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Cash machines froze. Airlines and hospitals dusted off paper forms to schedule reservations and track patients. This was the scene on Jan. 25, 2003, shortly after the Slammer worm appeared and quickly began spreading around the world, flooding computer networks with worm- generated traffic and knocking vital database servers offline.
One year after it appeared, the Slammer worm, aka Sapphire, is being remembered this week as a watershed moment in the life of the Internet: the sudden appearance of a new type of malicious code that could spread worldwide in minutes.
Slammer used a known buffer overflow in Microsoft's SQL Server database to spread worldwide in …