What Does Crimeware Mean?

Crimeware is any computer program designed for the express purpose of conducting malicious and illegal activities online. Although adware, spyware and malware can all be used to conduct illegal activity, crimeware refers to programs that are meant to automate the theft of information, allowing the thief to gain access to a person’s financial accounts online.


The term was coined by Peter Cassidy, the Secretary General of the Anti-Phishing Group.

Techopedia Explains Crimeware

Criminals employ a variety of methods to steal information through crimeware, including:

  • Crimeware can redirect a user’s Web browser to a counterfeit website controlled by the thief.
  • Crimeware can enable remote access of applications, allowing criminals to break into networks.
  • Crimeware can be used to steal passwords cached on a user’s system.
  • Crimeware can install keystroke loggers to collect data, such as password and login information for online bank accounts.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…