(networking, security)   (From "Tapeworm" in John Brunner's novel "The Shockwave Rider", via XEROX PARC) A program that propagates itself over a network, reproducing itself as it goes. Compare virus. Nowadays the term has negative connotations, as it is assumed that only crackers write worms.

Perhaps the best-known example was the Great Worm.

Compare Trojan horse.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1996-09-17