Difference Between Computer Viruses & Worms: What's Similar?

In summary, a computer virus is a code fragment that attaches itself to an existing program, while a worm is a self-contained program that can spread autonomously over a network. Other similar entities to viruses and worms include trojan horses and logic bombs, all falling under the category of "malicious code".
  • #1
thomate1
1,346
0
What is the diffrence between a computer virus and a worm
Is there anything more similar to them?
 
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  • #2
A worm is a kind of virus. It spreads through the Internet.
 
  • #3
thomate1 said:
What is the diffrence between a computer virus and a worm
Is there anything more similar to them?

By definition, a virus attaches itself to an existing program and becomes part of its code (there are variations on the theme like boot sector viruses). It spreads from program to program (or disk to disk, in the case of boot sector infectors). A virus is not a self-contained program, it is a code fragment that "parasitises" a host program or reserved disk region.

A worm is a self-contained replicating program that can send itself autonomously out over a network. It does not depend on other executable programs for its spread.

At least, this is the way I understand it. There are other entities like trojan horses and logic bombs. Neither of these entities is self-replicating (although certain virii and worms have trojan-like code) but all 4 entities come under the heading of "malicious code".
 
  • #4
Curious3141 said:
"malicious code".
...or malware.

There's a comprehensive and also entertaining free e-book by Mark Ludwig on malware, http://www.iirg.net/The_little_black_of_computer_virus.pdf , "The little black book of computer viruses".
 
Last edited by a moderator:

What is the difference between a computer virus and a worm?

A computer virus is a malicious program that attaches itself to a legitimate program and spreads by infecting other files. It requires human action, such as downloading an infected file, to spread. On the other hand, a worm is a standalone program that can self-replicate and spread through computer networks without human intervention.

Do computer viruses and worms have similar methods of spreading?

No, computer viruses and worms use different methods of spreading. As mentioned, viruses require human action to spread, while worms can spread on their own through computer networks and email.

What are the common characteristics of computer viruses and worms?

Both viruses and worms are malicious programs designed to harm computers and steal sensitive information. They can also both cause damage to data and slow down computer performance.

Can computer viruses and worms be prevented?

Yes, computer viruses and worms can be prevented by using antivirus software and keeping it updated. It is also important to be cautious when downloading files from unknown sources and to regularly backup important data.

What should I do if my computer is infected with a virus or worm?

If you suspect that your computer is infected with a virus or worm, you should immediately disconnect it from the internet and run a full system scan with antivirus software. If the infection is severe, you may need to seek professional help to remove it.

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