Bropia Worm

Definition of Bropia Worm

The Bropia Worm is a type of computer worm that specifically targets Windows-based operating systems. It spreads via instant messaging apps, such as MSN Messenger, by sending malicious links to the user’s contacts. Once executed, the Bropia Worm may cause system instability, disrupt network activity, and download additional malware on the infected computer.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Bropia Worm” is:Broh-pee-uh Wurm

Key Takeaways

  1. Bropia Worm is a computer worm that spreads through instant messaging applications, specifically targeting MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger users.
  2. The worm propagates by sending copies of itself to the victim’s contacts, often accompanied by misleading messages and links to entice users to click and inadvertently download the infection.
  3. Once infected, Bropia Worm can cause various system vulnerabilities, degrade PC performance, and potentially allow other malicious software to infiltrate the user’s system.

Importance of Bropia Worm

The Bropia Worm is an important technology term as it refers to a computer worm that gained notoriety in the mid-2000s for its malicious spreading through instant messaging platforms, particularly MSN Messenger.

As one of the earlier examples of malware specifically targeting messenger services, it demonstrated the vulnerabilities present in instant messaging systems and their susceptibility to cyber-attacks.

Bropia Worm’s self-propagation and ability to infiltrate users’ contact lists highlighted the need for increased cybersecurity vigilance while employing messaging apps and spurred the development of better safety measures and protocols in communication platforms to prevent future attacks.


The Bropia Worm is a malicious piece of software, designed with the intent of wreaking havoc on computer systems and spreading to as many users as possible. The primary purpose of this worm is to cause disruption and damage to the infected computers or networks and compromise the user’s privacy by stealing sensitive information.

The worm achieves this by exploiting vulnerabilities in software systems and replicating itself to spread automatically. Bropia Worm relies on social engineering to proliferate, typically disguising as a seemingly harmless file sent through various communication platforms such as instant messages and email attachments.

Bropia Worm, like other malware, not only creates a security risk but can also lead to a decrease in overall system performance, as it consumes system resources while carrying out its malicious activities. Such activities could include modifying or deleting files, creating a backdoor to allow unauthorized access to the computer or network, and installing other malicious software that can potentially jeopardize an organization or individual’s security further.

In response, it is crucial for users to regularly update their antivirus and cybersecurity software to protect against such threats and to be cautious of opening files or clicking on links from unknown sources.

Examples of Bropia Worm

The Bropia worm is a computer worm that primarily affects the Microsoft Windows platform, spreading through instant messaging applications like MSN Messenger. It first appeared in 2005 and was notable for spreading by sending itself as an attachment to victims’ contacts. Here are three real-world examples of Bropia worm’s impact:

In January 2005, Bropia was reported to have infected thousands of computers worldwide, including in the United States, Canada, and Europe, through MSN Messenger. This worm would send the infected file as a picture to the user’s contacts, misleading users into thinking that they were receiving a legitimate image file from a friend. Once opened, it would copy itself to the user’s system and spread further to other contacts.

Bropia variants: During its peak, Bropia spawned several variants, some of which had added functionalities, such as Bropia.F and Bropia.J, that not only spread via MSN Messenger but also downloaded additional malicious software (malware) to the infected systems. These additional malware downloads wreaked havoc on affected systems by causing system crashes and displaying graphic images on users’ screens.

Corporate network disruptions: Bropia worm, like many other worms, caused considerable disruption to businesses and organizations, as once it infected a single system within a workplace, it would spread rapidly across the network. As a result, affected corporations experienced network slowdowns, decreased productivity, and time-consuming recovery processes involving IT staff to remove the worm and restore affected systems to normal operations.

FAQ: Bropia Worm

What is the Bropia Worm?

The Bropia Worm is a computer worm that spreads through instant messaging programs such as MSN Messenger. It circulates by sending malicious files to contacts in the infected user’s account, often disguised as enticing images or media files.

How does the Bropia Worm infect a computer?

When the Bropia Worm infiltrates a computer, it may exhibit the following behavior: creating and replicating files, disabling certain system features, and modifying registry keys. Most primarily, it relies on social engineering tactics by mimicking familiar file names or sending enticing messages to tempt users into clicking malicious links.

What are the symptoms of a Bropia Worm infection?

Symptoms of a Bropia Worm infection might include slower system performance, disabled security software, or unexpected messages to contacts containing malicious links. Additionally, computer users may notice new files or folders in the system directory.

How can I protect my computer from the Bropia Worm?

To protect yourself from the Bropia Worm, follow these steps: maintain updated antivirus software, avoid clicking on suspicious links or opening files from unknown sources, and enable a strong firewall. Regularly backing up your data and verifying the validity of incoming messages can further increase your chances of avoiding an infection.

How can I remove the Bropia Worm if my computer becomes infected?

If your computer becomes infected with the Bropia Worm, it is crucial to remove it promptly. First, disconnect your device from the internet to prevent further spreading of the worm. Then, update and run antivirus scans to detect and eliminate the malware. Finally, manually delete any lingering malicious files or restore your computer to a previous point using a system restore function.

Related Technology Terms

  • Malware
  • Computer Worm
  • Instant Messaging
  • System Infection
  • Remote Access

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents