26 August 2003 Hackers have launched a crippling distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against the web site of SCO Group, the Unix operating system vendor fighting a $3 billion legal battle against IBM and Linux.
The attack was not unexpected, nor was it the first. An earlier attack in May downed SCO Group’s site for several hours. However, this latest attack has kept it off the Internet since Friday 22 August and a SCO Group spokesman has admitted that the company has not been able to trace the source.
A DDoS is a simple attack that involves overwhelming a web server with requests for information. Hackers will typically use a number of compromised machines to launch the attack to mask their identity.
But participants on the Full Disclosure security mailing list suggest that SCO Group may have been partly at fault by running its web site on old, unpatched versions of its own OpenServer Linux operating system.
However, open source evangelist Eric Raymond urged the hackers to stop the attack, claiming that it would do the open source movement more harm than good. Raymond, president of the Open Source Initiative, also hinted that a legal ‘counterattack’ against SCO Group was being planned in the open source community.