Worm Virus Definition

KZero Staff
Oct 19, 2023

A worm virus is a virus that self-replicates itself and spreads to other computers. Worm viruses exploit security vulnerabilities and deceive users into interacting with infected email attachments and malicious websites. Upon infecting a computer, the worm virus may wreak havoc by slowing it down, corrupting files, launching denial-of-service attacks, and putting data at risk for theft.

Examples of a Worm Virus

Some of the more known worm viruses include:

  • WannaCry – In 2017, WannaCry exploited a Microsoft Windows operating system vulnerability to spread and infect over 200,000 computers in over 150 countries.
  • ILOVEYOU – In 2000, ILOVEYOU spread through email attachments and infected millions of computers worldwide, causing an estimated $10 billion in damage.
  • Code Red – In 2001, Code Red exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft IIS web servers to spread and infect over 360,000 web servers in its first 11 hours.

How to Protect Yourself from a Worm Virus

As noted, a worm virus can be very destructive since it can wreak havoc and replicate itself without human interaction. However, below are some ways in which you can protect yourself from a worm virus:

  • Update software – Keep your web browser and operating system up to date, as this protects your data and network against known cyber vulnerabilities.
  • Exert caution – Be weary of suspicious links, images, URLs, or websites because they can contain malware.
  • Protect yourself – Use a security solution, including web filtering and virus protection, that prevents malicious activity from infecting your computer and a firewall.
  • Data backups – Backing up your data may help you restore your data if your computer becomes infected.
  • Be informed – Stay updated with the latest cyberattacks so you can recognize and avoid them.
KZero Staff

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