Difference between worm and virus
Worm vs virus:
There exists many information systems in the world powered by the latest technology of computing and these systems in turn are deemed as quite essential in leading the day to day activities of the modern world. However, these computer systems are quite delicate things which can be subjected to various malfunctions caused by various malware which may cause harm to the system. There are many types of such malware existing in the world of which virus and worms and two of the most notorious ones. However, most of the time, the difference between a virus and a worm are not properly distinguished and as a result, one is seen to be remedying the adverse effects of a worm, assuming the culprit is a virus which happens due to the very common confusion between virus and worms.
What is a worm?
A worm is a type of a virus which does not need human interference to spread. A worm is well capable of seeking out the contact lists, figuring out how they can be contacted (email, messenger, social networks and etc) and infecting their systems as well without any help. A worm is known to use computer networks to replicate itself. It searches for servers with security holes and copies itself there. It then begins the search and replication process and continues to do so. Therefore, a worm is considered as self-propagating and is known to make copies of itself and sending them to each and every contact in the email address book. A worm also uses up a large amount of the system memory and severely crunches computing resources, allowing its maker and other users to control the computer as well. A worm that has been much talked about lately is the Blaster Worm which has been designed to tunnel into your system and allow malicious users to control a computer remotely.
What is a virus?
A virus is capable of attaching itself to a certain program or a file on the computer and spreading itself across various computers and various programs as a result. Another computer can be infected with the same virus if a virus infected file has been copied to that healthy computer. Computer viruses do not always cause the same amount of trouble every time as their severity can differ from one virus to another. While some may hinder the functioning of the computer, others may harm hardware, software or certain files in the computer. Viruses are always attached to an executable program which indicates that a virus cannot affect the computer unless the file that contains the virus has been opened. Once infected, the virus can spread unconsciously through files, emails or sharing of certain items which have been infected with the virus.
What is the difference between virus and worm?
In the world of information technology, ‘virus’ has become a blanket term for all sorts of unauthorized malicious software which create havoc within information systems. However, there are rather powerful distinctions between the various malware which exist in the world today. A virus gains its name due to its behavior which imitates the behavior of a virus which infects a human being. It is quite capable of attaching itself to files and infecting any file or system that it comes in to contact with it, thus moving about from file to file and computer to computer. However, a worm does not need to or are not attached to files. Therefore, it can move around much faster and spread itself much rapidly than a virus as well. Also, unlike a virus which needs the user to execute the program, worms as standalone programs do not need a user to activate it. It is very well capable of seeking out the weak points of the system by itself, using such applications to replicate itself. Therefore, in that sense, worms are much more dangerous than viruses.
For example, when it comes to removable drives such as a flash drive which contains text files, a virus is not able to infect any files there. However, a worm is well capable of copying itself to the flash drive, wait until it has been plugged on to another computer and copy itself there and thus begin its destruction process.
However, because of the fact that worms are not attached to any files or programs, it is often easy to isolate these worms and deleted. And yet, these worms are wise enough to masquerade as a dll or a system file in order to avoid detection which makes it difficult to spot them.
The destruction caused by both worms and viruses vary. While some viruses may corrupt or modify files, worms tend to take up a lot of disk space and slow down the network bandwidth as well because of their ability of replicating themselves rapidly. Some viruses and worms can be destructive by deleting and eating away at data, to the point of rendering the computer useless and unresponsive until it gets reformatted.