Internet Worm – 20th anniversary

It has been 20 years since the Morris Worm hit the Internet. David Alan Grier writes:

“Even though Morris had violated the network community’s standards, he found a fair amount of sympathy among his peers. “I don’t know of too many who want to see this kid rot away for the next few decades in a jail,” commented one computer scientist. The researchers acknowledged Morris as one of their own, an individual who had demonstrated bad judgment and seemed to be aware of his error.”

and some lines below he observes:

De Guzman found no sympathy from computer scientists, business students, or the computer industry. Even though he made a few statements about the freedom of the Internet, these ideas found no sympathetic ears in the US. Most network users were disappointed when de Guzman did not have to face prosecution on charges of disrupting the Internet.”

It only took ten years for the suits to take over the Internet and (with the help of spammers, virus writers and botnet herders) to change our mindset on people’s mistakes. Then again, Morris took down a research network, while De Guzman’s pet was released on a commercial platform…


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