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5/16/2004

Cisco source code stolen?  

A Russian security site is reporting that the source code for the Cisco IOS 12.3 Operating System was stolen. According to the report, some hackers compromised Cisco's corporate network and stole at least 800MB of source code. One of those who allegedly gained access boasted about the break-in and made a 2.5MB snippet of the code available on IRC not long after the alleged break-in.

If true, this could cause big problems not only for Cisco, but for the entire Internet. Cisco routers are responsible for routing much of the Internet's traffic, and the company has long practiced a policy of "security through obscurity." Analysis of the source code may turn up a number of security vulnerabilities which could wreak havoc with their routers. Rolling out patches would be a formidable task, especially given the amount of legacy equipment still in service.

The last major code leak occurred in February when some of the source code to Microsoft Windows NT 4 was leaked. Not a whole lot came of the theft - a vulnerability in Internet Explorer 5.x and not a whole lot else. In this case, if it turns out that the source code for the software that runs Cisco's routers is in circulation, things could get very messy.


posted by Capa  # 08:31

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