Today we read the news everyday about cyber attacks, cyber threats and online vulnerabilities but how could one believe that all this goes back to the 1980’s?
Back in November 1988, Robert Tappan Morris, who was in his 20’s was curious about how big is the internet and asked himself how many devices were connected to it. This curiosity led him to write a program that would travel to every computer and ask each one to send a signal back to a counter.
This was a success for Robert and in fact it worked too well. Although he placed some precautions on his actions, he knew that these might cause some problems along the way and in fact that’s what happened.
His actions clogged huge parts of the internet by copying themselves into new machines and sending pings back. He tried to make things right by sending a message to all computer administrators, but the clogging was so huge that even this message couldn’t go through!
His program was the first cyber attack, nicknamed as the Morris Worm, known as distributed denial of service in which large numbers of devices connected to the internet are instructed to send loads of traffic to one particular address.