Virusses and worms, what are the threats

Any networked device can be affected. Just as a biological virus penetrates a healthy cell, a software virus also infects a previously “healthy”, properly functioning program or system. As a result of this infection, the infected host program executes the malicious code’s actions each time it is called in front of its own functions.

Since the program seems to work as usual, the users usually do not notice anything of the malicious code actions in the background. The virus copies its digital DNA into other program files undisturbed. As soon as only one infected file is transferred to a third-party device via data carrier or download and executed there, the spread of the infection continues across the system.
Differences between viruses and worms Unlike viruses, worms get by without a host program. These are independently executable malicious programs that are usually hidden under unsuspicious names somewhere in the depths of the operating system. Worms come into action without user intervention – in the simplest case, for example, by making a corresponding entry in the operating system’s automatic start function. As soon as the worm wakes up, it could, for example, scour the contact folders on the system and send a copy of itself as an attachment to any e-mail addresses found. If one of the recipients opens the appendix, the worm has made the jump to a new system.
Viruses and worms are typical tools for widespread, untargeted cyber attacks, the main aim of which is to infect as many devices as possible. For example, the intention behind this could be to remotely control the hijacked systems via the infiltrated malware and to insert them into a botnet. At the same time, many of today’s malicious programs have neither virus nor worm functionality, but are spread individually via spam or drive-by infection.

The worm spread wirelessly from lamp to lamp – and the faster, the closer the distance between the lamps was. In fact, the researchers succeeded in wirelessly infecting lighting systems from a passing car and also from a drone. Such a worm epidemic could theoretically trigger a chain reaction and turn off all the smart lights in a big city. Only a few months after the researchers reported the vulnerability, the manufacturer closed the security gap in the wireless protocol with a firmware update..

Source: Bundesamt fur Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik