We have all encountered terms like virus, warms, spyware etc many many times in the internet “jungle” without actually distinguishing between them. In this post I will try to define and compare all these malware threats that flow around the computer and internet worlds.
- Virus: A virus is a malware program that is loaded on your computer without your knowledge, with the intent of doing some damage to your system. It normally attaches itself to another program or data file in order to spread and reproduce itself in other areas of the computer without the knowledge of the user. Normally a virus enters your computer through a spam email which has attachments (pictures or files) or by downloading infected programs from malicious sites. A virus can damage files or cause your computer to behave strangely.
- Warm: Warms are memory-resident malware threats that can spread across networks by exploiting possible Vulnerabilities in the TCP/IP stack implementation of the OS and/or specific applications. They load themselves into the memory of a remote system and then execute themselves … all without ever being written to a disk. A warm therefore can live on its own and propagate by copying itself from one computer to another. Worms can harm a network, can consume tremendous bandwidth, and can shut a computer down.
- The difference between viruses and worms is that a virus cannot replicate itself like a worm, and it usually affects the computer it has invaded. A worm acts autonomously, and uses a computer network in order to multiply itself and to send copies of itself to other systems. A virus needs a user action (e.g download of infected file, run a program etc) in order to propagate and spread itself. [Read more…]