A worm is a type of malicious software (malware) that replicates itself by moving on computers, leaving copies of itself in each computer’s memory on its way. Worms, unlike viruses, spread by sending copies of themselves to the network, exploiting the vulnerabilities of programs on other computers. Once a worm is on your computer, you do not have to wait for it to drop, because it is fundamentally network aware and can hurt itself. Once activated, it can take control of your machine to block programs, steal data (identity, personal information, etc.), create holes for new infections or even turn the computer into a zombie, to control. remote. Note that robots collected by hackers become botnets (bot groups) and allow them to spread a lot more viruses, spam and other types of online fraud or crime.
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One of the main differences between the two is that a user must take action to keep the virus spreading, while a worm does not require human intervention to spread. Once a worm has entered your system, it kind of probes the environment for opportunities, such as emailing everyone in your contact list. Thus, the main distinguishing feature of a worm virus is that it can reproduce, almost as if it were a biological virus.
Symptoms of a Computer Worm
Users should be familiar with the symptoms of a computer worm so that they can quickly recognize infections and begin the process of removing these viruses. Here are some of the typical symptoms of a computer worm:
- Slow performance of the computer
- freezing/ crash
- Programs opening and working automatically
- Irregular web browser performance
- Unusual computer behavior (messages, images, sounds, etc.)
- Firewall warnings
- Missing / modified files
- Appearance of strange or unwanted desktop files or icons
- Operating system errors and system error messages
- Email sent to contacts without the knowledge of the user
Types of computer worms
- Pure computer worms spread from infected systems to uninfected systems. This does not minimize the risk of damage caused by these worms.
- An infected system may become unavailable or unreliable due to computer overload related to worm spread, while worms are also known to disrupt networking by overloading network links with malicious traffic associated with the spread of the worm.
- More generally, a computer worm is a hybrid virus or worm – a malware that spreads like a worm, but also modifies the program code as a virus – or contains some kind of malicious charge, such as a virus, ransomware or another type of malware.
How do computer worms work?
Worms can be transmitted through software vulnerabilities. Or the worms can arrive as attachments in spam e-mails or instant messages (IM). Once opened, these files may link to a malicious website or automatically download the computer worm. Once installed, the worm goes to work silently and infects the machine without the user’s knowledge.
Worms can modify and delete files, and they can even inject additional malware into a computer. Sometimes the purpose of a computer worm is only to make copies of itself over and over again, which depletes system resources, such as hard drive space or bandwidth, by overloading a shared network. In addition to wreaking havoc on a computer’s resources, worms can also steal data, install a backdoor, and allow a hacker to take control of a computer and its system settings.
Prevention, detection and removal of computer worms
- By keeping you up-to-date with operating systems and all other software patches and updates, you will reduce the risk of newly discovered vulnerabilities.
- Up-to-date antivirus software or special removal tools are used to detect and clean worms.
- The use of firewalls will help reduce malware access to systems, while the use of anti-virus software will help prevent the execution of malware.
- Be careful with links in emails or other email applications, which can expose systems to malware. Similarly, attachments to messages from unknown senders are often used as vectors for malware distribution.
How can you reduce the risk of another infection?
Dealing with the presence of malicious code on your computer can be a frustrating experience that can cost you time, money and data. The following recommendations will strengthen your defense against future infections:
- Use and maintenance of anti-virus software– Anti-virus software recognizes and protects your computer against the most known viruses. However, as attackers continually write new viruses, it is important to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date
- Change your passwords – Your original passwords may have been compromised during the infection. You must modify them. This includes passwords for websites that may be cached in your browser. Make passwords hard for attackers to guess
- Keep the software up-to-date:Install hotfixes so that attackers can not take advantage of known issues or vulnerabilities. Many operating systems offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you must enable it.
- Install or Enable a Firewall – Firewalls can prevent certain types of infections by blocking malicious traffic before it can enter your computer. Some operating systems actually include a firewall, but you must make sure that it is enabled.
- Use anti-spyware tools– Spyware is a common source of viruses, but you can reduce the number of infections by using a legitimate programsuch as RAM Spyware Removal that identifies and removes spyware
- Follow good security practices– Take appropriate precautions when using email and web browsers to reduce the chance that your actions will trigger an infection .