Crimeware is malicious software used to initiate a crime that is typically Internet-based. During the past two years, crimeware attacks have increased at a far greater rate than the normal virus. International gangs of virus writers, hackers and spammers are joining forces to steal information and collect huge profits illegally.
A classic example of crimeware is a backdoor keylogger trojan that collects keystroke information and transmits it back to an attacker.
For example, a bank login ID and password may be collected and sent back to an attacker. The attacker typically will use this information in order to collect illegal profits.
Ransomware is another form of crimeware. In this case, a malicious Trojan encrypts files on an unsuspecting user's hard drive. Once the files are encrypted the Trojan then displays a message, or leaves behind a ransom note demanding money from the user for the decryption key.
Given the newness of this threat type, and the potential of how it might evolve in the future, further clarification and dissection of the definition of crimeware will likely be required.