Robert Tappan Morris launches the Morris computer worm
2nd November 1988
At 8.30pm on 2nd November 1988, Robert Tappan Morris, a student at Cornell University launched a self-replicating computer program onto the Internet. This program spread quickly, infecting computers it came into contact with, causing them to grinding to a halt. Within 24 hours, an estimated 6,000 computers were infected, around 10% of all computers that were connected to the Internet in 1988.
Robert Tappan Morris was the first first felony conviction under the US 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. In response to the Morris worm, DARPA formed the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) to deal with similar future events.