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UNIX was originally designed by programmers for use by other programmers.The environment in which it was used was one of open cooperation, not one of privacy.Businesses use their UNIX systems for confidential tasks such as bookkeeping and payroll.And the government uses UNIX systems for various unclassified yet sen- sitive purposes.
Universities require their students to use the system for class assignments, yet they do not want the students to be able to copy from each other.VAX is a trademark of Digital Equipment Corporation. All of these features have increased the utility and usability of UNIX by untold amounts.However, these same features, along with the widespread connection of UNIX systems to the Internet and other networks, have opened up many new areas of vulnerability to unauthorized abuse of the system.On the evening of November 2, 1988, a self-replicating program, called a worm, was released on the Internet [Seel88, Spaf88, Eich89].Overnight, this program had copied itself from machine to machine, causing the machines it infected to labor under huge loads, and denying service to the users of those machines.Although the program only infected two types of computers,* it spread quickly, as did the concern, confu- sion, and sometimes panic of system administrators whose machines were affected.While many system administrators were aware that something like this could theoretically happen - the security holes exploited by the worm were well known - the scope of the worm's break-ins came as a great surprise to most people.Date: 7 May 90 GMT Organization: The Avant-Garde of the Now, Ltd.Lines: 4354 Approved: [email protected] Final Report April 1990 IMPROVING THE SECURITY OF YOUR UNIX SYSTEM David A.Several sites, including parts of MIT, NASA's Ames Research Center and Goddard Space Flight Center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the U. Army Ballistic Research Laboratory, disconnected themselves from the Internet to avoid recontamina- tion.In addition, the Defense Communications Agency ordered the connections between the MILNET and ARPANET shut down, and kept them down for nearly 24 hours [Eich89, Elme88].