A computer worm is a self-replicating computer program.
It uses a network to send copies of itself to other nodes (computer terminals on the network) and it may do so without any user intervention.
Unlike a virus, it does not need to attach itself to an existing program.
Worms always harm the network (if only by consuming bandwidth), whereas viruses always infect or corrupt files on a targeted computer.
Worms mainly spread by exploiting vulnerabilities in operating systems, or by tricking users to assist them.
Anti-virus and anti-spyware software are helpful, but must be kept up-to-date with new pattern files at least every few days.
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