Simple worm program

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Simple worm program

What is a Worm Program?  

A computer worm is a type of self-propagating malware that spreads from computer to computer by creating copies of itself. A worm, unlike a virus, won’t attach to a file or program. They enter the system through vulnerabilities in the network, replicating and spreading from device to device before you have the chance to remove them, by which point they will have consumed large quantities of bandwidth interrupting networks and servers. It’s then replicated without an attacker having to do anything themselves and it does not need to attach itself to a software program in order to cause damage. Once installed, the worm works to infect the device, modify and delete files and deplete system resources without the user's knowledge, causing a cascade effect. Worms propagate very quickly and have not only the potential to cause damage locally but also disrupt systems worldwide. 

Types of Worms 

  • Crypto Worms - These types of worms encrypt data on a person's device and are often used in ransomware attacks. The hacker usually demands payment from the victim in exchange for the decryption of their files. 
  • Internet Worms - Some worms target websites with poor security which means that if they infect the website, they can then infect devices that access the website. This means that the worm can spread when the infected computer connects to the internet through private networks. 
  • E-mail Worms- These worms work by sending outbound messages to all the addresses in a user’s contact list. The message will contain malicious files or links that will infect a recipient's computer when they open it.       

How to spot a Computer Worm 

Run a virus scan of your computer if you think it could have a worm. Even if the scan finds no suspicious activity keep following these steps: 

  1. Check your hard drive space - worms keep replicating themselves and spread from device to device across a network. If your device has been infected with a worm, it will use up a lot of free space on your device. 
  2. Check your computer performance - worms use up a lot of processing power on your computer. If you have a computer worm, it is highly likely that your computer will be working much slower than usual and programs might be crashing or working poorly. 
  3. Check your files - worms have a lot of functions and one of them is deleting, replacing or modifying files on an infected device. 

How to protect your organisation from Worms  

Worms tend to exploit holes in security software applications, so here are some ways to ensure that your computer is protected from this particular threat: 

  • Update your computer software. We’ve already established that software weakness is often a vector of attack for worms, so be sure to update your device when you get the notification that updates are available. Operating systems and applications are always updated to the latest version of the program and any security flaws are fixed. 
  • Hackers and cybercriminals often use phishing scams to spread worms, so be cautious when receiving emails from unknown sources, especially if they contain links or attachments because when clicked on, they may download a worm to your device. 
  • Make sure you invest in good internet security software that will help block these kinds of threats. You should be sure this includes anti-phishing software, virus protection, and spyware and ransomware detection (just to name a few). 
  • Use firewalls to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic. The purpose is to create an obstacle between internal and external networks in order to protect your device from cyber threats. 
  • Back up your important files. That way if a worm deletes them, you can retrieve them. 

What can Securiwiser do to help? 

Securiwiser protects your business against the ever-evolving cyber threats by providing continuous monitoring of all your assets. Click here to get your free cybersecurity report.

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