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Interview With Darl McBride

Aired January 30, 2004 - 13:23   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, there's a $250,000 reward out in an effort to find the maker of the latest worm. MyDoom is the fastest growing virus ever. And apparently it's been traced to Russia.
Darl McBride is the president and CEO of SCO Group. He joins us to talk about the reward, which he's putting up here. And he's the company that owns the Unix code. Mr. McBride, Thank you for joining us.

DARL MCBRIDE, PRES. & CEO, SCO GROUP: Good to talk to you today, Miles.

O'BRIEN: Rewards for people who put out viruses and worms, that's a relatively new concept, isn't it?

MCBRIDE: It's actually a very old concept. You go back to the wild west days, when you had a hard time finding people, you put a bounty out and then people would bring them in. We;re on a new digital frontier now. It's very difficult to track these people down.

You have Skulls (ph) Web site, the author of this virus infecting million of computers around the world and you have many, many layers in between. It's so hard to get through those layer track down the author that the award seem to be the way to get people to step up with information.

O'BRIEN: You know that wild west analogy is apt isn't it?

MCBRIDE: This is a new digital frontier. We came out, we found that key parts of our code -- we owned the Unix operating system -- was showing up in this new upstart program called Linux. These new programmers working with IBM. We found that things were violated against our copyrights.

And so we filed a $3 billion lawsuit against IBM. We've been working through a judicial system here. But now you have people going outside the system, trying to attack us, to try and shut us down before we have a court verdict.

O'BRIEN: Well, I guess you're right, in the sense that this wild west analogy, carrying that on, it's a frontier with no jurisdictional borders, right? Whatever laws apply, wherever you happen to be standing are what might apply. Nevertheless it might not apply where you are being affected.

MCBRIDE: I think that's exactly the case. With the new Linux system, it's very interesting, because it's very open, anybody around the world can participate, anybody can use it.

But what happens when you have a problem inside the system? Because there are no boundaries and no control systems, the mechanism's built into Linux. Then you have this type of behavior when you have a problem actually pop up.

O'BRIEN: Is Linux particularly susceptible?

MCBRIDE: Well, we believe -- we have had four attacks on our company over the last year. At least one was claimed -- the Linux community claimed responsibility for the attack. We believe that there is a problem with Linux in terms of the code we see showing up inside of there. We don't know for sure if this attack is coming from Linux, but we have very strong suspicions that is the case.

O'BRIEN: One final thought. You're talking about the ultimate hall of smoke and mirrors here. What are the chances you could be duped into giving the reward to a culprit?

MCBRIDE: Well, the way it works here, Miles, is to pay the reward out means that that person will be in jail. So I guess conceivably they could turn themselves in, go to jail, sit around with their $250,000 and get out. So I guess maybe that's the way to make money. Since you can't make money with Linux because it's free, maybe that's the new monetization system.

O'BRIEN: Well that's an important piece of fine print. But I suppose the point here is if you know somebody, you should contact whom?

MCBRIDE: Please contact your local FBI office. And they're taking leads, we're getting leads right now. We're encouraged by some of them. Hopefully, we'll be able to track these people down.

O'BRIEN: Darl McBride, president and CEO of SCO Group, joining us from Salt Lake City. Thank you for being with us.

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