Types of Computer Worms and How to Prevent Them

There are more than a million types of computer worms, and each one is designed to accomplish a particular task. Some have been isolated, while others have been detected by antivirus software. Regardless, new ones are constantly being created, and you never know when one will make its way onto your system. Read on to learn about the different types of computer worms and how to prevent them. Listed below are some of the most common types.


The ILOVEYOU computer worm is a remarkably malicious virus that spread through e-mail messages. This virus was first detected in the Philippines, but quickly spread globally. Its malicious code is designed to randomly overwrite files on victims' computers and spread via e-mails, which include Microsoft Outlook and the contacts in the victim's address book. The ILOVEYOU computer worm has caused multimillion-dollar losses around the world.

The ILOVEYOU worm spreads by email attachments, and it is particularly susceptible to Microsoft Outlook. It can also spread via IRC chat, which makes it an especially dangerous threat. This worm is characterized by its ability to overwrite existing VBS files. Initially, the worm's developer hoped to steal passwords from users, but it quickly turned into a serious computer worm that destroyed many businesses and personal files.

The ILOVEYOU computer worm has a range of symptoms. The worm will first gain access to your computer and then begin copying itself. Once inside, it will continue to replicate, spy, and eat up HDD space. Once it has infected a device, it can communicate with the hacker's headquarters in the cloud. Besides spreading through email, a computer worm can also attack your operating system by exploiting vulnerabilities in apps.


Mydoom is a worm that infects the Windows operating system. It has also been known as Novarg, Mimail.R, and Shimgapi. This computer worm first appeared on January 26, 2004. As of February 2010, it has spread to more than one billion computers worldwide. Mydoom has already made its way into more than one million computers and has prompted many users to take precautions to protect their machines.

MyDoom was first detected on January 28, 2004 at around 8am Eastern Standard Time (1300 UTC). The virus's first reported victims were in Russia. It spread quickly - within four hours of detection, it had already affected almost half the world's computers. It is estimated that one out of every five emails sent or received during this time was infected by MyDoom. This virus is not particularly difficult to detect as its spread rate is similar to the "Sobig" virus from last year.

MyDoom is distributed through email attachments. When a recipient opens an infected e-mail attachment, the worm will re-send the virus to another user. It also copies itself in a network called KaZaA, which is a peer-to-peer file sharing service. Infected users may also receive emails from infected individuals without realizing it.

SQL Slammer

The SQL Slammer computer worm was discovered in 2002 by security researcher David Litchfield. He responsibly developed methods to bypass the SQL Server's protection mechanisms. He reported the flaw to Microsoft, and the company responded by developing a patch. Litchfield then warned the public of a buffer overflow vulnerability in SQL Server 2000. Without the patch, people were at risk of being infected with the worm.

The worm exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft SQL servers, specifically the SQL Server Resolution Service port 1434. It uses a 376-byte packet to compromise a SQL server. The worm is fileless and lives only in memory. It continuously scans the Internet for vulnerable MS SQL servers. Because it scans so aggressively, it overloaded many networks on January 25, 2003, slowing Internet traffic.

Since Slammer is memory-resident, most anti-virus software will fail to detect it. The worm also uses a time-honored programmer trick to find computers. The worm then uses the number of milliseconds on the CPU's system clock to find its target. Then it uses this information to point to its own code. The infected computer writes out a new version of itself, and licks the UDP stamp.

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