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computer worm

A self-replicating, self-propagating, self-contained program that uses network mechanisms to spread itself. Unlike computer viruses, worms do not require human involvement to propagate. Worms can do damage by reproduction, consuming internal disk and memory resources within a single computer, exhausting network bandwidth, deleting files, or making it impossible to send documents via e-mail. See also Computer virus; Malware; Spyware; Trojan horse.

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