A Tour of the Internet Worm of 1988

The below document tells the story of the Internet Worm of 1988 and how it effectively shut down the Internet. I remember when it happened. It was a big deal to computer people like me, but in 1988 the Internet was unknown even to the most sophisticated media reporters, and the World Wide Web had not been invented yet. I remember the NBC Evening News devoting less than 30 seconds to the topic. If an equally severe disruption of the Internet were to happen today, the President of the United States would probably hold a press conference to calm the nation.

On the evening of November 2, 1988, a self-replicating program was released upon the Internet (1) This program (a worm) invaded VAX and Sun-3 computers running versions of Berkeley UNIX, and used their resources to attack still more computers (2). Within the space of hours this program had spread across the U.S., infecting hundreds or thousands of computers and making many of them unusable due to the burden of its activity. This paper provides a chronology for the outbreak and presents a detailed description of the internals of the worm, based on a C version produced by decompiling. A Tour of the Worm via Digg

Linked by shanmuga Tuesday, 11th April 2006 2:33AM