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Cisco Confirms Source Code Theft, Downplays Threat

Cisco Systems confirmed this week that a portion of source code for the operating system that runs its networking gear was stolen.

"Cisco is aware that just prior to last weekend, a portion of Cisco's Internetworking Operating System [Cisco IOS] code was illegally copied and subsequently posted on the Internet," according to a security update, dated Wednesday, on the company's Web site.

Citing preliminary findings, Cisco downplayed potential security threats to customers, noting that the "improper publication of this information does not create increased risk to customers' Cisco equipment."

While the code was illegally copied and "taken outside of Cisco's internal systems," the breach apparently was not a result of the exploitation of vulnerabilities in Cisco products or services offered by to its customers or partners, the company said.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company also said it has no reason to believe that the code theft was initiated by any Cisco employee or contractor.

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