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(Washington Post)   25 years ago, a grad student changed the Internet forever   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 28
    More: Interesting, internet, graduate students, Robert Morris, botnets, Usenet, internet security, home computers  
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6738 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Nov 2013 at 11:50 AM (43 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



28 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-11-04 10:25:39 AM
When I saw this last week I almost wished I was still teaching Security+.   Would have made a great illustration to talk about the Morris Worm on the anniversary.

/Almost.
 
2013-11-04 10:53:25 AM
FTA: Morris had admitted releasing a worm that was then spreading across the Internet. Half an hour later, Morris called again. This time Sudduth answered the call, and Morris suggested steps that Harvard administrators could take to protect their computers from the worm.

"It seems that a virus has infected your computer. Click here to remove it."
 
2013-11-04 11:09:53 AM
SETEC ASTRONOMY
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-11-04 11:58:33 AM
But the most significant effect of the worm was how it permanently changed the culture of the Internet. Before Morris unleashed his worm, the Internet was like a small town where people thought little of leaving their doors unlocked. Internet security was seen as a mostly theoretical problem, and software vendors treated security flaws as a low priority.

My memory of that time is noticing the buffer overrun bug, but failing to make the leap from "you can crash fingerd" to "you can make fingerd run arbitrary code." We didn't think like that because the net was mostly a friendly place. We knew that the traditional BSD r-series commands and stock Sun RPC were insecure because they trusted the remote system. We didn't think of every bug as a potential security hole.

MIT finally firmly firewalled the campus network within the past year or so. In the 1980s they didn't have compute power to do intelligent filtering. I was told the RVD protocol (which 99.9% of you have never heard of) used a distinct protocol number from UDP to make it easier to filter on the VaxStation based routers. Owning a class A network meant no need to implement NAT in the 1990s. A decade ago they were doing port blocking to stop the worst Windows malware. Now they are making most machines inaccessible from outside. End of an era.
 
2013-11-04 12:07:08 PM
Can someone explain the Mountain Dew bottle to me?
 
2013-11-04 12:08:38 PM

ZAZ: MIT finally firmly firewalled the campus network within the past year or so


I'm surprised it took them that long to do it honestly.  I'd have thought they would have done that years ago.
 
2013-11-04 12:09:51 PM

AngryTeacher: Can someone explain the Mountain Dew bottle to me?


Code Red virus.



Link
 
2013-11-04 12:11:59 PM

Maud Dib: AngryTeacher: Can someone explain the Mountain Dew bottle to me?

Code Red virus.

Link


Thanks...  I've spent too much time on the politics tab. I was expecting to be insulted.
 
2013-11-04 12:12:32 PM
I worked on decoding that thing at UCSD.
 
2013-11-04 12:19:12 PM

AngryTeacher: Thanks... I've spent too much time on the politics tab. I was expecting to be insulted.


There's still time.
 
2013-11-04 12:45:45 PM

AngryTeacher: Maud Dib: AngryTeacher: Can someone explain the Mountain Dew bottle to me?

Code Red virus.

Link

Thanks...  I've spent too much time on the politics tab. I was expecting to be insulted.


You're ugly and your mama dresses you funny.
 
2013-11-04 01:08:23 PM
Wasn't *quite* in a place to have noticed it at the time (still a high school BBS gal at that point) but the spouse told me about his experience with it at the time.

/quarter of a century online
//so very old
 
2013-11-04 01:16:47 PM
This person/story was the basis for this character:

img259.imageshack.us

Not sure if Robert Morris wore that jacket, though
 
2013-11-04 01:47:12 PM
Phffft!
s10.postimg.org
 
2013-11-04 02:11:09 PM
Porn?

*reads first two sentences of article*

Nope.
 
2013-11-04 02:21:47 PM
 "I don't believe that you over-prosecute someone to send a message," Rasch says. "I don't believe in the head-on-a-stake theory of prosecution."

Can we have him teach other prosecutors this lesson?  The kid was reckless, he caused a lot of damage and needed to be punished.  But these days they would probably have gone and charged him with a felony for every individual computer and/ or network he brought down.
 
2013-11-04 02:58:38 PM

Stabone33: Porn?

*reads first two sentences of article*

Nope.


That's what I was thinking.  Maybe the guy who did the first ASCII porn art....
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-11-04 03:16:27 PM
Line printer porn was much older than 1988. I remember seeing real internet porn in 1989 or 1990. Female crotch on black and white monitor, dithered and almost unrecognizable unless you relaxed your eyes. It was fun watching the guy next to me go "what is that... oh!"
 
2013-11-04 04:02:48 PM
Oh crap, I clicked on the link!!
 
2013-11-04 05:52:52 PM
To get rid of the worm you need to delete system32
 
2013-11-04 06:28:57 PM
This was made further hilarious by the fact that the worm was released entirely by accident. The self-replicating part of the code wasn't intentional. And it was made ten times worse by the fact that his dad worked in a high office at the DOD. This kid could not have screwed up worse.
 
2013-11-04 07:15:07 PM

Maud Dib: AngryTeacher: Can someone explain the Mountain Dew bottle to me?

Code Red virus.

Link


I still won't drink it because of the pre-AV cleaning and testing of machines infected by SneakerNet.
 
2013-11-04 07:30:02 PM
 
2013-11-04 08:03:40 PM
Still, I think the best account of catching a hacker is this book
bks3.books.google.com
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-11-04 08:22:17 PM
UKCoolCat

I saw Stoll speak, it must have been 20+ years ago now. Hyper and entertaining.
 
2013-11-04 09:59:34 PM

ZAZ: But the most significant effect of the worm was how it permanently changed the culture of the Internet. Before Morris unleashed his worm, the Internet was like a small town where people thought little of leaving their doors unlocked. Internet security was seen as a mostly theoretical problem, and software vendors treated security flaws as a low priority.

My memory of that time is noticing the buffer overrun bug, but failing to make the leap from "you can crash fingerd" to "you can make fingerd run arbitrary code." We didn't think like that because the net was mostly a friendly place. We knew that the traditional BSD r-series commands and stock Sun RPC were insecure because they trusted the remote system. We didn't think of every bug as a potential security hole.

MIT finally firmly firewalled the campus network within the past year or so. In the 1980s they didn't have compute power to do intelligent filtering. I was told the RVD protocol (which 99.9% of you have never heard of) used a distinct protocol number from UDP to make it easier to filter on the VaxStation based routers. Owning a class A network meant no need to implement NAT in the 1990s. A decade ago they were doing port blocking to stop the worst Windows malware. Now they are making most machines inaccessible from outside. End of an era.


You've probably never heard of RVD protocol, but they're one of the coolest bands out there.
 
2013-11-05 10:54:24 AM

ZAZ: UKCoolCat

I saw Stoll speak, it must have been 20+ years ago now. Hyper and entertaining.


He is apparently a very cool guy, but unfortunately he missed the boat big time by poopooing the notion of
online commerce.  Even though he later came to realize he'd completely missed the boat, that cost him his
spot as the spokesman for Internet culture just as it was hotting up.

Still, though the technology has moved on, THE CUCKOO'S EGG should still be required reading as far
as a primer on general methodology and philosophy for computer security.
 
2013-11-05 10:56:04 AM
Tio_Holtzmann:

You've probably never heard of RVD protocol, but they're one of the coolest bands out there.

This is what they would look like if they really existed:

shotfromguns.files.wordpress.com
 
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