The Morris Worm has hit!

Subject: Virus (READ THIS IMMEDIATELY)

There's a virus running around; the salient facts. A bug in sendmail has been used to introduce a virus into a lot of Internet UNIX systems. It has not been observed to damage the host system, however, it's incredibly virulent, attempting to introduce itself to every system it can find. It appears to use rsh, broken passwords, and sendmail to introduce itself into the target systems. It affects only VAXen and Suns, as far as we know.

-- http://article.olduse.net/5309@medusa.cs.purdue.edu

The post includes handy tips for binary editing sendmail to fix it.

Usenet does not seem to have been affected too badly by the Morris worm, perhaps because it spreads by the Internet. There may be less traffic for a while as servers get taken down and fixed. Stay tuned to our news feed to follow this infection as it happens.

Interesting to think about what will happen to the creator of this worm if he's caught. Maybe they'll throw the book at him. Or maybe in a couple decades he'll go on to found an influential startup incubator named after an obscure lambda calculus abstraction. Stranger things have happened.

Viruses are the thing this fall in 1988. A virus that inserted itself into source code distributed over Usenet was found a month earlier.

On inspection, we discovered that about 40% of the sources on our system were infected by the speedhack virus, We also found it in one set of shell archives that we'd received but never unpacked or used, which we took as evidence that it had spread to a number of other systems.

Be sure to read the whole post on that one..