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Payload (communication and information technology)

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Payload (communication and information technology)

Payload in computing (sometimes referred to as the actual or body data) is the cargo of a data transmission. It is the part of the transmitted data which is the fundamental purpose of the transmission, to the exclusion of information sent with it (such as headers or metadata, sometimes referred to as overhead data) solely to facilitate delivery.[1][2]

In the analysis of malicious software such as worms, viruses and Trojans, it refers to the software's harmful results. Examples of payloads include data destruction, messages with insulting text or spurious e-mail messages sent to a large number of people.

In computer security, payload refers to the part of a computer virus which performs a malicious action.[3]

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