(Shoch and Hupp 1982) The “worm” programs


Shoch, John F.; Hupp, Jon A. The “worm” programs—early experience with a distributed computation. Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery. 1982 Mar; 25(3):172–180.

A report of early research (although by no means the first) with self-replicating “distributed computations” that could travel from machine to machine over a local area network. This report is notable for, among other things, using the expression “worm” for these computations, and crediting John Brunner’s novel The Shockwave Rider for this terminology. Although Shoch and Hupp’s worms were intended as useful applications, not as malware, one of them—apparently a spontaneous mutant due to corruption of code during copying—crashed dozens of computers through failed attempts at replication.

 

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Last revision: April 5, 2013