[TUHS] Happy birthday, Morris Worm!

Ken Thompson ken at google.com
Fri Nov 3 04:42:26 AEST 2017


my son, corey, and rtm, were two 'kids' that haunted the
unix room (high school age). later (college age) i was
in australia teaching when the worm got out. during
a phone call to corey, i told him about the chaos.
with no more clue than that, he said "if i didnt know
better, i would think that it was rtm." it wasnt until
considerably later that the morris' name came up.



On Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 8:25 AM, Dan Cross <crossd at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 10:42 AM, Will Senn <will.senn at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I seem to recall that this story was included as part of The Cuckoo's Egg,
>> by Clifford Stoll. I don't recall the specifics and I wonder if it has a bit
>> of myth included, but somehow it was peripherally related to the
>> investigations. Fuzzy recollection is that the worm got out during the
>> investigation Clifford was involved in and it was Morris's son (Morris being
>> in on the investigation somehow), and the kid getting off because of the
>> position of the dad and the newness of the crime... or somesuch - don't
>> shoot the messenger, but nobody mentioned Stoll, so I thought I'd chime in,
>> in the hopes it might jog someone else's memory :).
>
> Stoll mentions the worm in an epilogue to The Cuckoo's Egg; it happens
> after the main events of the book. Apparently, for a brief time, some
> folks thought that he might be the one behind the worm and someone
> called him up and asked him if he'd written it.
>
> Cliff Stoll talked to a number of people in law enforcement and in
> government and thus made a number of contacts while he was pursuing
> Markus Hess (the pursuit of Hess being the main story of The Cuckoo's
> Egg): Robert Morris Sr was among those contacts. When the worm hit, he
> talked to Morris Sr and asked him if he knew who started it. The
> response was something along the lines of, "Yes, but I can't tell
> you."
>
>         - Dan C.


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