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Computer Worms

A worm is a computer program that replicates itself. It uses the internet to send its copies to other computers. It is a different form of virus program since it doesn’t need to be attached to a specific program. It uses the resources of one machine to attack another machine. It causes damage to the internet by consuming bandwidth and performing other detrimental activities.

The Morris Computer Worm

The first computer worm is known as the Morris Worm, and it gained the public’s attention by causing a lot of damage on the internet . The worm was named after its creator Robert Tappan Morris, and it was launched from MIT on the 2nd of November, 1988.

On the 3rd of November, 1988, PCs from all over the world were overloaded with unknown processes that made them very slow. Every attempt to reboot or clean the system was unsuccessful because the processes returned after each clean up. This incident is known as “Black Thursday”. It was the first time that people had to deal with an internet worm.

Robert Morris claimed that his program was not created to cause harm, but only to measure the size of the internet. Although the worm was released from MIT, it came originally from Cornell. The Morris Worm was working to develop well-known vulnerability in rsh/rexec, weak passwords, Finger, and Unix Sendmail.

The Spread of the Worm

The Morris Worm was very powerful. When it gained access to a PC, it launched a program that searched for other internet locations, and it infected them if it could. The worm traveled over the internet, so every machine connected to an infected machine would be exposed to a risk, which would eventually amount to a huge number of infected computers. The worm used security gaps to enter a computer, so the only way to prevent it from gaining entry was to seal the gaps. Once it was inside a computer, it would spread automatically. The moment the worm found an internet connection, it downloaded its copy to that location and continued to operate as normal.

Resources

Internet Worm Program: Analysis of the Internet Worm Program
Snowplow.org – The What, Why, and How of the 1988 Internet Worm: Provides information about the history of worms, their activities, and others
US v. Robert Tappan Morris: Details the lawsuit brought against the worm's creator.
VirusAll.com – Computer Worms: Information about computer worms
Report on the Internet Worm: An article on the Internet Worm from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
ACM Portal – The Cornell Commission on Morris and the Worm: Computing literature on the Morris Worm
United States vs Morris: Provides information about the Morris court case
The Story of the Internet Worm: An account of how the internet was shut down by the Internet Worm in 1988
Security Focus – A Brief History of the Worm: Information about the history of the Internet Worm
1988 Internet Worm: Case study of the 1988 Internet Worm
CERT - Internet Security: Provides information about software assurance, secure systems, organizational security, coordinated response, training, and others
Tech-Pro.net – How to Remove a Worm Virus from your Computer: Useful information about internet worm removal
WareSeeker.com – Software for Internet Worm Protection: Free software that provides protection against internet worms
PBS.org – Famous Worms and Viruses: List of famous worms and viruses


There are a number of tools that can be used to remove internet worms. You can download free software that can prevent and remove worms effectively. There are also companies that provide innovative solutions, such as hard drive data recovery, raid data recovery, raid server recovery, and many other data recovery services if you experience data loss because of internet worms.
 
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