[TUHS] Happy birthday, Morris Worm!

Ken Thompson ken at google.com
Fri Nov 3 11:39:54 AEST 2017

spafford was the prize witness for the
offense at the trial. strident and evil.

On Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 5:53 PM, Doug McIlroy <doug at cs.dartmouth.edu> wrote:
> I think "classlessness" is intened as an antonym to "classy".
> Spafford with high dudgeon called early for punishment. He had tempered
> it somewhat by the time he wrote his CACM article, published in June
> 1985. But still some animus shows through, in "even-handedly"
> speculating about whether the worm was intended as a lark or as
> something nefarious. He evidently had mellowed a lot by the
> time of the last quotation below.
> In the CACM article Spaff quoted someone else as suggesting that
> Morris did it to impress Jodie Foster, and he called Allman's
> back door in Sendmail a debugging feature that people could
> optionally turn off. As far as I know it was not disclosed that
> DEBUG allowed remote control of Sendmail. In fact Sendmail was
> so opaque that Dave Presotto declined to install it and wrote
> his own (upas) for Research.
> I don't recall the cited "contest". And Dennis's reaction to
> the CaCM article seems somwhat harsh. But the context is that
> Spafford's overheated initial reaction did not win friends in
> research.
>> Can anyone remember or decipher what this was about???
>> Date: 24 Mar 90 06:52:43 GMT
>> From: dmr at alice.att.com
>> Subject: Re: Contest announcement
>> To: misc-security at uunet.uu.net
>> My own contest is "Most appalling display of classlessness in dealing with
>> a serious subject."  The nominees are:
>> 1) National Center for Computer Crime Data, Security Magazine, and
>>    Gene Spafford, for their "How High Shall We Hang Robert Morris?"
>>    contest.
>> 2) Gene Spafford, for the most tasteless article ever to appear in CACM
>>    (special credits for the Jodie Foster joke).
>>         Dennis Ritchie
>> Some context maybe?
>>> “He has not tried to make any money or work in this area,” Purdue
>>> University computer science professor Eugene Spafford said of Morris
>>> in an interview with The Washington Post. “His behavior has been
>>> consistent in supporting his defense: that it was an accident and he
>>> felt badly about it. I think it’s very much to his credit that that has
>>> been his behavior ever since.”

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