The hardware that runs the Internet is primarily sold by one company – Cisco. If hackers were to get the full source code for Cisco’s proprietary IOS operating system it could seriously endanger the Internet in general.
It looks like that code is now in the hands of hackers. From CNET News.com:
An unspecified amount of the proprietary source code that drives Cisco Systems’ networking hardware has appeared on the Internet, the technology giant acknowledged early Monday.
A representative could not confirm, however, that network intruders made off with 800MB of code, as reported by a Russian security group over the weekend.
“Cisco is aware that a potential compromise of its proprietary information occurred and was reported on a public Web site just prior to the weekend,” said Jim Brady, a spokesman for the company. “The Cisco information security team is looking into this matter and investigating what happened.”If this is true, it’s potentially a serious problem for Cisco and the rest of us.