Worms are a type of self-replicating computer virus that are similar to viruses in design and are considered to be a sub-class of virus. However, unlike viruses, they possess the capability to travel from one computer to the other without any human action. Their unaided travel is the result of the worms taking advantage of file or information transport features on your system.
The biggest threat posed by a worm is that it has the capability to replicate itself on your computer. Therefore, rather than your system sending out a single worm, the worm could create a huge devastating effect by sending out thousands of copies of itself. For instance, worms send out copies of themselves to all the contacts in your email address book; then it replicates and sends itself out to all the contacts listed in each of the receivers’ address books, and continues so forth.
Due to their self replicating nature coupled with the ability to travel across networks, a worm can consume a lot of system memory (or network bandwidth), thereby causing network servers, web servers and individual PCs to stop responding. For instance, the notorious Blaster worm is designed to tunnel into your system and allow remote malicious users to access and control your computer.
Infected websites, attachments and file-sharing networks are common modes of connected transport for computer worms. Because these worms exploit vulnerabilities, staying on top of security updates and patches is essential. In addition to a precautionary firewall, experts highly recommend using SpyHunter; extremely effective anti-virus software that is specifically designed to identify and remove such malicious viruses.
How To Tell If My Computer Has Been Infected:
Given below is a list of symptoms signifying that your computer may have been infected by worms:
- Slower-than-usual system performance
- You system freezes/crashes often or stops responding completely.
- Irregular web browser performance
- Programs automatically start opening and running
- Automatic restarts and failure to run normally.
- Your computer behaves unusually (images, messages, sounds etc.)
- Strange or unintended files or icons start appearing on your desktop.
- Regular firewall warnings
- Some of your files are missing and/or modified.
- You are unable to access disks or disk drives
- You are unable to print correctly
- Distorted menus and dialog boxes
- Operating system errors and system error messages
Although other issues might be causing these symptoms, the appearance of multiple symptoms or repeated occurrence of these symptoms is a clear indication that your system has been infected with worms.
Manual removal of Computer Worms
Before you remove a worm from your computer, there are several steps you need to take:
- Disconnect from the internet and any LAN networks before taking any action.
- Download any updates or programs on a non-infected computer and then use an external device to install them onto the infected machine.
Once your computer is disconnected, ensure that your PC’s operating system is up-to-date and current patches are installed for all software and applications. Scan your computer with powerful real time antivirus software; if there are any worms or other malware on your computer, it will immediately detect and remove them completely from your PC by deleting or cleaning the infected files.