Robert Morris died - a famous cryptographer, one of the creators of Unix

One of the pioneers of computer science, and played an important role in planning the secret of what was probably the first national cyber war U.S. electronic attacks on the government of Saddam Hussein in the months before the Gulf War in 1991. The unknown cyber attacks, along with the slave laser bombs, is believed to have caused damage to a hefty military command of Iraq before the war themselves.

Robert Morris, who was born in Boston July 25, 1932, received a 1957 bachelor’s degree in mathematics and in 1958 a master’s degree in applied mathematics from Harvard University.

UNIX, debuted in 1960 as a research project at Bell Laboratories at AT & T, up to become one of the world’s leading operating systems - along with Microsoft Windows. Offshoots of the original UNIX marked the beginning of many distributions of Linux, as well as platforms such as Apple iOS, Mac OS X and Google Android.

At Bell Laboratories Morris engaged in a project of compilers, the specialized software tools that transform the machine-readable instructions in a programming language directly executable computer. He then joined the team UNIX, becoming the primary developer of the math library, encryption programs and crypt password authentication system users.

Interest to computer security Morris plunged at the end of the 1970s, he continued his study of cryptography, the theory and practice of protecting information by transforming it into the code. A little later, he joined the research work on breaking one of the German cipher machines. But even before the publication of Morris was invited to the National Security Agency, asking not to disclose the secrets of the Nazis discovered because they were able to show the vulnerability of modern cryptographic systems.

From 1986 to 1994 he worked at Robert Morris NSA, dealing with the protection of government computers, and electronic intelligence and online war.

As the director of research at the National Computer Security Center NSA Robert Morris drew public attention when in 1988 his son, Robert Tappan Morris, a graduate student in computer science from Cornell University, has written a program for the first computer worm, able to spread through Internet channels. Initially, the worm would hide in the depths of the network in the style of graffiti, “There was Nick,” but admitted at his mistake led to the development code that went out of control and infected more than 10% of all 50 thousand on the network to the time machines.

After realizing what a mistake he made, Morris Jr., fled to his parents’ house, but later gave himself up the FBI. Hacker found guilty in accordance with another young federal law on computer crime, was sentenced to probation and community service, plus fined 10 thousand dollars. Subsequently, the author of the first computer worm received his doctorate in computer science at Harvard University.

3 July 2011

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