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Denial-of-service attack hits SCO site

The SCO Group website is online again following a denial-of-service attack which left it out of action for three days.

The attack was perpetrated by a member of the-open source community who was upset with SCO's escalating conflict with the Linux community, according to open-source advocate Eric Raymond, who said that he had been in contact with an associate of the attacker.

Although Raymond said he did not know the attacker's exact identity, he offered a few details. "He's one of us. He is part of the community around open-source software and the internet infrastructure and he's pretty senior."

Last weekend's attack was not the first DOS attack on sco.com. In early May, the site was shut down for several hours.

SCO is working with the FBI to pursue charges against the author of the May attack, and company executives have complained in the past of being unfairly victimised by overzealous Linux fans.

Earlier this year, SCO sued IBM for more than $3bn, claiming that IBM had inappropriately added code that was derived from SCO's Unix System V software. SCO has also maintained that Unix code has been directly and illegally copied into Linux, though the company has yet to provide any compelling evidence to substantiate its charges. 

Last week, SCO chief executive officer Darl McBride complained of being picketed, targeted with crank telephone calls at 2am, and even challenged to a fist fight by a SCO detractor.

"Terrorists do things designed to intimidate people, and we see a lot of that going on all the time - people trying to attack us or people that we're associated with," he said at the time.

"If you look at a DOS attack, that's a form of cyber-terrorism ... When you're shutting people's websites down, you are impacting commerce. That's against the law."

Raymond and fellow open-source advocate Bruce Perens condemned the attack, saying that the open-source community would be better off compiling evidence against SCO's claims, rather than attacking SCO directly.

"I think it's important that we hold the moral high ground here," said Perens. "We are the good guys. We are the ones who are having false claims made about us."

Robert McMillan writes for IDG News Service


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