A worm is a malicious software that requires no human intervention to be triggered, is self-replicating, and spreads through devices using a network. Its main goal is to remain on the system for as long as possible, while spreading to as many devices as possible.
Traits of a Worm
- Replicating itself.
- Remaining invisible. The infected device often won’t show symptoms until the worm has drastically compromised the system.
- Spreading without user interaction. Worms can spread through shared networks, emails, and even USB drives.
- Causing crashes. The infected operating system or programs will freeze, shut down, or glitch.
- Consuming bandwidth on your network. Unexplained, large amounts of bandwidth will be used up by the virus attempting to spread throughout the network.
Types of Worms
- Hybrid virus/worm – combines traits of both Malware types.
- Bot worm – remotely connects the attacker to use the infected device to spread to other computers.
- Instant Messaging/Email worm – exposes contact lists for the worm to spread. These can be engineered to open malicious attachments without clicking on them.
Ethical worm – delivers patches for known security vulnerabilities, and isn’t actually malicious in nature. Although, it is still entering your device without permission.
How to Avoid a Worm Infection
- Do run a routine FixMeStick scan.
- Do consistently update your operating system, antivirus software, and FixMeStick.
- Do use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), a firewall, and secure network connections.
- Don’t open email attachments from unknown senders or strange emails.
- Don’t click on pop-ups.
- Don’t visit suspicious websites.