[TUHS] Happy birthday Morris worm

Norman Wilson norman at oclsc.org
Wed Nov 13 06:56:15 AEST 2019

I think I recall an explicit statement somewhere from an
interview with Robert that the worm was inspired partly
by Shockwave Rider.

I confess my immediate reaction to the worm was uncontrollable
laughter.  I was out of town when it happened, so I first
heard it from a newspaper article (and wasn't caught up in
fighting it or I'd have laughed a lot less, of course); and
it seemed to me hilarious when I read that Robert was behind
it.  He had interned with 1127 for a few summers while I was
there, so I knew him as very bright but often a bit careless
about details; that seemed an exact match for the worm.

My longer-term reaction was to completely drop my sloppy
old habit (common in those days not just in my code but in
that of many others) of ignoring possible buffer overflows.
I find it mind-boggling that people still make that mistake;
it has been literal decades since the lesson was rubbed in
our community's collective noses.  I am very disappointed
that programming education seems not to care enough about
this sort of thing, even today.

Norman Wilson
Toronto ON

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