Worms differ from computer viruses because they can propagate themselves, rather than using a carrier program or file. They simply create copies of themselves and use communication between computers to spread.
The Conficker worm is an example of an Internet worm that exploits a system vulnerability to infect machines over the network. Such worms are capable of spreading very rapidly, infecting large numbers of machines.
Some worms open a "back door" on the computer, allowing hackers to take control of it. Such computers can then be used to send spam mail.
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