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History of Cyber Security

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History of Cyber Security

The origin of cybersecurity began with a research project. It only came into existence because of the development of viruses.

How did we get here?

History of Cyber Security

In 1969, Leonard Kleinrock, professor of UCLA and student, Charley Kline, sent the first electronic message from the UCLA SDS Sigma 7 Host computer to Bill Duvall, a programmer, at the Stanford Research Institute. This is a well-known story and a moment in the history of a digital world. The sent message from the UCLA was the word “login.” The system crashed after they typed the first two letters “lo.” Since then, this story has been a belief that the programmers typed the beginning message “lo and behold.” While factually believed that “login” was the intended message. Those two letters of messages were changed the way we communicate with one another.

History of Cyber Security

In 1970’s, Robert (Bob) Thomas who was a researcher for BBN Technologies in Cambridge, Massachusetts created the first computer worm (virus). He realized that it was possible for a computer program to move across a network, leaving a small trail (series of signs) wherever it went. He named the program Creeper, and designed it to travel between Tenex terminals on the early ARPANET, printing the message “I’M THE CREEPER: CATCH ME IF YOU CAN.”

An American computer programmer named Ray Tomlinson, the inventor of email, was also working for BBN Technologies at the time. He saw this idea and liked it. He tinkered (an act of attempting to repair something) with the program and made it self-replicating “the first computer worm.” He named the program Reaper, the first antivirus software which would found copies of The Creeper and delete it.

Where are we now?

After Creeper and Reaper, cyber-crimes became more powerful. As computer software and hardware developed, security breaches also increase. With every new development came an aspect of vulnerability, or a way for hackers to work around methods of protection. In 1986, the Russians were the first who implement the cyber power as a weapon. Marcus Hess, a German citizen, hacked into 400 military computers, including processors at the Pentagon. He intended to sell secrets to the KGB, but an American astronomer, Clifford Stoll, caught him before that could happen.

In 1988, an American computer scientist, Robert Morris, wanted to check the size of the internet. He wrote a program for testing the size of the internet. This program went through networks, invaded Unix terminals, and copied itself. The program became the first famous network virus and named as Moris worm or internet worm. The Morris worm could be infected a computer multiple times, and each additional process would slow the machine down, eventually to the point of being damaged. Robert Morris was charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The act itself led to the founding of the Computer Emergency Response Team. This is a non-profit research centre for issues that could endanger the internet as a whole.

Nowadays, viruses were deadlier, more invasive, and harder to control. We have already experienced cyber incidents on a massive scale, and 2018 isn’t close to over. The above is to name a few, but these attacks are enough to prove that cybersecurity is a necessity for corporations and small businesses alike.

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