Should We Preserve Malware for Study? From Slate. On average, 82,000 new malware threats are created each day. These include all sorts of malicious software—like computer viruses, computer worms and ransomware. Some are pranks or minor annoyances; others seek to pilfer data or extort money. Malware has been used to steal sensitive emails from political parties, or even as weapons directed at civilian, government or military targets. Malware has been called a “pervasive feature of the internet” by the head of the British Library’s digital preservation team. A multi-billion-dollar industry exists to control its spread. Though it is part of the texture of digital life, libraries, museums and archives tasked with preserving the past are not saving malware for future generations. They are likely (and rightly) afraid: It can destroy data, which librarians and archivists are bound to protect.