Black Hat conference: Cisco IOS often targeted by hackers

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Security

IT professionals constantly worry about the next computer virus or worm, but there is a greater threat that is often ignored - Cisco routers. While many people think of the router as a hardware device, Cisco IOS, the software that powers the vast majority of routers is vulnerable to attack. Today, at the Black Hat computer security conference in Las Vegas, security expert Michael Lynn demonstrated just how easily a router can be taken over.

Routers are vital to the Internet as they route and prioritize traffic around the world. Using various techniques that we will explain in a later article, Lynn was able to move memory values within a Cisco router, thereby gaining the "enable" prompt or administrator access.

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Cisco hits back at flaw researcher

Cisco Systems has taken legal action to keep a researcher from further discussing a hack into its router software.

The networking giant and Internet Security Systems jointly filed a request Wednesday for a temporary restraining order against Michael Lynn and the organizers of the Black Hat security conference.

Lynn alledgedly decompiled Cisco's software for his research and by doing so violated the company's rights. "It is our belief that the information that Lynn presented at Black Hat this morning is information that was illegally obtained and violated our intellectual property rights," a Cisco spokesman said.

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You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Researcher Lost Job after Cisco presentation

The Michael Lynn story keeps getting more interesting. The computer security researcher lost his job at Internet Security Systems today after he briefed Black Hat conference attendees about a flaw in the software that powers Internet routers made by Cisco Systems. The latest is that Lynn has been served with a temporary restraining order designed to prevent him from discussing any more details about the flaw.

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You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Flaw researcher settles dispute with Cisco

Michael Lynn, a former Internet Security Systems researcher, and the Black Hat organizers agreed to a permanent injunction barring them from further discussing the presentation Lynn gave Wednesday. The presentation showed how attackers could take over Cisco routers, a problem that Lynn said could bring the Internet to its knees.

The injunction also requires Lynn to return any materials and disassembled code related to Cisco, according to a copy of the injunction, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California. The injunction was agreed on by attorneys for Lynn, Black Hat, ISS and Cisco.

Lynn is also forbidden to make any further presentations at the Black Hat event, which ends Thursday, or the following Defcon event. Additionally, Lynn and Black Hat have agreed never to disseminate a video made of Lynn's presentation and to deliver to Cisco any video recording made of Lynn.

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You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

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