The worm that turned

USB stick

Amidst growing concern for the destruction of habitat and the extiction of rare species, it is startling that worms, especially of the “USB” ilk, have had a population explosion, somewhat akin to the Cane Toad in Australia.

The USB worm is a scion of the now effectively extinct boot sector virus. Evolution has meant that the USB worm has adapted to its new environment. It is widely acknowledged that the success in the breeding patterns of the USB worm is due to the enhanced and favourable habitat available for its progeny. USB worms sometimes thrive on USB sticks and tend to venture forth onto hard disks as well, equally at home on both media. The interchange of large numbers of USB sticks, both locally and internationally, makes the life of the USB worm, regarded as an irritating pest, far easier.

One breed of USB worm, of the genus “Folder Icon”, is particularly common. This worm uses its cover of masquerading as a Windows folder to protect itself against potentially hostile parties that may seek to destroy it. In fact the only known species which is, or ought to be, hostile to USB worms is that of the human. Unfortunately using the Windows folder camouflage appears to encourage the curious human to aid the spread of the USB worm by the process of “double-clicking”.

Despite pockets of resistance the spread of the USB worm is far and wide. This scenario is beginning to have a large negative impact on other species such as the human. One simple action that any human can take is to prevent these USB worms from being able to invoke themselves on hard drives from a USB stick. The choice of habitat may also be restricted by USB device control. Finally human education and vigilance is a must if the species of USB worms and its distant cousins are to be eradicated.


  • The USB image is courtesy of
  • The folder icon image is courtesy of
  • The image of the Cane toad is courtesy of