From the archives: Hackers

The second computer worm in history was created to seek and destroy the first computer worm; cracking encrypted messages with “gardening”; the man who hacked a lottery’s random number generator; and the single line of code that can shut down a computer.

PDP-10
Retro-Computing Society of Rhode Island [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Reaper, the second computer worm in history, was designed to scour the proto-Internet of 1971 and destroy Creeper… which was the first computer worm in history.


Part of the effort to crack the Engima machine in WWII involved planting plaintext seeds and then watching them appear in encrypted messages.


SONY DSC

In 2010 a man won US$14.3 million by hacking the lottery’s random number generator.


Fork
Raymond Lafourchette [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A fork bomb is a single line of code that’s designed to shut a computer down.

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