McBride denied telephone service

SCO's chief executive has been hit by a personal denial-of-service attack, after his unlisted telephone number was published online

While SCO's technical staff worked at dodging MyDoom's assault on the company's Web site, their chief executive officer, Darl McBride, was experiencing a denial of service attack at a much closer range.

McBride's home phone has been crippled by incoming calls since Sunday, when the previously unlisted number and his home address were posted on popular technology Web site Slashdot.

It is understood that McBride and his wife have been relying on mobile phone service since the calls started rolling in. SCO spokesman Blake Stowell said the family had since received dozens of "obnoxious and sometimes malicious" phone calls

"Someone even had the gall to try and place a 'collect' prank call," said Stowell.

One reader of Slashdot, who claimed to have called the number, reported leaving a message for the McBride family:

"Sorry to say, but, you've been Slashdotted. Have a good Sunday."

Stowell would not say specifically whether McBride had increased security around his family home since its location was published on Slashdot but conceded that "Darl does at times arrange for personal protection by armed security."

When asked how McBride had reacted to the input from the callers, another spokesperson for SCO said:

"I dare say he probably wouldn't have answered any of them".

The assault on the SCO's Web site was instigated by the authors of the MyDoom.A virus, which was discovered on 26 February. The mass-mailing worm was designed to enlist thousands of infected Internet PCs to conduct a distributed denial of service attack on SCO's Web address.

A modified version of the virus targeting Microsoft appeared around three days later but it is widely believed that the primary attack on SCO was linked to the company's attempt to enforce copyright claims against popular open source operating system Linux.

SCO's claims are being articulated in a law suit against IBM in which it alleges Big Blue illegally placed proprietary Unix code into the open-source system.

Raising the ire of the Linux community, SCO is offering licences to commercial Linux users to ensure they do not infringe SCO's copyright. However open-source advocates have derided the little evidence that SCO has presented publicly to back its claims and are advising Linux users to ignore them.

While SCO has described the Web attack as a "nuisance and nothing more" the company has matched Microsoft in offering a $250,000 (£136,047) reward for information leading to the capture and prosecution of the MyDoom authors.