Damage potential

A malware's damage potential rating may be high, medium, or low based on its inherent capacity to cause both direct and indirect damage to systems or networks. Certain malware are designed specifically to delete or corrupt files, causing direct damage. Denial of service (DoS) malware may also cause direct and intended damage by flooding specific targets. Mass-mailers and network worms usually cause indirect damage when they clog mail servers and network bandwidth, respectively.