SCO Web site down again, questions raised

SCO Web site down again, questions raised

The Web site of embattled software maker, The SCO Group, was inaccessible again on Tuesday and Wednesday, fueling reports of another denial of service attack.

The site had just recovered from a crippling denial of service (DoS) attack that lasted throughout the weekend and for much of the business day on Monday, according to SCO.

The outage prompted Internet monitoring company, Netcraft, to declare that SCO was again the target of a DoS attack. However, the outage was actually due to preventative measures taken by SCO and its hosting service to mitigate the effects of future attacks, according to company spokesman, Marc Modersitzki.

The software company has been the target of animosity within the open source community after it sued IBM for, among other things, misappropriation of SCO's Unix source code for the Linux operating system.

In May, SCO went a step further, announcing that it was dropping its Linux software business. At the same time, the company warned commercial Linux vendors that they may be liable for misuse of SCO's intellectual property.

The suit has fanned the flames of passion within the open source software community because it threatens to undermine the growing popularity of Linux, casting doubt on the legal status of the operating system.

The weekend DoS attack followed a similar DoS attack in May and was probably launched by individuals within the open source community, president of Open Source Initiative, Eric Raymond, said.

Following the attacks last weekend, Raymond and other open source advocates condemned the actions and appealed to those within the community to stop attacking SCO's Web site.

On Tuesday, Raymond said those appeals had been well received within the community and that he was confident that open source advocates woule refrain from future attacks on SCO.

"It was surprising to me that it happened and don't think it will happen again," he said about the weekend attacks.

"We're ethical people," Raymond said, speaking of the open source community.

SCO has kept mum about the attack over the weekend, but company executives were contemplating issuing a statement about it Tuesday, Modersitzki said.

The company was hopeful that the steps taken Tuesday would blunt the effects of future DoS attacks, he said.

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