What is a computer worm? How it works and it's types

What is a computer worm? How it works and it’s types


In this post, you will learn what is a computer worm and how exactly a computer worm works. In addition, you will learn some common types of computer worms.

What is a computer worm?

A Computer worm is a type of Malware, which is created by cybercriminals to harm a user computer. Computer worm stands for “Write Once, Read Many”. A Computer worm can duplicate itself and can spread to connected devices. These computer worms don’t need any human’s interaction to execute.

These computer worms don’t need any host program to cause the damage.

Now, You may ask what is the difference between Virus and Worms?

Worms and computer virus are not same

Well, your question is great, “A virus needs a host program whereas the worms doesn’t need any host program. In simple words, A virus needs to be attached to a file or software to cause damage to a user, But worms don’t need to be attached to software or file to cause damage”

How does a computer worm works

Let’s see how the Worm enters into a computer, I mentioned three possible ways a worm can enter;

  1. Spam mails
  2. Unknown social media DM’s, Once you open the message the worms silently does the work. Which means the worms start to download without the user knowledge.
  3. System Vulnerabilities.

Once the worm enters a device, it silently starts to infect the user’s device. It starts to replicate itself and starts to slow down the device. The worm may replace or modify or delete your files and in some cases, the worm creates a backdoor so, there will be a backdoor attack.

These worms can also carry other payloads. In other words, these worms can carry other malware.

Types of worms

There are five common types of computer worms, they are;

  1. E-Mail worm
  2. Instant messaging worm
  3. File sharing worm
  4. Internet worms
  5. P2P(peer to peer) worms

E-mail worm – This is a type of computer worms whose primary target is E-mails. Once the worms enter into a device, takes over e-mails as Administrator and starts to send spam emails to unknown users or existing users on the device.

Instant messaging worm – This kind of computer worms spread through social media DMs. This is a fast method and while the user receives text messages and asks them to click on the link and it will redirect to malware injected sites.

File sharing worm – From the name, you could understand this type of worm can spread through transferring files.

Internet worms – Internet worms spread because of system vulnerability. Once the worm enters, it scans for any other vulnerability and starts to replicate and silently does the attack.

P2P (peer to peer) worms – when a system and another connects life, then the sharing of worms will be from system to system through live internet.

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