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The worm is a standalone malicious program which spreads from computer to computer, but unlike a virus, it has the capability to travel without any human action. A worm takes advantage of file or information transport features on the system, which is what allows it to travel unaided. Often, it uses a computer network to spread itself, relying on security failures on the target computer to access it.

Difference between Worms and Viruses


  • A virus is a program that replicates, i.e. it spreads from file to file on your system

  • It may be programmed to erase or damage data.

  • A virus is a set of code which adds itself to existing files.


  • A worm is a malicious program that originates on a single computer and searches for other computers connected through a local area network or Internet Connection.

  • When a worm finds another computer, it replicates itself onto that computer and continues to look for other connected computers on which to replicate.

  • A worm continues to attempt to replicate itself indefinitely or until a self-timing mechanism halts the process.

  • It does not infect other files.

  • A worm code is a stand-alone code. In other words, a worm is a separate file.

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