Difference Between Virus and Worm

Both computer virus and worm can equally harm a computer device. However, these two aren’t the same completely. In this article, we bring to you the difference between a virus and a worm.

A computer virus is a kind of malicious computer program, which when executed, replicates itself and inserts its own code. A virus spreads from one software or device to another. To know in detail about a Computer Virus, visit the linked article. 

On the other hand, a computer worm is a stand-alone malicious program which can spread itself to other parts of any device. However, one similarity is that both virus and worms are a subcategory of malware.

Difference Between Virus and Worm - Computer Virus vs Computer Worm

Computer Virus vs Worm – Comparison Between Virus and Worm

Further below in this article, a tabulated comparison between the two malware has been given. Knowing the difference between the two terms is also important from the perspective of competitive exams, including UPSC and Government Exams.

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Difference Between Computer Virus and Worm PDF:-Download PDF Here

Computer Virus vs Worm – Key Differences

The table given below shows a comparative analysis between the points of difference between a virus and worm. One must go through it carefully to analyse how each of them can harm a computer device.

Difference Between Virus and Worm
Computer Virus Computer Worm
A computer virus is a program, wherein a code copies itself and replicates itself to other programs/files on a device and may result in corrupting or damaging the device A computer worm is an independent malicious program, which when enters a system can start causing harm/damage to the device
An initiation is required by the host, i.e., a virus spreads only when an infected program is executed in a device A worm only needs to enter the device, then it can automatically affect the other files and programs. No execution is needed
Few different types of computer viruses include:

  • Boot sector virus
  • Direct Action virus
  • Polymorphic virus
  • Macro virus
  • Spacefiller virus
  • Overwrite virus
  • File Infector virus
Few of the different types of computer worms are as follows:

  • Internet worms
  • Instant messaging worms
  • Email worms
  • File sharing worms
  • Internet relay chat (IRC) worms
A virus may spread when a file is open and then the same malicious code is copied and spread around whenever other files are opened in the host computer A worm only requires a medium to enter the device. This may be through the internet, email, online messaging applications, etc. 
Time taken by a virus to spread in the system is lesser in comparison to a worm A worm can quickly spread through a device
A virus corrupts the files or deletes them automatically On the other hand, a worm also affects the bandwidth and network connections of the device
Examples of computer virus include Creeper, Blaster, Slammer, etc. Examples of computer worm include Morris worm, storm worm, etc.

The comparison between virus and worms has been illustrated in detail in the table above. Competitive exam aspirants can go through the same to understand the difference between the two. 

Candidates who are looking forward to knowing more about the IAS Exam can visit the linked article and get all the required details. 

Also, to assist candidates with other Computer Knowledge terms and programs and understand the difference between them, aspirants can check the links given below:

For more difference between articles to prepare other subjects which are a part of the upcoming UPSC CSE syllabus, candidates can visit the linked article. 

Difference Between Computer Virus and Worm PDF:-Download PDF Here

Since Computer Awareness is included in the Science and Technology part of the UPSC Syllabus, candidates can solve multiple-choice questions based on the same at the Science and Technology MCQs page.

To get information regarding the upcoming exam updates and study material for the various Government exams, candidates can visit BYJU’S.

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