Thirty Years Ago: First Major Internet Attack

 Posted on November 23, 2018 in Computer Crime

Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerOn November 2, 1988, a cyber worm was disseminated on the Internet from a computer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Thirty years ago, the Internet was a different place; there were only 60,000 computers online, most of them at prestigious colleges and universities or research centers. Of those, 6,000 computers were infected over the course of 24 hours. The worm hit computers running a certain version of the Unix operating system. Infected computers began to run very slowly with many vital functions delayed for days. It was hard to ascertain the amount of monetary damages caused. Estimates ranged from $100,000 to millions of dollars. Who was behind this first-of-its-kind attack? A 23-year-old programmer named Robert Tappan Morris from Cornell. Morris hacked into the MIT computer system from Cornell to cover his tracks. Morris maintained that the worm was more of a test and that he surprised himself at how quickly it spread. He tried to issue a statement through a friend with details on how to remove the worm, but ironically, the message could not be disseminated due to the slowness of the Internet for those affected. Federal prosecutors charged Morris with the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and he was the first person found guilty under the law. Morris did not have to go to jail. Instead, he was sentenced to probation, a fine and 400 hours of community service. It is said that the Morris Worm has served as inspiration for generations of computer hackers. Indeed, the weaponization of the internet has become more sophisticated over the last 30 years. As hackers’ attacks have become more potent and the number of Internet users has skyrocketed, the federal government has because more involved in catching hackers and charging them with crimes.

Contact a Chicago, IL Internet Crimes Defense Lawyer

Those accused of cyber crimes need a criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in federal law, who understands the latest in technology and who has a network of experts who can aid the court in understanding your defense. An experienced Chicago, IL federal crimes defense attorney is ready to review your case and determine your best defenses.

Because of our attorney’s years of experience in criminal defense in the federal court system, he also is knowledgeable on plea deals and negotiating with prosecutors. Call our office today at 312-629-0669 to set up a free consultation.



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