The MyDoom worm has successfully launched a denial of service attack against the website of SCO, the US Unix software developer.
The site, www.sco.com, has been down since the early hours of Sunday morning, 1 February, because the MyDoom worm had been programmed to make infected Windows PCs request the company’s homepage.
The site remains inaccessible and is likely to be so for many days still. In a statement confirming the news, SCO said that it expects the attack to last until 12 February.
The denial of service attack, thought to be among the worst yet recorded on the internet, works by making more requests to a website than it has the capacity to handle. When the site is overwhelmed by internet traffic as a result, it appears to be offline.
It is thought that SCO may have been targeted because it is embroiled in a legal dispute over elements of the Linux operating system. SCO claims to own some of the copyrights to the software and last year issued proceedings to claim money back in damages, including a charge for every computer running Linux.
The MyDoom worm began spreading last week and has already been tagged as one of the worst examples of its kind.
By Gordon Smith