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BugBlog Bug of the Month

Every month the BugBlog picks its Bug of the Month, representing the most significant bug found in the past month. Sometimes, the bug will be the one which could potentially cause the most damage; sometimes it will be the bug which affects the most users. And sometimes, it will be the bug that is just the most interesting bug. This bug will be selected either from the free Bug of the Day, or from the subscription-only BugBlog Plus.

The Bug of the Month for August 2005 was posted as the Bug of the Day on July 29

After a dispute that was as much legal as technical, Cisco announced that their Internetwork Operating System (IOS) software, if it is enabled for IPv6, may be vulnerable to a denial of service attack as well as the possibility of running code sent by attackers. This type of attack can only be done from a local network segment, so the threat is somewhat tempered. Cisco has fix information at http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/707/cisco-sa-20050729-ipv6.shtml. This bug was discovered by Michael Lynn, who used to work for Internet Security System, and was discussed at the Black Hat Event in Las Vegas. Read about the legal dispute behind this at

Why this one? A number of reasons. First, given the market share that Cisco has in routers, this bug could have a significant effect on the Internet, if it is exploited. It may only be a slight exaggeration when it is said that this bug could "bring the Internet to its knees." Second, the researcher who found the bug, Michael Lynn, lost his job for disclosing the bug at the Black Hat Security conference in Las Vegas, after a three-way legal wrangle between Cisco, his former employer ISS, and himself. The legal deal struck basically said that he can't talk about this any more. You can read news reports here, here, here and here. While Cisco has released fix information, not everyone has implemented the fix yet. And hackers everywhere are trying to figure out what Lynn found, so they can take a crack at crashing the Internet.


Previous Bugs of the Month

July 2005: RealNetworks Fixes Four Bugs in Their Media Player

June 2005: Flawed Rollout for Netscape 8

May 2005: TCP/IP Fix for Windows

April 2005: Denial of Service against Symantec Norton AntiVirus

March 2005: IDN Spoofing Bug

February 2005: Windows Animated Cursor Bug

January 2005: Windows Firewall Problems with Dial-up connections

The Bug of the Month is also posted at Blogcritics.org