Tuesday, January 27, 2004


posted by Michael Piwonka 4:46 PM
The new MyDoom virus, also known by various other names, is the fastest spreading email virus in history. Its payload includes a backdoor to infected computers, and a scheduled February 1 denial-of-service attack on the SCO website.

While the author of this latest virus is as-of-yet unknown, its target of pounding the SCO website into submission is an irony that can't escape anyone familiar with SCO's lawsuit against IBM. SCO is suing IBM to the tune of US$3 billion because it claims IBM included SCO-proprietary UNIX code in Linux. A recent editorial in the Salt Lake City Weekly gives a good summary of the suit from a local perspective (SCO is headquartered in Utah).

An interesting conspiracy theory, one that is gaining credibility daily, is that Microsoft is merely using SCO as a puppet to try to slow the advance of Linux into its Windows territory (both server and desktop) by spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) throughout the IT world. It is hoped that the threat of potential lawsuits will scare IT managers into purchasing/extending Windows licenses.

Regardless of whether the theory is true, the FUD is a beneficial side-effect for Microsoft.

SCO has claimed in the past that Linux advocates have attempted to disrupt their website. This new virus, which apparently started in Russia, is scheduled to try again on February 1.

The irony is that while SCO and/or Microsoft try to slow the adoption of Linux, this virus (along with all others of any significance) preys upon design flaws (intended as features) in Microsoft software to spread. While Microsoft refers to Linux as viral, it's Microsoft software that allows and perpetuates the software viruses that cause billions of dollars in damages yearly.

Microsoft's plans to squelch an operating system that is superior in design (rarely crashes or has viruses) and superior in cost (as in free), only to have its own software perpetuate a virus against its anti-Linux comrad is extremely ironic. Or just plain sad.


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