Cisco flaw: fears ease

Wednesday, 23 July 2003, 12:06 PM EST

Despite fears that a flaw in the software that controls most of the routers and switches in the Internet would lead to widespread attacks and outages, security monitoring companies say they have seen little indication of that happening.

The vulnerability, which affects nearly all of the routers and devices running Cisco Systems Inc.'s Internetwork Operating System software, was disclosed late last week, and a working exploit for the flaw hit the Internet Friday. Security experts and network operators worried that the ubiquity of Cisco's devices on the Internet and the easy availability of exploit code would lead to mass attacks on vulnerable routers.

But none of that has come to pass yet.

"It's been generally pretty quiet. The ISPs had pulled together and gotten their patches and access control lists done," said Charles Kaplan, senior director of research and MSS and information security officer at Guardent Inc., a managed security services provider based in Waltham, Mass. "We've been getting a lot of calls from clients asking for advice, but no one has been screaming. It really looks like the ISPs did their jobs."

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