April 18, 2015

Network traveling worms are specifically encoded programs that are able to transfer from a computer to other through various ways. These worms are automated hackers that transfer important information to impair the entire network once they gain access into it. Worms are quite similar to viruses except that they spread in a slightly different way. When a worm infects a computer, it searches for another system connected through the same local area network (LAN). Once it is found, the worm facsimiles itself to the new computer and continues with its search for more machines to replicate further. Due to its nature of traveling through the network, a worm is able to consume most of the bandwidth, causing the servers to stop responding.

Different types of network traveling worms are:

  • Email Worms: These worms travel by way of attachments in email messages or links to a corrupted website.
  • Instant Messaging Worms: These spread by sending spam links to the contacts in an instant messaging application.
  • Internet Worms: These types of worms scan the internet and other available network resources to search for vulnerable computers. If any such system is found, the worm attempts to connect and infect it.
  • IRC Worms: These worms spread through Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels and transmit infected links or files to the contacts list.
  • File Sharing Network Worms: These worms replicate itself into a shared folder and spread by way of a peer-to-peer (P2P) network.

How Network Traveling Worm Attack Affects?

  • Exploit Vulnerabilities: The worm begins launching attacks from one computer in your network to other systems that do not have an updated firewall/ patch installed. Using this, the worm implements ‘shellcode’ on the target machine to make it download and set up a similar type of worm.
  • Weak Passwords: The worm tries to initiate a dictionary attack on other computers in the network. Through this, it aims at accessing the credentials required to execute commands on the target system.
  • Insecure Vulnerabilities: The worm can simply recreate itself through openly shared folders on other computers connected through the same LAN.
  • Email: The worm inspects the contacts list and sends well-written emails to make people click on a spam link, install software or download an attachment to their computers.

Tips To Counter Network Traveling Worms Attack

  • Block auto-execution of attachments in email
  • Keep your computer’s firewall and patches  updated
  • Filter traffic on your router and Wi-Fi network
  • Disable auto run capabilities on the computer
  • Use strong passwords

Following these tips can help you protect yourself against network traveling worms attack to a great extent.