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A computer worm is also a malicious programme with the property of duplicating itself once it has been executed. In contrast to a computer virus, a worm spreads without infecting foreign files or boot sectors with its code. They spread via networks or removable media such as USB sticks. It is generally necessary for the spread of a computer worm to have an auxiliary program such as a network service or application software as an interface to the network. The worm cannot reproduce automatically if it does not have access to the required utility. The use of a worm as a malicious program leads to a loss of data and the associated danger for data security and data protection.

We therefore remind ourselves here of the importance of complying with security measures.

In 1988, for example, the Morris worm caused an epidemic in the USA on the Arpanet, the predecessor of today’s Internet. More than 6,000 computers were infected. The bug in the virus caused it to spread across the entire network, paralysing the system completely.

Worms like the “Slammer worm” can also lead to a rotating internet blackout, as happened in the USA, South Korea and Australia in 2003.

Computer viruses spread themselves as computer programs by infiltrating other computer programs and thus reproducing themselves. The classification as a virus here refers to the spreading and infection function. As soon as the virus is started, changes in the status of the hardware, the operating system or other software that cannot be controlled by the user can occur. 

Spam refers to unsolicited messages, usually transmitted via the Internet, which are sent to the recipient unsolicited. To send the unsolicited e-mail, all that is needed is an e-mail programme that provides spam mails with the recipient’s addresses and an SMTP relay server that then sends these mails to the recipients. There are the following types of spam:

  • Unsolicited bulk e-mails
  • Unsolicited commercial e-mails
  • Collateral spam, backscatter
  • Search engine spamming
  • Referrer spam
  • Spam over Internet Telephony
  • Spam over Mobile Phone

You think to yourself: “Oh, I know the sender and click on the message”. Beware! Unfortunately, even with a seemingly known mail sender, you cannot be 100% sure of their authenticity. This is because the address could also be duplicated or stolen.

Basically, e-mails are often sent in HTML format and it is precisely in this source code that malicious source code is often hidden. Many spam e-mails have malware attached, which in turn can lead to unintentional data loss. Strange wording or many spelling mistakes can be the first signs of spam e-mail. This is precisely why it is once again important to remember security measures and data security.