Robert Tappan Morris, Jr.

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Robert Tappan Morris, Jr. (b. 1965?) is an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is best known for creating the Morris Worm in 1988, considered the first computer worm on the Internet.

Morris created the worm while he was a graduate student at Cornell University. The original intent, according to him, was to gauge the size of the Internet. He released the worm from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to conceal that it actually originated from Cornell. Unknown to Morris, the worm had a bug. The worm spread rapidly, infecting several thousand computers. It was estimated that the cost of repair for the damage caused by the worm at each system ranged from $200 to more than $53,000. It was reported that the worm took advantage of a hole in the debug mode of the UNIX sendmail program. On July 26, 1989, Morris became the first person to be indicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986. He was convicted in 1990, sentenced to three years of probation, 400 hours of community service, a fine of $10,050 and the cost of his supervision. Morris was the son of the chief scientist at the National Computer Security Center, a division of the National Security Agency (NSA).

In 1995, Morris and Paul Graham founded Viaweb, a start-up company that created online store tools for websites. Yahoo! bought Viaweb in 1998, and incorporated their online store into Yahoo! Store.

External links

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