Talk:Morris worm

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High traffic

On 20 May 2010, Morris worm was linked from Slashdot, a high-traffic website. (See visitor traffic)

Citation needed error[edit]

A user has said a citation is needed for the fact the worm came from MIT, but infact the court notes in reference [2] address this issue. Not sure how to change myself, perhaps someone else could do it =] (talk) 16:55, 29 April 2015 (UTC)


For a detailed chronology, see

Broken reference[edit]

The fourth reference on this page is linking to Apparently, bs2's web registration expired because that's currently a spam page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:26, 19 March 2013 (UTC)


Surely wikipedia should be a repository for this sort of information, not just a bunch of links to places that already has it. Stub articles like this strike me as counterproductive. Write an article or not, but don't just link to external (non-free) content.

I agree that the information should eventually be incorporated into an article, but until then, why not link to relevant external sources, especially ones that could be used to improve the article? -- Stephen Gilbert

Well, thats why I left the URL in /Talk, so someone can cannibalise it later GWO

The jargon file entry, which has been reproduced here, can be appreciated only with someone familiar with both Tolkien as well as the hacker culture, and has no place here. In particular, I think that the use of the word hacker in this sense is not a good idea except in articles about the hacker culture itself, since it is not mainstream usage, even though a majority of wikipedians probably use it in this sense. Unless someone has an objection, I'm removing the jargon file paragraph, replacing it with something like "The Morris worm has sometimes been referred to as the Great Worm, because of its devastating effect upon the internet". -- Arvindn

I agree. Drop it at will. -- Nixdorf

I'm just wondering why the link to the worm's source code has been posted? I'm a bit concerned about providing information on a destructive program (however 'good' the initial intentions of said program were) to an unscrupulous user. I'm going to pull the links, just to be on the safe side. DarkMasterBob 02:16, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
The source code was made widely available by reputable people who analysed it in the first place -- removing the link from wikipedia isn't going to make it any harder to find, so I don't agree with your reasoning. However, I do think that it is worth decluttering the article and rather than linking directly to the source code, link to the CERIAS repository that contains the papers and source code collection. mgream 20:28, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I realize that removing the links won't make it any harder to find. That being said, I'm much happier providing a link with some information, so they *know* what they're messing about with :). I suppose that I'm just being Old and Grumpy (Happens a lot these days, y'know) ;). And, on that note, I agree! A link to the CERIAS repository is a good idea. Source code isn't really much use by itself, and this'll give a better idea of what we're talkin' about :)
This worm will not affect any computer system in use today, it will probably neither compile using modern compilers. It is only dangerous to computer archaeological stuff from the paleolithic age of UNIX mainframes. Also, using source code require that you deliberately compile and execute it, something I believe no clueless person would do without knowing exactly what they do. I have never met a person who randomly downloads, compiles and runs source code without any purpose. Nixdorf 09:12, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Heh. You've probably never met the majority of my high-school computer science class when it comes to compiling unknown code (heck, half the stuff they *made* had no apparent purpose ;) ), but I concede the point. DarkMasterBob 09:43, 17 June 2006 (UTC)


6,000 computers (the number affected by the Great Worm) in 1988 is the equivilant of how many computers today?*Kat* 00:25, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

  • According to Google, there were around 60,000 hosts on the Internet in 1988, and most articles seem to agree that 5-10% of the Internet were affected, although Richard A. Spinello (in e.g., Cyberethics, ISBN 0763700649) claims the number of infected hosts were 2,500. Stacey L. Edgar (in Morality and Machines, ISBN 0763717673) gives 2,500 to 3,000 hosts, but Edgar may have Spinello as reference. As for the impact, it is claimed that for instance Code Red spread faster than the Morris Worm. Zigkill 12:43, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The sentence about the creation of CERT conflicts with the information in the US-CERT article. The US-CERT article says the agency was created in September 2003, far after this worm spread. One cause of this could be that this article originally referred to the Computer Emergency Response Team, while the linked article referrs to the Computer Emergency Readiness Team. From what I can find, CERT (not an acronym) is an institute at Carnegie Mellon University that this article could be referring to, but funding for it was granted by the Department of Defense in 1985, which precedes this worm. I have removed this sentence from the article. Niran 23:10, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

3 Feb 1989 CompuServe Magazine article on the DoD's creation of volunteer-run The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) in response to the Morris worm.

Worm Classifications?[edit]

flash worms p2p worms etc..


Robert worked at Bell Labs before he wrote the worm, as a summer intern (his father was a long-time member of the computer research group). I had recently written (in 1984) one of the first fast DES programs, using table look-up for S-box and P-box computation, and Robert and I easily adapted this code to perform a fast unix "crypt" function, the UNIX password one-way hash function. In retrospect, am fairly certain that he used our code in the worm program, without my knowledge of course. DonPMitchell (talk) 05:45, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Robert Tappan Morris article contains more details about the worm than this article[edit]

See for yourself, Robert Tappan Morris I can't be arsed to integrate the two, but really the info on that article should really be here. (talk) 03:39, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Is it 'the first' or 'one of the first'?[edit]

Bitbut (talk) 11:54, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Factually, it's one of the first. Here's a newspaper reference from 6 months earlier: and Though this article calls the albany worm a 'virus' (complete with scare quotes, that's how early this was,) I happen to have firsthand knowledge ;-) that it was, in fact, a worm. SteubenGlass (talk) 01:19, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Belay that. In 1988 a lot of people used 'worm' to mean a virus without a payload... nobody had really conceived of a standalone app that propagated itself without a host, far as I know. Nowadays everyone seems settled on the modern definition of a 'worm' as a standalone app, with or without a payload. The second article link above contains a quote that clearly shows the April 1988 one to be a virus. And 20 years of resenting Robert Tappan Morris getting all sorts of wealth and fame simply by fucking up worse draws silently to a close. SteubenGlass (talk) 03:16, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Architecture Section confusing + jargon[edit]

The section on "Architecture of the worm" contains too much jargon and is not immediately approachable. This language should be simplified for clarity.

Baygross (talk) 16:17, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Source code[edit]

The external link that purports to point to the "original commented" source code of the worm actually points to Prof. Eugene Spafford's decompilation of the worm. To the best of my knowledge, the original source is not available anywhere is has probably been lost. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:54, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

It's not likely to have been lost as it is evidence in a (literal) federal case. Also it's on the floppy disk in the picture. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Quipchip (talkcontribs) 01:51, 6 February 2015 (UTC)


Does anybody know what language the worm was written in? Devinthepeng (talk) 23:37, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Pop Culture References[edit]

Was the Morris Worm the inspiration for the computer virus in Halt & Catch Fire? GuyPaddock (talk) 19:20, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

Gauging the size of the internet?[edit]

As far as I can tell, there is no source for the claim that the worm was created to gauge the size of the internet. It seems to have been introduced with this edit back in 2005, with no source attached. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:34, 9 October 2018 (UTC)