This Day in Computer History: September 26

Written by:  Pipedreamergrey • Edited by: Michele McDonough
Updated Sep 28, 2008
• Related Guides: Computer History

Today marks the anniversary of Neal Patrick's testimony on hacking before Congress. Read about the event 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.

This Day in Computer History


The Saturday Evening Post ran advertising for what was the earliest known hardware/media bundle Edison Phonographs that came with recordings of Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.


The United States Federal Trade Commission, the agency that will have great influence over the computer, software, and telecommunications industries, was established to regulate commerce by the Federal Trade Commission Act.


Seventeen year-old Neal Patrick, one of the principal members of the 414s hacking group testified before the United States House of Representatives regarding the ease with which he and his group committed the series of high-profile network hacks. The 414s is a seven member group named after the area code of their hometown, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that had admittedly broken into dozens of systems across the country, including the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Security Pacific Bank, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Patrick explained the dangers of leaving vital national networks exposed and offered a number of suggestions as to how to secure such networks. “There was no damage, but the potential for damage was enormous,” testified Patrick. The 414s' string of exploits, coupled with new media attention brought to the hacking scene by the release of the film WarGames, had forced Congress to examine cyber-security in a public forum for the first time. By the year's end, Congress would introduce six bills governing computer crime. The testimony will also make Patick's name famous, landing him on the cover of Newsweek and earning him global celebrity among hackers and IT professionals.

Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov averted nuclear war when he certified that a computer's detection of an inbound nuclear strike was a false alarm without first verifying facts, against all military policy.


Iomega kicked off a seventeen-stop "Zip-Across-America" promotional tour across America demonstrating Iomega's new mass storage device, a 3.5-inch disk drive with one hundred megabyte capacity disks. The tour begins at the National Mall in Washington D.C.


ATI Technologies announced that Apple's new line of iBook laptops would feature RAGE Mobility 128 graphics processors as a standard option.

Yahoo! launched Yahoo! Experts.


Eighteen year-old Jeffrey Parson of Hopkins, Minnesota was arrested for having allegedly released a variant of the Blaster Computer Worm and using the network it created to launch a SYN flood against Microsoft's security site The damage to the website was ultimately minimal because the attack was so specifically directed at port 80 of, and all Microsoft had to do to render the attack impotent was to redirect browsers to

Perl 5.8.1 was released.


Microsoft acquired the Gteko research firm for US$110 million and merged it into Microsoft Research.


Microsoft launched the Live Search Video service.

Twelve hundred eBay users' data, including their credit card numbers, were posted by an anonymous hacker on eBay’s Trust & Safety forum. In an attempt to defray the damage done to its credibility, eBay responded by claiming that the credit card numbers were not the ones officially associated with the user names listed.

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