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Thread: Worms and Virii

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Question Worms and Virii

    Hey guys,

    Call me green behind the ears (if you do, you have good reason) but what is, if there is, the difference between virii and worms?

    \"I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.\" - Voltairé

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Memphis, TN

    Viruses are computer programs that are designed to spread themselves from one file to another on a single
    computer. A virus might rapidly infect every application file on an individual computer, or slowly infect
    the documents on that computer, but it does not intentionally try to spread itself from that computer to other
    computers. In most cases, that's where humans come in. We send e-mail document attachments, trade
    programs on diskettes, or copy files to file servers. When the next unsuspecting user receives the infected
    file or disk, they spread the virus to their computer, and so on. Worms, on the other hand, are insidious
    because they rely less (or not at all) upon human behavior in order to spread themselves from one computer
    to others. The computer worm is a program that is designed to copy itself from one computer to
    another over a network (e.g. by using e-mail). The worm spreads itself to many computers over a network,
    and doesn't wait for a human being to help. This means that computer worms spread much more rapidly
    than computer viruses.
    Source http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/ref...m.vs.virus.pdf

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Hi there,

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  4. #4
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    I think that the issue is now rather blurred, as "malware" often shows the characteristics of more than one typeset?

    As I look at it, a virus must be able to INFECT, this makes it different from a "nuke" or "vandal", which are generally single, direct attacks, that trash the target, so they cannot infect or spread, it is a sort of self-destruct scenario for the last two?. A "worm" just travels, but does not "INFECT"

    A "worm" needs a network or internet to spread, and will do so automatically.

    A virus does not always infect files. They are rare these days, but the early viruses tended to infect the boot sectors of machines and magnetic media (floppies usually). When a floppy was inserted into an infected machine, the virus would copy itself to the boot sector. If the floppy was then inserted into another machine it would infect the boot sector of that machine, and so on. Because networks were rare, this was the easiest way to spread them. Then came the file infectors, that relied on people moving the file from one machine to another either on media or via a network/internet

    I think that a "worm" has to be "network aware"?....and sort of do its own thing. There are "macro viruses" that infect Word, Excel and Powerpoint files, that will then spread if they are transmitted in any way, but this requires HUMAN INTERVENTION?

    So there are viral worms I suppose? (network aware + infector)

    Sorry to add to the confusion

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