Enter the Worm

On this day (November 2nd) in 1988, Cornell University graduate Robert Morris uncaged the first computer worm (virus), which began replicating itself far beyond what its programmer intended. The infection spread rapidly among universities, medical research facilities, and military sites to name a few. Morris’ intent was to gauge the width and breadth of the internet, but because of the ferocity of the virus (and the ensuing damages) he was convicted in 1990 under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, paid a hefty fine, served 400 hours of community service, and was sentenced to 3 years of probation.

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