Before your time: Morris worm (almost before my time).

Twenty-five years ago, the Morris worm was one of the first worms that spread over the Internet. It was created by  Robert Morris, a graduate student at Cornell. The worm exploited various vulnerabilities within UNIX applications, such as sendmail, fingerd, rexec/rsh, etc.

The worm was a wakeup call to the Internet community and brought security to the spotlight. Though the Internet was smaller in the 80’s, it started getting system administrators to look at securing their networks and systems. I believe it was estimated to have reached about 10% of computers (6k out of 60k).

The article provides a rough timeline of events regarding the outbreak of the Morris worm. It’s a very interesting read to see how the worm exploded and affected the Internet at the time.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/11/01/how-a-grad-student-trying-to-build-the-first-botnet-brought-the-internet-to-its-knees/

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2 thoughts on “Before your time: Morris worm (almost before my time).

  1. It’s *highly* doubtful that any malware nowadays would reach this level of contamination (10% is an unfathomable number of computers in 2014) but it’s scary to think of anything having that sort of infection rate.

  2. Wow that is a lot of computers getting attacked by a worm and I agree with what Clates said. Thank god for the great advances in security technology that have occurred and continue to occur. The reactions from the attack were priceless.

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