A standalone malicious program which uses computer or network resources to make complete copies of itself. May include code or other malware to damage both the system and the network.
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A worm is a parasitic program capable of replicating itself by sending copies of itself to new hosts (computers, servers, mobile devices, etc) over a network and other transferable media.
At one time, worms were considered more of a nuisance than a threat, but today it has become increasingly common among malware authors to create malicious, complex worms that can perform malicious activities such as data-stealing or launching Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. Worms may now also be used to deliver other viruses or trojans.
There are numerous worm sub-types, which are defined by the platform or medium in which they propagate:
- An Email-Worm will spread copies of itself using e-mail messages
- An IRC-Worm spreads through Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels
- An SMS-Worm multiplies using the Short Message System (SMS) of telecommunications networks.
For more information about worms, see Terminology: Worm.