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Morris worm

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Definition Edit

The Morris worm was one of the first computer worms distributed via the Internet; it is considered the first worm to gain significant mainstream media attention.

Overview Edit

In 1988, a student at Cornell University, Robert T. Morris,

wrote a program that would connect to another computer, find and use one of several vulnerabilities to copy itself to that second computer, and begin to run the copy of itself at the new location. Both the original code and the copy would then repeat these actions in an infinite loop to other computers on the ARPANET. This "self-replicating automated network attack tool" caused a geometric explosion of copies to be started at computers all around the ARPANET. The worm used so many system resources that the attacked computers could no longer function. As a result, 10% of the U.S. computers connected to the ARPANET effectively stopped at about the same time.[1]

It also resulted in the first conviction in the United States under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

References Edit

  1. US-CERT, "Security of the Internet" (full-text).

See also Edit

External resources Edit

  • Ted Eisenberg et al., "The Cornell Commission: On Morris and the Worm," 32 Communications of the ACM (June 1989) (full-text).
  • Hilarie Orman, "The Morris Worm: A Fifteen-Year Perspective," IEEE Security & Privacy (2003) (full-text).

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