A worm is a type of malicious computer program which works in the same way as a virus. Unlike a computer virus which attaches itself to other files on the host computer a has the ability to replicate itself across the network.
While viruses generally spread to a single host they are generally isolated to a single infected machine and spread via infected files been sent or removable devices such as CD’s, DVD’s and USB drives.
A computer worm often acts as a carrier for other malware such as Trojans, backdoors or exploits to steal information or cause damage to a corporate network.
These programs also cause disruption often by using large amounts of bandwidth and slowing down the target network as it spreads from devices.
Protecting against worms
The best way to protect yourself against this type of malware is to ensure you keep your operating system up-to-date as well as other key programs like browsers, plugins and antivirus/security software.
This type of threat usually works by exploiting vulnerabilities in unpatched software so keeping up-to-date is always important.
Lastly minimizing the public exposure of your internal network can help reduce the risk of been targeted by a worm as well as running regular malware scans on your system.