Worm Malware: What it is and How to Stay Protected

October 19, 2023

cyber criminal with green overlay

Imagine a tiny digital worm, unwavering in its mission to infiltrate your business network and cause massive chaos. Not a fun thought, right? Unfortunately for many businesses, this scary scenario is actually their reality. First reported back in 1988 where it is estimated it infected 60,000 computers and caused over a million dollars in damages in just 24 hours, worm malware is still a prevalent threat to many organizations today.

If it could do that much damage in the early days of the internet and is still a known problem among IT experts today, just imagine how much damage it can do in the modern era. Also, how much damage could it do specifically to your business? If that thought concerns you—which we certainly hope it does—continue reading to learn more about worm malware and how to safeguard your business from becoming its latest victim.   

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What is Worm Malware?

According to Malwarebytes, “worm malware Is a subset of Trojan horse malware that can propagate or self-replicate from one computer to another without human activation after breaching a system.” So, unlike other types of malware which typically rely on user actions, worm malware can propagate autonomously. Worms often exploit vulnerabilities in software and computer systems to gain unauthorized access. Once it 

The Impact of Worm Malware on Businesses

The consequences of a worm malware attack are devastating because of just how notoriously versatile it is. From dropping other malware, stealing data, and opening a backdoor into your system, to consuming bandwidth, overloading your networks, and more, worm malware is able to easily execute a wide range of malicious actions that snowball into other problems. When confidential customer data, intellectual property, and sensitive financial information is compromised, it leads to significant financial and legal liabilities. Moreover, the loss of customer trust and damaged reputation is difficult to recover from. 

Common Methods of Spreading Worm Malware

Tech experts TechTarget warn that there are several subsets of worm malware that can spread within a business network. Common worms include: 

  • Email worms: Replicate through sending outbound messages to a user’s contacts which then executes a malicious file upon opening. 
  • Instant messaging worms – similar to email worms but on an instant messaging system 
  • File-sharing worms: copy themselves into folders that are spread through file-sharing networks and can also be spread through removable media devices such as USB drives. 
  • Cryptoworms – worms that encrypt user data and demand payment from the victim in exchange for the ability to decrypt it. 
  • Internet worms – Imbed themselves into websites with poor security and infect any computers using the site. 

No matter what type of worm malware you may be dealing with, once it’s gained access, it independently spreads through the use of the internet or local area network. So not only are you possibly dealing with an issue that affects a single computer or even a single business location, but you could have a multi-location attack on your hands.  


Worm malware is particularly dangerous for its ability to vastly spread.

Tips for Protecting Your Business from Worm Malware

Implementing certain technical measures helps protect your business from worm malware attacks. For instance, keeping all software, including operating systems and applications, up to date with the latest security patches is essential. Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication should also be enforced. 

Additionally, firewalls play a crucial role in blocking external threats from accessing your network. Regular network scans help identify vulnerabilities and ensure that your network is secure. Consider implementing intrusion detection and prevention systems to detect and block worm malware activities. 

Lastly, it’s crucial to educate employees about safe browsing habits, phishing attempts, and the importance of not clicking on suspicious links or opening attachments from unknown sources. When employees are properly trained, it reduces the likelihood of an infection by 80%. 

Keep Worm Malware Away with Copy Systems

Implementing preventive measures is crucial. So, when you need a partner you can trust, Copy System’s professional IT and cybersecurity solutions provide comprehensive protection against worm malware. At Copy Systems Inc., we offer solutions that include real-time threat monitoring, network security audits, and incident response services. Our experienced team evaluates your current security measures, identifies vulnerabilities, and implements robust defenses to keep your business safe from worm malware attacks and other threats. Safeguard your business, protect your sensitive data, and maintain your reputation in the digital landscape by partnering with Copy Systems today 

Worm malware isn’t the only threat to your network’s security. Learn more of our recommended best practices for preventing not only worms, but other malware attacks.  

Why is dark web scanning important? Having a cybersecurity strategy is crucial for any business and dark web scanning is a part of that strategy. Download your guide today.