Title: Defensive computer worms: an overview

Authors: Ziyad S. Al-Salloum

Addresses: Information Security Group, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, United Kingdom

Abstract: Worms have always been mentioned within the context of malware; indeed, the media has always referred to these self-replicating and self-propagating network programs as malicious. But there is another side of worms, in which its distinctive features can be utilised to protect - rather than damage - enterprise networks. In this paper, we discuss this very controversial topic and shed some light on its history, philosophy, features, definitions, design guidelines, and distinguish between malicious and defensive worms in an attempt to break the common negative conception usually held towards computer worms.

Keywords: computer worms; defensive worms; beneficial worms; network security; network protection; enterprise networks; malicious worms; malware.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSN.2012.048479

International Journal of Security and Networks, 2012 Vol.7 No.1, pp.59 - 70

Received: 10 Aug 2011
Accepted: 20 Jan 2012

Published online: 10 Aug 2012 *

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