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Alleged Cisco Hacker Detained In Sweden

David Utter
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-11

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Last year's penetration of Cisco's network and theft of source code was only one of thousands of incidents, investigators find.

When a hacker broke into networking component maker Cisco and stole their Internetworking Operating System (IOS), it was first thought the company was the only target.

Now, law enforcement has found that thousands of machines have been penetrated. Many were on college networks. And many were on systems thought more secure, like military networks or those belonging to NASA or other research labs.

The attacks, enabled by a corrupt version of the Secure Shell (SSH) program, permitted the attacker to steal hundreds of logins and passwords from those machines. When authorities traced the theft, the trail led to university computers in Uppsala, Sweden.

Recently, police there detained a 16 year old male for questioning. The youth has admitted to breaking in to the local university network. From there, authorities found thousands of attacks had been launched from the school's computers.

For Cisco, having its source code taken and subsequently posted online for several days was a horrible crime. But despite the theft and exposure, Cisco has claimed no security compromises happened to its customers. Security holes were patched by the company, and the patches distributed to its many customers.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

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