Under California's computer crime law, a computer contaminant is:
|“||any set of computer instructions that are designed to modify, damage, destroy, record, or transmit information within a computer, computer system, or computer network without the intent or permission of the owner of the information. They include, but are not limited to, a group of computer instructions commonly called viruses or worms, that are self-replicating or self-propagating and are designed to contaminate other computer programs or computer data, or in some other fashion usurp the normal operation of the computer, computer system, or computer network.||”|
- ↑ Cal. Penal Code §502.