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Computer Worms November 11, 2013

Posted by cgreigmu06 in Security.

Worms and virus are an inherent risk in today’s world of computers.  Every device from desktop PCs to small handheld devices can be infected with malice computer code that can cause harm to individuals and or major corporations.  Malice code has been around for many years, which can be introduce to systems through disgruntle employees, inexperience code writers, someone looking to cause harm or just the nature of things.  Worms are a major type of malice code that has continued to grow in popularity since being introduced in the 80’s [1].  Each year worms are getting more and more sophisticated that are unleashed on unexpecting users [2].  Worms do not appear to be decreasing in how they are used to harm, below are some additional step to take in preventing worms on a computer system.

In today’s environment there are many ways to prevent worms and most of them require vigilance from the users.  The forms of protection can be as small as deletion of an email to full scale state of the art virus protection programs which are manned 24/7.

  1. Email Deletion:  This is the first and most critical prevention step is to make sure what you as a user are clicking on the correct link being it an email link to a website link.  Email links that are from unknown users should be ignored and deleted.  If you are certain of the sender, but still not sure if the link is safe simply highlighting over the link it may provide you with the actual location of that said link.  If it does not agree with what is in the email it is a good sign that it could be some type of malice code.  Also the source code of a website may tell the user where the real link is pointing.  With this information you can use your knowledge on how to move forward.
  2. Firewall:  Most worm attacks occur on network vulnerabilities, having a good firewall will help to prevent a lot of attacks.  Without a firewall the worm can have free rein on your system and can multiply causing harm to your system leading to a potential loss of personal information.
  3. Patch Updates:  Having the latest patch updates insures that your system is up to date and any known vulnerabilities are fixed/patched.  Patches are one why to prevent worms by make the system stronger once efficiencies are found.
  4. Virus Protection:  Is a very critical stage in protection against worms.  Virus protection programs can be ones that are purchased or can be downloaded free from many reparable sources.  This step defense provides another layer of protection that can greatly help the user in prevention against unwanted attacks.  If an issue is found the virus protection program either deletes the file or puts it into a quarantine location that can be deleted later. [3]

Overall, the best from of protection against worms is up to date software/hardware and continuing education on how to protect yourself from the various threads that are out there today.  With the more research that we have on the creation of worms the more likely we will be able to stop the next one from effecting large amount of users.


[1] Eugene H. Spafford. 1989. The internet worm program: an analysis. SIGCOMM Comput. Commun. Rev. 19, 1 (January 1989), 17-57. DOI=10.1145/66093.66095 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/66093.66095

[2] Brain, Marshall and Wesley Fenlon. “How Computer Viruses Work.” howstuffworks.  Available online:  http://computer.howstuffworks.com/virus5.htm

[3] Wikipedia.  Available online:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_worm



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