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   part of SPAN's network, but another internal estimate put the figure

   much higher: 250 to 300 machines. Each of those computers might have

   had 100 or more users. Figures were sketchy, but virtually everyone on

   the network--all 270000 computer accounts--had been affected by the

   worm, either because their part of the network had been pulled

   off-line or because their machines had been harassed by the WANK worm

   as it tried again and again to login from an infected machine. By the

   end of the worm attack, the SPAN office had accumulated a list of

   affected sites which ran over two columns on several computer screens.

   Each of them had lodged some form of complaint about the worm.

  

   Also by the end of the crisis, NASA and DOE computer network managers

   had their choice of vaccines, antidotes and blood tests for the WANK

   worm. McMahon had released ANTIWANK.COM, a program which killed the

   worm and vaccinated a system against further attacks, and

   WORM-INFO.TEXT, which provided a list of worm-infestation symptoms.

   Oberman's program, called [.SECURITY]CHECK_SYSTEM.COM, checked for all

   the security flaws used by the worm to sneak into a computer system.

   DEC also had a patch to cover the security hole in the DECNET account.

  

   Whatever the real number of infected machines, the worm had certainly

   circumnavigated the globe. It had reach into European sites, such as

   CERN--formerly known as the European Centre for Nuclear Research--in

   Switzerland, through to Goddard's computers in Maryland, on to

   Fermilab in Chicago and propelled itself across the Pacific into the

   Riken Accelerator Facility in Japan.14

  

   NASA officials told the media they believed the worm had been launched

   about 4.30 a.m. on Monday, 16 October.15 They also believed it had

   originated in Europe, possibly in France.

  

                            [ ]

 

   Wednesday, 18 October 1989

   Kennedy Space Center, Florida

  

   The five-member Atlantis had some bad news on Wednesday morning. The

   weather forecasters gave the launch site a 40 per cent chance of

   launch guideline-violating rain and cloud. And then there was the

   earthquake in California.

  

   The Kennedy Space Center wasn't the only place which had to be in

   tip-top working order for a launch to go ahead. The launch depended on

   many sites far away from Florida. These included Edwards Air Force

   Base in California, where the shuttle was due to land on Monday. They

   also included other sites, often military bases, which were essential

   for shuttle tracking and other mission support. One of these sites was

   a tracking station at Onizuka Air Force Base at Sunnyvale, California.

   The earthquake which ripped through the Bay area had damaged the

   tracking station and senior NASA decision-makers planned to meet on

   Wednesday morning to consider the Sunnyvale situation. Still, the

   space agency maintained a calm, cool exterior. Regardless of the

   technical problems, the court challenges and the protesters, the

   whimsical weather, the natural disasters, and the WANK worm, NASA was

   still in control of the situation.

  

   `There's been some damage, but we don't know how much. The sense I get

   is it's fairly positive,' a NASA spokesman told UPI. `But there are

   some problems.'16 In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Rick Oborn

   reassured the public again, `They are going to be able to handle