worm

[from `tapeworm' in John Brunner's novel `The Shockwave Rider', via XEROX PARC] n. 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 Robert T. Morris's `Internet Worm' of 1988, a `benign' one that got out of control and hogged hundreds of Suns and VAXen across the U.S. See also cracker, RTM, Trojan horse, ice, and Great Worm, the.