Hackers offer stolen firewall code for sale

Cisco is taking a hard-line stance to the alleged theft and online sale of its source code from PIX 6.3.1. firewall software.

A local spokesperson for the networking giant, Peter Witts, said the company is taking the matter very seriously.

On a note posted to the alt.gaps.international.sales newsgroup last week, Ukranian outfit the Source Code Club (SCC) announced the 37.5MB code was available for just over $30,000.

The group, which earlier this year offered online sales of the source code of the Enterasys Dragon Intrusion Detection System 6.1 for $25,000, is now hawking what is considered to be source code for the most commonly used corporate firewall in Australia.

Current software for Cisco PIX (version 6.3.4.) was released in July this year.

While the stolen PIX code (6.3.1.) was released in March 2003 the SCC is now offering more - code deemed "sensitive" - to anyone willing to pay.

Despite the theft, AusCert (Australian Computer Emergency Response Team) analyst Robert Lowe, said the posting hasn't resulted in new vulnerabilities being created although it is still a concern for Cisco customers.

"Source code is like the floor plans to a house and a floor plan gives you more ability to break in -people using source code to look for vulnerabilities already have a head start and don't have to reverse-engineer software," Lowe said.

"It is definitely a concern for customers but Cisco is capable of handling the incident."

Nick Verykios, marketing director of Melbourne-based Firewall Systems, said it is serious for customers because the code is now in the wild and open for anyone to use.

"It is like a bank losing every single user ID and personal password - it is exposed to the world and once the coding is open - whether or not theft has been factored in the design is irrelevant," Verykios said.

"The key thing now is that those firewalls are vulnerable - an IT manager can sit and worry until the cows come home but the damage has been done and the reality is you might have a vulnerable network.

"The saving grace is if IT managers have proper security policies in place, but they should already be outsourcing to security companies."

In September this year a 20-year-old British man was arrested for stealing, and posting more than 800MB of source code from Cisco's Internetwork Operating System in May to a Russian Web site.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Crawford

Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?