What is a computer worm?

Computer worms are one of the most common types of malware. They are distributed over computer networks using the operating system vulnerabilities. Worms usually cause harm to their host networks, consuming system resources and contribute to overload web servers. Computer worms can also contain a “hard attack”, which contributes to damage computers. Chunks of code written to perform certain actions on the infected computers to the spread of the worm. Payload is usually designed to steal data or delete files. Some payload (s) could create a breach in the host computers that allow them to manage other computers creating a botnet. Malicious parties can use the network of infected computers (botnets) to send spam and DDOS attacks.
Computer worms are classified as a type of computer virus, but there are several characteristics that distinguish from ordinary computer worms virus. The main difference is that viruses spread through human activities (start-up program, opening a file, etc.).Computer worms have the ability to spread automatically, without human element. In addition to the possibility of the spread without assistance, computer worms are able to reproduce. This means that the worms can create multiple copies of themselves to send itself to other computers . This often occurs by sending mass e-mails to the electronic contacts of infected users.

Protection against computer worms

There are several good practices that users can follow to protect their computers against worms. Following these steps will not only decrease the risk of infection, but also easier to detect and remove computer worm.

  • Keep your operating system and software is always updated that is, always update your software up to the latest version.These updates often contain security patches designed to protect computers against the newly discovered worms.
  • Avoid opening e-mails, from which you will not know who sent it to you, or did not expect so many computer worms spread via email.
  • Refrain from opening the various forms and clicking on links from untrusted / unknown sources.
  • Start the firewall and antivirus software to further protect against computer worms.
  • Firewalls will keep your computer protected from unauthorized access while it is unlikely.
  • Select an antivirus program, which includes downloads scan functionality ( detection of malicious content in e-mail and Web download ) , as well as malware removal tools.

Symptoms of a computer worm

Users should be familiar with the symptoms of a computer worm, so that they can quickly identify infections and to begin the process of removing a computer worm. Here are some of the typical symptoms of a computer worm:

  • Slow computer performance
  • The freezing / crashing
  • Programs open and run automatically
  • Poor performance of the web browser
  • Unusual behavior of the computer (messages, images, sounds, etc.)
  • Firewall (this is firewall) warning
  • Missing / modified files
  • The appearance of the strange / accidental files on your desktop or icons
  • operating system and error messages System Errors
  • Letters sent to contacts without user knowledge

While other issues may cause these symptoms, the appearance of many symptoms from this list, or re- occurrence of some symptoms, it usually means that the computer has been infected , the worm virus .

Removing a computer worm

There are several steps that must be taken to remove a computer worm. It is important to disconnect the computer from the Internet and local networks, before taking any other steps to remove the worm. In order to prevent the spread of the worm, do not use the infected computer to download any updates or programs needed, and then install them on the victim machine via an external storage device.

Once the computer is disconnected:

  1. Ensure that all anti-virus signatures up to date.
  2. Scan your computer with antivirus programs.
  3. When a computer worm or other malicious software, use the software to remove the malware and clean or delete the infected files.
  4. Scan, which does not detect malware, as a rule, evidence that the symptoms were caused by hardware or software problems.
  5. Make sure that your computer’s operating system is working as it should, and all software and applications have current patches installed.

If the worm is difficult to remove, check online for specific utilities treat worms.

About The Author

I am Ethical Hacker, Penetration tester, and Security Professional. I am an OWASP International Member. I have previously experience to work with Big corporate, Government and well-funded startups. My Company SECUPENT () is multiple award winning Cyber Security and Outsourcing Company. I am not only can save you from known vulnerabilities, also can protect you from 0day exploits and attacks from 3rd party threats.

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