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This Day in Computer History: October 13

written by: Pipedreamergrey•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 10/15/2008

Today marks the anniversary of the fastest-spreading computer virus in history, Samy XSS. Read about these events and more in "This Day in Computer History", a chronology of notable events in the computer, ecommerce, and software industries on this day in history.

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    This Day in Computer History

    1982

    The first ever Hi-Tech Rec Videofair was held in Vancouver, Canada through Sunday, October 17. The event, which was sponsored by the Vancouver Neurological Centre, featured home computers, satellite receivers, video game systems, and video recorders.

    1991

    The developer of the Wildcat! BBS application, Mustang Software, acquired John Friel’s QMODEM terminal emulator.

    1994

    Microsoft announced plans to acquire Intuit, the developer of Quicken, for $1.5 billion. However, following an intercession by the U.S. Justice Department, the deal will canceled.

    Netscape Communications Corporation announced the release of Netscape Navigator as free software for “individual, academic and research users."

    1995

    Internet service provider CompuServe publicly announced the launch of what it described as the “most aggressive advertising blitz in its history."

    1996

    ICG Communications announces in a press release that it had “entered into a definitive agreement and plan of merger with NETCOM On-Line Communication Services, Inc.

    1998

    Advanced Micro Devices released the details of its upcoming K7 processors, which will feature speeds of 500 MHz with 200 MHz system buses, multiprocessing capability, and secondary caches between 512 KB and 8 MB.

    The “Electronic Disruption Theater" hacking group publicly accuse the United States Department of Defense of using offensive information warfare tactics in retaliation after the group’s highly-publicized hack of the DefenseLink military network on September 9th. The exchange raises serious questions as to the ethics of domestic data warfare.

    Four Los Angeles men are arrested for an incredibly sophisticated fraud scheme in which the men allegedly altered the gasoline pump processors so as over-gauging the amount of fuel pumped at each machine. Officials are unable to guess how long the men had been defrauding the public because the pumps were programmed to accurately charge customers at the five and ten gallon marks, which are the increments most often used by inspectors during official tests.

    1999

    In the United States District Court of Connecticut, the auction site Priceline.com brings a lawsuit against Microsoft, alleging that the company violated the local Unfair Practices Act and requesting preventative measures to guard against future incidents.

    2001

    Novell released version 7.3 of its SUSE Linux operating system.

    2005

    Samy XSS, a virus propagated through the MySpace social network, officially becomes the fastest spreading virus in history, though the landmark won't be recognized until virus definitions are released for 2006. Within just twenty hours of the virus' release, over one million users had been infected and released the virus' "payload" in turn. MySpace will later file a suit against the virus' creator, programmer Samy Kamkar, and Kamkar, largely due to the excessive media attention brought to bear on the case, will plead guilty to felony charges in exchange for three years of probation.