Computer worms are a form of malware that operates by spreading copies of itself from one device to another. A worm has the capacity to replicate itself without requiring human interaction. Additionally, it does not have to attach itself to an application or software program to cause damage. In this blog, we’ll take a deep dive into this insidious strain of malware.

How exactly do worms work?

Computer worms are typically transmitted through vulnerabilities in software. However, they can also arrive in the form of attachments included with instant messages (IMs) or spam emails. Once they have been opened, these harmful files can provide a link directing users to a bogus website or instantly download the worm. After installation, the worm silently starts to work and infects the device without its user’s knowledge.

This type of malware can alter and destroy data files, and can even inject further malicious software onto a device. In some cases, the purpose of a computer worm is just to duplicate itself repeatedly and, in the process, drain a system’s available resources. By overloading a network that is shared, it can use up bandwidth or occupy space on a hard drive. Along with causing havoc and disrupting system processes, worms are also used to install backdoors, steal data, and enable threat operators to take control of a computer and its dedicated system settings.

How can you detect if your computer is infected with a worm?

Users who suspect that their device has become infected by a computer worm should immediately run a comprehensive virus scan. Regardless of whether the scan reports negative activity, users should remain proactive.

They should watch their hard drive space. Worms repeatedly replicating themselves will begin to use up a drive’s free space.

Additionally, performance and speed should be monitored. Signs of a worm include sluggish computers, with programs that run ineffectively or crash due to lack of processing power.
Finally, users should keep an eye out for any new or missing data files. Among their many malicious functions, worms delete files on computers and replace them with others.

Protecting your employees from malicious software attacks

Anti-virus and anti-malware are both essential options to detect and defend against attacks. Companies should also ensure that all software is updated as soon as possible to protect against vulnerabilities.

At Galaxkey, we have developed a secure workspace to provide a safe working environment for staff, whether they are working at the office or at home, and whether on company devices or personal computers. Our secure workspace never saves passwords where they can be collected by cybercriminals, and no backdoors exist in our system for hackers to exploit.

Our system also offers enterprise professionals a suite of useful security tools to protect their data and validate those users from whom they receive communications and documents. All data files are immediately scanned for viruses and infections before upload and opening.

If you’re ready to enhance your information security processes, contact us today to book a free 14-day trial.