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Nation IN BRIEF : NEW YORK : Computer Security Is 'Worm' Trial Issue

January 08, 1990|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The trial of a graduate student charged with crippling a national computer network, scheduled to open this week, was expected to call attention to security laws that protect electronic communications systems. Jury selection was to begin today in the case of Robert T. Morris Jr., 24, of Arnold, Md., the first person to be tried criminally under the 1986 federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Morris, suspended from graduate studies at Cornell University at Syracuse, N. Y., is accused of designing and disseminating in November, 1988, a rogue program or "worm" that immobilized some 6,000 computers linked to a research network, including some used by NASA and the Air Force.

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