Difference between Computer Virus and Computer Worm
Difference between Computer Virus and Computer Worm

Difference between Computer Virus and Computer Worm

Many people get confused with the terminologies related with computer like computer virus and computer worm. They considered both terminologies same but there exist a contrast between both terminologies. As computer virus is malware software and this have to join current program but a worm is a particular type of virus that proliferates replication over a system. This can be either through email or different means, for example, documents being replicated over a system. In this article we will find more distinction between both these terms.

Computer virus

In a computer, virus is a malicious software that, when effected, duplicates by embeddings replicate of itself into other PC programs, information records, or the boot segment of the hard drive; when this duplication happen as expected, the influenced zones are then said to be “infected”. Viruses frequently perform some kind of destructive movement on contaminated hosts, for example, taking hard disk space or CPU time, getting to private data, defiling information, showing political or silly messages on the client’s screen, putting their contacts in spam, taking down their keystrokes, or notwithstanding expose the PC uselessly.

Computer Worm

In a PC, a worm is a self-recreating virus that does not change documents but rather dwells in active memory and copies itself. Worms mostly use elements of an operating system of computer that are programmed and normally undetectable to the client. It is regular for worms to be seen just when their uncontrolled replication expends resources of system, abating or ending different assignments. There is no need to join itself to a current program for worm. Worms quite often cause some damage to the system, regardless of the possibility that just by expending transfer speed.

Computer virus VS Computer Worm

Here are the some contrasts between virus and worms

  • Definition:

The computer virus is defined as program code that connects itself to the application program of system and when that application run it keeps running alongside it.

The computer worm is defined as the code that imitate itself for expend resources to cut it down.

  • Affect on system:

Computer virus embeds itself in file, document, or an executable program.

Contrast to computer virus, computer worm maltreats a shortcoming in an application or working system by duplicating itself.

  • Affect the files:

Computer viruses surely affect the files and it erases or makes different changes in files. Now and again an infection additionally changes the area of files.

Computer worm usually not affect the files. Computer worms typically just control the memory and the CPU.

  • Spread:

Computer virus only needs to depend on transferring of infected or damage files or programs by user to other systems.

Computer worm can utilize a system to recreate itself to other systems without client interference.

  • Speed:

Computer virus has a low speed as compare to computer worm.

Computer worm has a high speed and works faster as compare to computer virus like the worm named as code red worm can affect three lacs computer in only 14 hours.

  • History:

In 1971, Bob Thomas introduced the computer virus named as “The Creeper Virus” and it affect DEC PDP-10 computers which are running on TENEX system.

On 2nd November, 1988, the first computer worm was introduced by Robert Tappan Morris named as “Morris Worm” and it affects DEC VAX which are running on BSD UNIX and also linked to internet.

  • Example:

Macmag, Cascade, Jerusalem, Time Bomb are some examples of computer viruses.

Badtrans, Bagle, Code Red and Doomjuice are some examples of computer worms.


From the above article we come to know that computer viruses always attach to the existing programs whereas computer worms does not attach to existing programs. Worms always damage the network whereas viruses always damage the files or documents of a targeted computer.