MyDooms Denial-of-Service Attack on SCO May Have Begun

By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2004-01-28 Print this article Print

The SCO Group's Web site was reported to be inaccessible for several hours late on Wednesday. Analysts suggested that the premature execution of the MyDoom worm's distributed denial-of-service attack could be to blame.

According to monitoring systems run by Bath, England-based security consulting firm Netcraft, The SCO Groups Web site had been inaccessible since late Wednesday. SCO said on Tuesday that it had been hit with distributed denial-of-service attack and offered a reward for the arrest and conviction of the worms author. Netcrafts data showed several short-lived outages on Tuesday and then a long continuing break on Wednesday evening. SCO was unavailable for comment.
The distributed denial-of service attack against the Lindon, Utah-based SCO from various versions of the MyDoom worm isnt scheduled to execute until February 1. However, analysts pointed out that users of an infected computer could easily invoke the DDoS action by moving the system clock forward. This idea was suggested by some participants in a recent Slashdot thread.
"During the past ten months SCO has been the target of several DDOS attacks," said Darl McBride, SCOs CEO in a statement released Tuesday.

"This one [MyDoom] is different and much more troubling, since it harms not just our company, but also damages the systems and productivity of a large number of other companies and organizations around the world," McBride continued, "The perpetrator of this virus is attacking SCO, but hurting many others at the same time. We do not know the origins or reasons for this attack, although we have our suspicions. This is criminal activity and it must be stopped," McBride said. Concerned over the reports on open-source boards that cheered the DDoS attacks, longtime open-source heavyweight Bruce Perens weighed in on the matter in an open letter to the Linux community on Tuesday. "Show others by example that our side always takes the high road. When they see a low-road sort of action like denial-of-service, spam, or stock fraud, theyll know who to blame. Remember that your actions count. You are ambassadors of our community," Perens said in the letter.
Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

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