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When the comet broke into similar-size fragments, it may have cracked open an internal structure that astronomers hadn't known existed.
Once there, Morris's program let loose with all sorts of requests: it searched the system for other computers to call up and infect; it broke into higher security areas; and it sent an announcement of its "birth" to a computer in Berkeley (apparently another effort to shake off computer detectives).
This attitude may explain why so many important computers have already been infiltrated, In August 1982, Ken Thompson of Bell Labs also broke into the Arpanet system.