Unless you’re into computer science and technology, the history of the Internet is pretty dull.
It’s progression has brought new opportunity in that it allows us to interact with the world and connect with people we would not otherwise meet. Unfortunately, it seems with progression comes bad behaviour.
1998 saw the world’s first major malicious internet-based attack, known as ‘The Morris Worm’ and written by Robert Tappen Morris. Although it seems Morris was led more by intellectual curiosity than malice, the worm caused considerable damage, costing the US Government between $100,000–10,000,000.
The worm is significant not only for the damage it caused but because it changed the culture of internet security forever. It led to the creation of firewalls and other online security measures.
Morris’ intentions behind creating the worm are unclear, but we do know that the bug was not destructive, only causing systems to slow and buckle under weight of heavy processing. This poses the question: Why did he do it?
‘The Morris Worm’ demonstrates early use of the internet for immoral behaviour. Skip forward 30 years and we only have to look at phenomenons such as protocol wars, cyber bullying and ‘dick pics’ to see this has become an ongoing trend.
As the internet proliferates will we continue to find more ways to use it for bad?