Computer viruses and worms exist for one agenda to sabotage your computer. Computer viruses are malicious code programs that infect computers, while computer worms are a type of virus designed to replicate and spread across networks. Both viruses and worms can cause a plethora of issues on your computer, from slowing down operation to disabling your device entirely.

Computer worms and computer viruses are two different forms of malware that can both damage a computer system. This article will compare and contrast a computer worm vs. a computer virus in terms of origin, behavior, and defense systems. By the end of the article, you should have a better idea of what to look out for when it comes to identifying if your system is infected with either form of malware..

The term “computer virus” is often used by the layman when in reality what they really mean to say is “computer worm.”

So, what is the difference?


Malware is a huge cybersecurity issue. From ransomware to botnets, there are many forms of malware that can infect computers and smartphones. It all depends on what a malicious hacker is trying to accomplish with their worm or virus. This article will be a comprehensive breakdown of the differences between a computer worm and a virus, as well as how to use them within a computing system. 

The computer worm is a type of malware that typically has the ability to replicate itself. Unlike computer viruses, worms do not require any user interaction to infect a host. Worms are known to spread through networks on their own, meaning they are self-contained processes that spread automatically with little human involvement. A computer worm is a type of malicious software that spreads to other computers in an electronic network while a computer virus waits for a trigger event to spread.

What Is a Computer Worm?

A worm is a type of malicious software (malware) that replicates itself. This means the computer worm virus scans for vulnerabilities in network functions and exploits them, enabling it to spread rapidly without human interaction. The malware requires no user input all it does is scan for vulnerabilities and then spread once one has been found. Computer worms are destructive and often self-replicating software components that spread over a network.

A computer worm is a standalone malware program that spreads automatically from one computer to the next, propagating itself. It does not need human intervention in order to propagate successfully. Some of the most famous worms are CodeRed, Blaster, and the SQL Slammer worm. They infect computers by exploiting security holes or taking advantage of certain types of vulnerabilities that let them find their way into systems without the authorization of the users.

What Is a Computer Virus?

Computer viruses are self-replicating, using several different methods to replicate themselves. The virus’ method of spreading is determined by where the virus lies dormant until activated by human command. After activation, the virus continues dynamically infecting files until it encounters an end to its commands or self-destructs because of its mutations. The term Virus is rather confusing and might not even sound smart. Computer experts and consumers themselves do not know, really, what a virus is and does. However, it is important to comprehend the function of a virus in order to guard your systems against it.

Computer Worm vs. Virus 

Computer worms and computer viruses are both malicious software programs that use the resources of a computer to duplicate themselves. Computer worms replicate without any purpose except to spread. Computer viruses replicate in order to damage your hardware or steal your information. But what sets computer worms apart from all other forms of malware is their ability to duplicate themselves using other vulnerabilities within your system, regardless of whether or not you�re doing anything. Computer worms and computer viruses can both wreak havoc on a computer system. However, the main difference between the two is how they spread from computer repair services.

How Do Viruses and Worms Spread?

Viruses and worms spread through internet explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. They spread through emails and attachments. They can also spread through downloads, external links through instant messaging. Using clearly defined straight talk, this book teaches kids about the ways in which viruses and worms spread. By understanding how to protect themselves, they can take control of their virtual identities and be safe. From phishing emails and attachments to SMS messaging and shared networks, this book is an essential tool for keeping kids safe online.

An Example of a Virus

When the virus started, it was not detected as a virus by antivirus programs.  Because of this, people around the world started receiving emails from friends and family telling them they loved them. In addition to telling people they loved them, the email also attached a file. If you opened it, the program would tell you that you had 72 hours to open other documents to spread the virus or 72 hours to receive a key or password. The 72-hour countdown was a lie and there was no key. Sometimes the first email received had a small attachment, and other times a larger one would be attached. This virus-infected computers, email accounts, and entire networks all over the world. It became the fastest-spreading virus of all time, infecting almost one out of every two computers in Southeast Asia within ten hours. Instead of deleting files like other viruses, ILOVEYOU attached itself to messages and sent copies to everyone listed in the address book of the infected computer.

Sometimes computing terms are necessary to create a connection with the reader. The ILOVEYOU virus, one of the most destructive viruses of all time, caused an estimated $15 billion in damage.

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An Example of a Worm

The Code Red worm (also known as the CIH worm) was a computer worm that attacked Microsoft IIS servers in July 2001. The worm used an unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft IIS 4.0, causing it to become unresponsive or, in some cases, shut down.[1] When this happened, the server could not be accessed by other clients, which made it difficult to repair. 

Code Red was a computer worm that affected many operating systems, including Solaris, Windows NT, and Windows 95. It also infected IIS servers hosted at major companies such as CNN, Dell, and Intel. The worm was designed to exploit a buffer overflow vulnerability in one of the IIS components.

 Altogether, Code Red caused $2 billion in damage and affected 25 percent of servers at the time. 

Also Read : 7 Ways Coronavirus Has Changed How We Think About IT Security

Preventing Computer Viruses and Worms

If you’re concerned about viruses and malicious software, it is important to take precautions that protect your computer. A good place to start is by installing antivirus software and firewalls (an application that can block or control network traffic in both directions).  These tools are not infallible, by any means; they can be circumvented. But they will lessen the amount of damage done in the event of an attack. You’re an IT expert, you have admin rights for everything on your network. But don’t you wish you had eyes everywhere? Well, now you do. The retina can be placed anywhere on your network and look for threats before they even happen. The retina will set reminders to update your software for patches. The retina can run routine analytics to detect infiltration. The retina can set up alerts to notify you if there’s a problem.

If you are on the internet then you are always at risk of damage from malware of all kinds. When surfing the web, always keep in mind that you are entering into a danger zone where attacks are possible. Be observant of any malicious content that may enter your system, even if you are only visiting reputable sites.