously to other computers. It disrupts the operation of the infected computer to a greater or lesser degree. It can spread via any medium for exchanging digital data, such as the Internet, and particularly via e-mail messages or attachments.

What is the difference between a virus and malware?

The generic term for viruses is malware. The term virus is commonly misused to refer to all malware. There are different types of malware: viruses, worms, Trojan horses and logic bombs, some of which load into memory, others of which infect the hard disk directly. Viruses replicate and spread by inserting themselves into other software. Worms spread directly between computers, often via email, file sharing or the Internet. Trojan horses can be used to take control of an infected computer or to retrieve information from its victim.

A virus can either delete or corrupt data. There are also viruses known as ransomware, which encrypt all computer data and demand a ransom so that you can decrypt and recover your data.

What are the consequences of a malware infection?

  • Loss of sensitive data: Malware can enable cybercriminals to access, steal or destroy sensitive company data, such as customer information, financial data, intellectual property, etc. This can lead to financial losses, breaches of confidentiality and damage to the company’s reputation. This can lead to financial losses, breaches of confidentiality and damage to the company’s reputation.
  • Disruption of operations/activities: Some malware is designed to disrupt a company’s operations. This can result in system crashes, performance slowdowns, unavailability of critical services, which can lead to loss of productivity, revenue and financial consequences.
  • Remediation costs: Managing a malware infection can be costly. This can include hiring IT security specialists, investigating and remediating compromised systems, implementing additional prevention measures, notifying relevant stakeholders, etc.
  • Subsequent attacks: Once a system is infected with malware, it can serve as an entry point for other attacks. Cybercriminals can exploit the presence of malware to extend their access, carry out other types of attack such as ransomware, botnets, etc.
  • Impact on reputation: Companies hit by a malware infection risk considerable damage to their reputation. The loss of trust of customers, business partners and the public can lead to reduced sales, broken partnerships and a fall in the value of the business.

How do malware and viruses spread via e-mail?

Malware can spread through e-mails in a number of ways, including

  • Infected attachments: Malware is often hidden in e-mail attachments. When users open these attachments, the malware can run and infect the computer.
  • Malicious links: Emails may contain links to malicious websites. When users click on these links, they may be redirected to pages containing malware.
  • Exploitation of vulnerabilities: Some malware exploits vulnerabilities in email clients or email-associated software. When users view or open a malicious email, these vulnerabilities can be exploited to run the malware.


Although viruses are present in less than 0.5% of emails, they are potentially very dangerous. A single virus can compromise a company’s entire operation, which is why we are committed to doing everything we can to block them and to building a veritable fortress against all viruses and malware. That’s why Altospam’s Mailsafe includes six complementary anti-virus and unknown virus detection systems. All emails and their attachments are systematically scanned by these six antivirus programs.

Free up your mailboxes. Stop intrusions. Protect your organisation.

Malware? Ransomware ? Virus? Email is the first vector of a cyber attack. Our solution detects and neutralises known and unknown threats in real time.