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Written by Cornell University Ph.D. student Robert Morris in 1988, a self-replicating program called "the Internet Worm" quickly writhed its way onto VAX and Sun systems throughout the country. Though Morris had intended for his creation to spread from computer to computer without causing any data security damage or leaving a trace, his code was flawed. The Internet Worm replicated so many times and sucked up so many CPU cycles that it rendered its computer hosts useless, effectively bringing the Internet to its knees. Though the worm left no scars on its hosts after it was removed, the United States General Accounting Office predicted that somewhere between $100,000 and $10,000,000 was lost in terms of cumulative productivity between all of the 6,000 systems infected nationwide.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|