[TUHS] Happy birthday, Morris Worm!

Don Hopkins don at DonHopkins.com
Fri Nov 3 02:48:34 AEST 2017

/* Written  1:54 am  Dec  2, 1988 by bradley at m.cs.uiuc.edu in m.cs.uiuc.edu:general */
/* ---------- "SIGBEER 12/2/88  (A poem)" ---------- */
                 SIGBEER COLLOQUIUM

SPEAKER:   Clement C. Morris
       Department of Annelid Studies
       Cornell University

TITLE:     The Worm Before Christmas: A poem

TIME:      December 2, 1988.  5:00pm

PLACE:     White Horse
       Green St. near 2nd (across from Champion Federal)

ABSTRACT:  A critical reading of the following poem will be presented.
       Discussion and refreshments will follow.

            "The Worm Before Christmas"
                by Clement C. Morris

        (a.k.a. David Bradley, Betty Cheng, Hal Render,
            Greg Rogers, and Dan LaLiberte)

    Twas the night before finals, and all through the lab
    Not a student was sleeping, not even McNabb.
    Their projects were finished, completed with care
    In hopes that the grades would be easy (and fair).

    The students were wired with caffeine in their veins
    While visions of quals nearly drove them insane.
        With piles of books and a brand new highlighter,
    I had just settled down for another all nighter ---

    When out from our gateways arose such a clatter,
    I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter;
    Away to the console I flew like a flash,
        And logged in as root to fend off a crash.

    The windows displayed on my brand new Sun-3,
    Gave oodles of info --- some in 3-D.
    When, what to my burning red eyes should appear
    But dozens of "nobody" jobs.  Oh dear!

    With a blitzkrieg invasion, so virulent and firm,
        I knew in a moment, it was Morris's Worm!
    More rapid than eagles his processes came,
    And they forked and exec'ed and they copied by name:

    "Now Dasher!  Now Dancer!  Now, Prancer and Vixen!
    On Comet!  On Cupid!  On Donner and Blitzen!
    To the sites in .rhosts and host.equiv
    Now, dash away!  dash away!  dash away all!"

    [ Note:  The machines dasher.cs.uiuc.edu,
      dancer.cs.uiuc.ed, prancer.cs.uiuc.edu, etc. have
      been renamed deer1, deer2, deer3, etc. so as not
      to confuse the already burdened students who use
      those machines. We regret that this poem reflects
      the older naming scheme and hope it does not confuse
      the network adminstrator at your site.  -Ed.]

    And then in a twinkling, I heard on the phone,
    The complaints of the users.  (Thought I was alone!)
    "The load is too high!"  "I can't read my files!"
    "I can't send my mail over miles and miles!"

    I unplugged the net, and was turning around,
        When the worm-ridden system went down with a bound.
    I fretted.  I frittered.  I sweated.  I wept.
    Then finally I core dumped the worm in /tmp.

    It was smart and pervasive, a right jolly old stealth,
    And I laughed, when I saw it, in spite of myself.
    A look at the dump of that invasive thread
    Soon gave me to know we had nothing to dread.

    The next day was slow with no network connections,
    For we wanted no more of those pesky infections.
    But in spite of the news and the noise and the clatter,
    Soon all became normal, as if naught were the matter.

    Then later that month while all were away,
    A virus came calling and then went away.
    The system then told us, when we logged in one night:
        "Happy Christmas to all!  (You guys aren't so bright.)"

[ Note: The authors would like to apologize to Dave McNabb for any
    detrimental references to his sleeping habits or lack thereof.
    Unfortunately, they couldn't think of anything else that rhymes
    with "lab".  -Ed. ]
/* End of text from m.cs.uiuc.edu:general */

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