A General Definition of Malware

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The authors propose a general, formal definition of the concept of malware (malicious software) as a single sentence in the language of a certain modal logic. Their definition is general thanks to its abstract formulation, which, being abstract, is independent of - but nonetheless generally applicable to - the manifold concrete manifestations of malware. From their formulation of malware, they derive equally general and formal definitions of benware (benign software), anti-malware ("Antibodies" against malware), and medware (medical software or "Medicine" for affected software). They provide theoretical tools and practical techniques for the detection, comparison, and classification of malware and its derivatives.