Computer worms were the second kind of malware that were developed. At the beginning, like virus, they were not designed to malicious. One of them, called “Morris”, was designed to determine how large the Internet was (1988) but due to poor programmation ended damaging infrastructures. Some of them stay in mind like the infamous ILOVEYOU worm that destroyed the content of the infected computer and the petty Sasser worm that rebooted computers randomly.
How do they work ?
Computers worms are designed to leverage vulnerabilities that allow them to gain control over a device then scan the network for other vulnerable devices and so one. It’s quite difficult to remove a worm infection because, unless the vulnerability it uses to propagate is fixed beforehand, the worm will likely works its way back in no time.
Security in programming has become much drastic, leading to less vulnerabilities left unpatched or exploitable. However, sometime a new worm is created and it usually makes headlines. Indeed, many devices (computers, but also connected objects) are now connected to the Internet and when a new worm hits, a huge botnet can be created in a very small time frame.
In the wild
One of the most recent (May 2017) worm and the most famous one is WannaCry. All computers systems running from Windows XP to Windows 10 were vulnerable and it’s estimated that over 300,000 computers were infected in a time lapse of only four days.
It’s payload was a ransomware and it’s believed that the authors were paid around $150,000,000 by the victims.
How to remove a worm ?
As stated before, worms method of propagation rely on software vulnerabilities. By keeping your system and your application updated, you greatly minimize the risk of being targeted by a computer worm. Adlice UCheck can help with you, fetching and always installing the latest versions of your software.