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July 29, 2005
Hammers and Mercury Again
... or, doesn't anyone EVER learn? Or, Internet... censorship... damage. It's not possible that this could surprise any sentient being. But here's the headline:
Lynn presentation leaks onto Net
Well, no kidding. For those not following this gem, the Lynn in question is researcher Michael Lynn. The presentation is a talk Lynn prepared on known exploits against Cisco routers. Apparently this is stuff that has been known for some time and Cisco is working to fix amid a sea of misconceptions about the basic security of the hardware/software that powers much of the Internet. And what has leaked onto the Net is a PDF file that contains the presentation Lynn was scheduled to give at Black Hat in Las Vegas.
UPDATE: RickF of InfoWarrior commented that he has recieved a takedown notice and has removed the PDF. Please read his update in the Comments.)
I say "was," because earlier this week Cisco pressured Internet Security Systems (Lynn's employer at the time) into removing the presentation from Black Hat. Lynn then threatened to go ahead anyway and resigned from ISS. Cisco got an injunction; Lynn gave the presentation. Now it's getting ugly. According to blogger Brian Krebs, the FBI is involved and this is after an agreement was reached among Cisco, Lynn, ISS and the Black Hat organizers not to further distribute the material. Krebs' blog has a blow-by-blow including the agreement text. (There's also an interesting aside that at least 16 WIRED reporters were laid off this week - anyone have the story on that?)
Kieren McCarthy at Techworld hits the nail on the head, noting that Cisco has been "heavy handed" and the result has been a backfire of major proportions. The story is everywhere; the presentation is hot. Note to all you control freaks: do not, repeat DO NOT hit the blob of mercury with the hammer. Really.
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