Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A cyber Frankenstein and Robert Tappan Morris

A creator let lose a "worm" monster and paid dearly.

In 1988, a computer "worm" unleashed by a Cornell University graduate student, Robert T. Morris, began replicating wildly, clogging thousands of computers around the country. Intended as an experimental, self-replicating, self-propagating program, Morris soon discovered that the program was infecting machines at a much faster rate than he had anticipated. Computers were affected at many universities, military sites, and medical research facilities. When Morris realized what was happening he sent an anonymous message, instructing programmers how to kill the worm and prevent reinfection. However, because the network route was clogged, this message did not get through until it was too late. Morris, was later tried, fined and given probation.

Robert Tappan Morris [Wikipedia]

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