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SCO Down, Up, Down -- What Is Wrong With This Picture?
Wednesday, August 27 2003 @ 03:16 PM EDT

No, not the stock. The site. It's down again. Netcraft is pointing out that if they are having difficulties, there is something they could do to solve their problem. They could just do what Microsoft did and use Akamai's caching service:

". . . conceivably SCO may have difficulty swallowing its pride and buying a service that uses tens of thousands of Linux servers, for which Akamai presumably has not purchased a SCO licence."

Maybe SCO's UNIX servers aren't quite so dernier cri as they told the court. Maybe they decided to upgrade their web site materials and took themselves down and then had trouble getting back up. After all, there is the telling detail that it stayed up during business hours, and then went down. Maybe it isn't an attack anyhow, and the real problem is SCO laid off too many engineers. You think?

If they use IBM's Sequent to run their investor site, as Netcraft earlier informed us and clarified here, it shouldn't be a problem to use Akamai. For further clarification of that Netcraft story, go here:

"It turns out that the Web site is hosted by, an investor communications company that specializes in building and hosting investor relations Web sites, and that the server that hosts SCO's investor relations site is co-located in a facility run by IBM Global Services.

"So IBM is connected to, but not the host of, SCO's investor relations portal. 'They are responsible for making sure the facility is secure, air conditioned, and that the Internet connections are connected to our [server] farm,' a spokesman pointed out to me. He was also quick to note that the IBM facility was just one of two facilities his company used. The other is run by AT&T."

My question is this: Are we to believe that in all these days, if this was an attack, no one can think of a single thing to do about it? A tech company? With all the Canopy Group companies handy, including their ISP, ViaWest, which is also under the Canopy umbrella, there was no other server that could help out? No tech workaround? No firewall, nothing that a tech company could think of to try that could solve the problem?

When they do stagger back up, briefly, visitors report new material on the site. Then there are all the reports of SCO employees saying it wasn't a denial of service attack in the first place. Here is a third person who called SCO and was explicitly told that there was no attack, that SCO took its site down itself for maintenance. Groklaw already reported that two other people also called SCO and were told substantially the same thing. And if it was an attack over the weekend, but now it isn't, as Stowell indicated Tuesday, what is the difference in the symptoms?

One thing is clear, if it were a denial of service attack, it'd be one for the record books. Or maybe there is another explanation, and that is why SCO has decided not to put out a press release about it:

"SCO considered issuing a formal statement in the matter, said Stowell, but decided against it."

SCO refraining from putting out a press release? Anything wrong with this picture?

What to believe? On one side, we have Blake Stowell, who told us that tale about rocket scientists and MIT mathematicians. On the other side, Raymond tells about a mysterious phone call from nameless individuals who want him to be their leader.

Personally, I don't have any leader, and I'm sick of mystery and a lack of verifiable facts.

Until somebody analyzes the packets, and shows them, and not in obfuscating Greek, for crying out loud, and not just bald statements of "fact", I'm from Missouri.

I know that it is possible there was an attack, although I sincerely hope not. But I love facts and truth, and I would like to see some more of both. Could we please see some actual proof before headlines announce as fact something that doesn't yet seem to be established?

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