The first hacker in the USSR appeared even before the Internet - he deliberately broke the conveyor of AvtoVAZ

Few people know, but there were also hackers in the USSR. But the first hacker who was officially known was Murat Kamukhametovich Urtembaev, born in 1955. In 1978, after graduating from Moscow State University, he was assigned as a software engineer at AvtoVAZ.

Not to say that he was happy with this distribution - he saw himself in a different role than writing primitive programs for machine tools in an industrial plant. But at the end of his postgraduate internship, his superiors promised him a good position, a salary, and even a business trip abroad.

But the management of the plant simply deceived him - there was no way for him to raise his salary or position, although he successfully passed the certification. By the way, his life in Togliatti then was not very good - his wife could not find a job, and a software engineer in the USSR received the usual salary of an engineer, on which one can still live, and the two of us are already tight.

Photo for the cover.
Photo for the cover.
Photo for the cover.

And he, a 27-year-old software engineer, decided to take revenge on the plant, and not only to take revenge, but to get himself a bonus and a possible promotion.

His cunning plan was outrageously simple: it was necessary to disrupt the operation of the conveyor in a few days. after he goes on vacation, he will be called from vacation, he will fix everything and possibly receive a bonus and increase. He did everything very cleverly: the virus was supposed to start a few days after his vacation for only 30 minutes, which would be enough for a crash.

This is how the failure was seen. I will not paint here, you can find this information on the net.
This is how the failure was seen. I will not paint here, you can find this information on the net.

After a while, the virus should start up again. But there was an error in the virus and it started even before it went on vacation. The conveyor stopped. We brought together all the programmers who worked with the program.

But since everyone wrote only part of the program, it was difficult to figure it out. Even in those years, they used fragmentary writing of programs so that one person did not know 100% how the program works and could not spoil it. Now, by the way, in large companies this practice works everywhere and sometimes the programmer does not even know what the code of his program is actually doing.

For 3 days the programmers understood the problem, but Urtembaev was silent and also “understood”. Moreover, it turned out that other parts of the program crashed, and Murat's code was working fine. Only on day 3 did they realize that the problem was in Murat's code. They decided to compare the versions and saw a new line that, at a certain position of the counter, gave a random command to other code fragments.

The plant's losses were huge - during the days of downtime, AvtoVAZ was unable to produce about 500 cars, so the problem was interested at the highest level. The case was handled by the KGB of Togliatti. Subsequent verification showed that Murat was not the first hacker, but the first hacker caught.

Before him, there were such failures for the sake of receiving awards and promotions... Perhaps Murat would have succeeded if his virus had not failed - he should have "failed" only 20 minutes every few days and there would have been no tangible loss, but he made a mistake.

In the USSR then there was still no article for hacking, so Urtembaev got off with 1.5 years probation under the article for hooliganism, as well as a fine of 12,800 rubles (the cost of two VAZ "kopecks") and demoted to locksmith. After "working off" as a mechanic, he again worked as a programmer at the plant, then left for Kazakhstan and worked as a programmer at Kazpost. He did not become a hacker, but he became widely known among programmers. He died in 2010.

Thanks for reading

My site | My YouTube channel | Click "Like" if it was useful and interesting!

  • Share:
Instagram story viewer