Real-life worm causes computer crash

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
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Worms
When Mark Taylor’s old laptop crashed he suspected he might have an unwelcome visitor.

Maybe a virus or Trojan horse had managed to infect his PC while he was visiting a website or after opening an email? Or perhaps a hacker had broken in and was stealing his identity?

When IT engineers opened up his £360 Gateway laptop, however, they found something much more err.. down-to-earth.

A 5 inch worm was lodged inside his computer, having made its way in through an air vent and wrapped itself around the cooling fan. The sorry creature had been frazzled by his laptop’s innermost workings, causing the fan to fail.

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45-year-old Mr Taylor is blaming his cats – who regularly bring in worms from his garden in Yeovil, Somerset.

Read more about this story in The Daily Telegraph. It’s a handy reminder that sometimes computer problems can be more common-and-garden than high-tech.

* Image source: Jean et Melo’s Flickr photostream (Creative Commons 2.0)


Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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