What is a computer worm?
A worm is a kind of malware (malicious software) that functions as a self-contained program and can move and copy itself from computer to computer.
It is the ability to operate autonomously, with no need for a server file or to hijack code on the server computer, that distinguishes worms from other types of malware.
As TechTarget puts it, “worms often use parts of an operating system that are automatic and invisible to the consumer,” which will make them both very tricky to detect and especially dangerous. They generally target pre-existing vulnerabilities in the operating system of the computers they try to infect. A number of the most widespread and damaging forms of malware have been worms.
Is a worm a virus?
Worm vs Virus – You may often detect expression virus used in a standard way to refer to any kind of malware, but that’s strictly speaking not right. The title worm is supposed to indicate that a computer worm is a step up on the ladder of life from a virus.
Like a real-life pig, it might be a particularly small and gross life type in its own ecosystem, but it contains within itself all the performance it requires to make copies of itself and proceed across the environment.
Worm vs Trojan – A trojan can be distinct in the Trojan, the third Sort of malware, which needs to deceive consumers into launching a program in order to operate; after a worm has installed itself on your computer, it does not need your help to do exactly what it plans to do.
These distinctions are important if you would like to stay strictly right, and we’ll aim to use all three names properly here and everywhere on CSO. But be aware that lots of men and women utilize viruses in an exceedingly broad sense, and that means you may see worms known as viruses, or even as “parasitic virus”.
How do worms work?
Computer worms use some of the strangest and most dangerous vulnerabilities in a victim’s computer. Whereas a Trojan uses social engineering techniques fool you into activating it, and a virus exploits holes in program code to piggyback a ride, a pig finds seams in the computer’s operating system which lets it install and create copies of itself. So as to spread itself further, it will then follow holes in media and file transfer protocols.
As The Way To Rip explains, this may be a double-edged sword for cybercriminals that wish to use worms to do their dirty work. But once NotPetya was installed on the computers of M.E.Doc users, it started, like all rats, to replicate and find new victims on its own accord.
Once installed on a computer, it took inventory of all of the other computers its prey had interacted with before and figured out how to link. It spread from computer to computer within networks by taking advantage of EternalBlue and EternalRomance, two broadcasts developed by the NSA and stolen by unknown hackers.
EternalBlue and EternalRomance broke Microsoft networking security protocols, and while Microsoft had upgraded its OSes to spot the hole long before 2017, many systems hadn’t been upgraded.