A computer worm can cripple your computer or completely destroy it. This means that while the words “computer worm” may sound small, this invisible virus anything but. In simple terms, a computer worm is a malicious software program that can damage your computer. Unlike a Trojan Horse, which is a malicious software program that cannot reproduce or self-replicate, a worm has the ability to multiply at a rapid pace. In order to get rid of a computer worm or other malicious software such a Trojan Horse, it is important to understand the devastating effects a computer worm or Trojan can have on your computer.
A computer worm is a sub-class of a virus. A computer worm can spread from computer to computer, travel across networks, copy your address book and send itself out to everyone in it. A computer worm can even freeze or disable entire servers. Some of the most sophisticated computer worms can actually tunnel into your computer and give users remote access to your computer. One of the most notorious of these is the Blaster Worm. The Blaster Worm struck back in 2003. It spread on computers running Windows XP and Windows 2000. The Blaster Worm—also called “Lovsan” and “Lovesan” was created with the help of an 18-year-old boy from Minnesota.
A Trojan Horse may sound less severe, but it can still cause damage to your computer. A Trojan or “Trojan Horse” is actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It will present itself as a helpful program, but once you install it on your computer, it will begin to manipulate your system almost immediately. A Trojan Horse may appear in the form of a file or software program that has been sent from a legitimate source. The Trojan Horse will install and a number of things can happen. Some Trojans will simply rearrange your desktop or add annoying icons to your desktop and others will delete files. Some of the more advanced Trojans can open the door to predators looking to steal your identity. These types of Trojans can give users unlimited access to your system. Trojans do not reproduce or replicate. Worms, on the other hand, can reproduce, self-replicate and infect other files.
To get rid of malicious software there are a number of free computer worms removal software downloads available on the web. The problem is that you have to make sure that the download is from a trusted source. If you are running Windows, stick with Microsoft software downloads. Microsoft offers its “Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool” free of charge for its Windows operating system. The great thing about this free worm removal tool is that it updates once a month and reports if malicious software is found.
Other malicious software and computer worm removal tools include: Norton AntiVirus and McAfee Antivirus. These software programs are not free. It is important to note that while the Microsoft Software Removal Tool helps remove infections, it does not prevent them. If you want added security, it’s best to install Norton or McAfee as well.
The Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool checks Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows Server 2003 computers for and helps remove infections by specific, prevalent malicious software including Blaster Worm, Sasser, and Mydoom. When the detection and removal process is complete, the tool displays a report describing the outcome, including which, if any, malicious software was detected and removed. The tool creates a log file named mrt.log in the %WINDIR%\debug folder. Version 1.30 adds Win32/Allaple to the list of malicious software this tool detects.