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Difference Between Virus and Worms

Main Difference

The main difference between Virus and Worms is that virus is a computer problem that needs a human source to spread, whereas Worms are the computer problems that spread via a network without human help.

Virus vs. Worms

A virus is a computer program that attaches itself with a file and then transfers from computer to computer and corrupts the user data. On the other side, a worm is a malicious program that is able to replicate and transfer from one computer to another through the network and corrupts the user data. A virus transfers from computer to computer slowly. On the flip side, a worm transfers fastly.

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A virus requires a host to spread from computer to computer. So, it needs a human action to complete its transfer or spread from one system to another. On the flip side, a worm does not need a host or human action to transfer; it can spread itself via a network. The virus causes a problem by corrupting the files or erasing the data from the computer of the user. On the other hand, the worm is a type of problem that uses the resources of the system and slows down its activity. It may fully close the system.

There is antivirus software present to save a system from viruses. On the other side, a worm may be avoided by using antivirus software or firewall, etc. It transfers through open ports. So, make sure that all the useless open ports are closed. So, a virus can be removed from a system by using antivirus software or by formatting. On the flip side, a worm can be removed by using any virus removing software and by formatting.

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A virus may also collect information from the system to send it to the hacker. On the other side, a worm may send the collected information to the hacker as well as other infected computers.

Comparison Chart

VirusWorms
A computer program that attaches itself with a file and then transfers from computer to computer and corrupts the user data is known as a virus.Malicious programs that are able to replicate and transfer from one computer to another through the network and corrupts the user data are known as worms.
Speed of Transfer
It transfers from one computer to another slowly.Worms are transferred with great speed.
Requirement of Host
It requires a host for spreading from computer to computer.A worm does not need a host.
Human Action
It needs a human action to complete its transfer.It does not need human action to transfer.
Effects
It causes a problem by corrupting the files or erasing the data from the computer of the user.It uses the resources of the system, slows down its activity, and may fully close the system.
Protection of System
Antivirus software can be used to save a system from viruses.It may be avoided by using antivirus software or firewall etc. and by closing the useless ports.
Removal of Problem
It can be removed from a system by using antivirus or by formatting.A worm can be removed by using any virus removing software and by formatting.
Sending of Information
It can gather information from the system to send to the hacker.It may send information to the hacker as well as other infected computers.
Source of Transfer
It transfers by attaching itself with a file or program.It may transfer through open ports of the system, email, or network, etc.
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What is a Virus?

A virus is a computer program that attaches itself with a file and then transfers from computer to computer and corrupts the user data. This problem gets its name from human viruses that transfer from one to another. It transfers from computer to computer slowly. It requires a host to spread and cannot transfer itself. So, it needs a human action to complete its spread from one system to another.

It is a type of virus that has a malicious code and can transmit itself from system to system. Normally, it combines itself with a program or the boot zone of the hard drive. When this virus is involved with a file or program, then they are infected. So, when these infected files or programs are active on the computer, it activates the virus and affects the system. The virus keeps on replicating and transfers by attributing its replicas to other programs in the system.

A virus causes a problem by corrupting the files or erasing the data from the computer of the user. It can also gather information from the system to send it to the hacker. Antivirus software can be used to save a system from viruses. It can also be removed from a system by using antivirus software or by formatting. The damage made by the virus may also be recovered with the help of a good backup and recovery procedure plan.

Phases of Virus

  • Dormant Phase: It is a phase of the idle state of the virus. It may get activated through different means or event, for example, time, date, or presence of any other program.
  • Propagation Phase: A phase of duplication of the virus, i.e., it generates its copies during this phase.
  • Triggering Phase: A phase of activation of the virus to perform the required function.
  • Execution Phase: It is the actual phase of virus activity, i.e., the actual function of the virus that may or may not is harmful.

Types of Viruses

  • Parasitic Virus: A type of virus that joins itself to executable files or programs and makes its copies.
  • Boot sector Virus: A kind of virus that especially infects the master boot record of the disk. It starts spreading at the time of booting.
  • Stealth Virus: This type of virus shows the built-in intellect that avoids its discovery by the antivirus software.
  • Memory Resident Virus: It is the virus that attaches to a specific area of the main memory. Here, it infects each executed file.
  • Polymorphic Virus: It is a kind of virus that keeps on changing its Identity at every execution. So, it is tough to get this kind of virus.
  • Metamorphic Virus: It is just like the polymorphic virus but with additional functionality. This type of virus keeps on rewriting itself, along with changing its signature.

What are Worms?

A worm is a malicious program that is able to replicate and transfer from one computer to another through the network and corrupts the user data. It is a kind of computer virus. It may transfer through open ports of the system, email, or network, etc. It may also transfer with the help of the email address book of the user. So, It does not need a host or human action to transfer. On the other side, it is a self-replicating kind of virus.

A worm is transferred with great speed. It does not attach to any program but, it infects the computer exposure in the network. It keeps on self-replicating and spreading before anyone is able to control it. But, before it, it has infected a large network area and web servers.

A worm uses the resources of the system, i.e., its storage, etc., slows down its activity and may fully close the system. It may also send information to the hacker as well as other infected computers. It may be avoided by using antivirus software or firewall etc. and by closing the useless ports. A worm can be removed by using any virus removing software and by formatting.

Example

One famous example of a worm attack takes place in 2017 when wannaCry worm causes the loss of billions of dollars. It was also recognized as WannaCry ransomware and caused by a worm known as Cryptoworm.

Key Differences

  1. A computer program that attaches itself with a file and then transfers from computer to computer and corrupts the user data is known as virus whereas, a malicious program that is able to replicate and transfer from one computer to another through the network and corrupts the user data is known as a worm.
  2. A virus transfers from computer to computer slowly. On the other hand, a worm transfers with great speed.
  3. A virus transfers by attaching itself with a file or program. On the flip side, a worm may transfer through open ports of the system, email, or network, etc.
  4. A virus requires a host to spread from computer to computer. Conversely, a worm does not need a host.
  5. A virus needs a human action to complete its transfer. On the flip side, a worm does not need human action to transfer. It can itself transfer through a network or open ports.
  6. A virus causes a problem by corrupting the files or erasing the data from the computer of the user. On the other side, a worm uses the resources of the system, slows down its activity, and may fully close the system.
  7. Antivirus software can be used to save a system from viruses while a worm may be avoided by using antivirus software or firewall etc. and by closing the useless ports.
  8. A virus can be removed from a system by using antivirus or by formatting. On the other hand, a worm can be removed by using any virus removing software and by formatting.
  9. A virus can gather information from the system to send to the hacker. On the flip side, a worm may send information to the hacker as well as other infected computers.

Comparison Video

YouTube video

Conclusion

The above discussion summarizes that a virus is a computer problem that attaches itself with a file or program and needs a human source to spread from computer to computer slowly. On the other hand, a virus is a computer problem that can transfer via the network without human source and spread very fast.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss