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Autorun worm

Autorun worm

(also autoplay worm)

Autorun worm definition

Autorun worms are types of malware that can spread through removable media or hardware, like CDs or USB flash drives. Once the removable media is connected to the device, autorun worms spread into the system, automatically execute malicious codes, and infect the device. Autorun worms can perform various malicious actions, such as stealing personal data, compromising system and network security, or launching further attacks.

See also: spyware, anti-malware, ransomware, VPNs vs. antivirus

Different types of autorun worms

There are different types of autorun worms equipped with various characteristics. Here are a few common types:

Ramnit: This autorun worm spreads through removable drives and various network shares. Ramnit usually targets Windows systems and focuses on stealing sensitive information, such as login details or banking information.

Conficker: Like Ramnit, Cornficker targets Windows systems and spreads through network shares, network vulnerabilities, and removable media. Conficker is known for its ability to update itself and avoid detection.

Sality: This autorun worm targets and infects executable files on Windows systems. Sality worm can download additional malicious software into infected machines and spread it significantly.

How to protect your system from autorun worms

Be careful with removable media: Be cautious when using external and removable media such as CDs and USB flash drives. Scan external media drives with antivirus software before accessing information or files, and avoid using media from untrustworthy sources.

Disable autorun: To prevent the automatic execution of programs stored in removable media, disable the autorun feature on your devices.

Update the system frequently: Regularly update your computer’s operating system, patches, and security bug fixes. Updates usually fix your system’s vulnerabilities, that autorun worms attack.

Use antivirus software: Install reputable antivirus software that can detect and eliminate worms and other malicious programs from your computer’s system.

Practice safe computer habits: Always be cautious while opening email attachments, and avoid downloading free software from the internet. Don’t visit suspicious websites or click on pop-up ads, as they can contain autorun worms or other malicious software.

Data backup: Keep your important data and files in separate storage or secure cloud storage. As it can come in handy in case of data loss.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security