NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Cisco gets routed, more Vista names outed

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Cisco gets routed, more Vista names outed

Thanks to the dozens of readers who noted that my previous column was lacking in the Star Trek department. James "Scotty" Doohan was the second crew member to enter the final frontier; DeForest "Bones" Kelley died six years ago. Actually, I was thinking they'd use that slingshot-around-the-sun trick to go backward in time and pick up Bones, along with Shatner's old hairpieces. No? Then how about this: I forgot. Must have had too much Saurian Brandy.

Cisco inferno: It wasn't that big a deal, but if you tell anybody we'll lock you in a dungeon with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. That's how Cisco Systems reacted to Mike Lynn's Black Hat conference presentation on router security holes. Lynn, who'd worked on router vulnerabilities at Internet Security Systems and felt Cisco hadn't done enough to solve the problem, quit his job so he'd be free to talk. Cisco and ISS sued him anyway, then quickly settled; Lynn is apparently still under investigation by the FBI. The good news? He may soon be starring in a new MTV series, Pimp My Router.

Barn doors: Meanwhile, Cisco and ISS are working overtime to keep websites from posting copies of Lynn's presentation by issuing cease and desist letters. If only Cisco were as skilled at protecting its source code from theft, it might not be in this mess.

Loan rangers: Is Microsoft getting into the shylock business? Microsoft small-business partner Chris A recently answered a survey asking how he would feel about the Redmond Rogues offering financing plans for software and hardware purchases. Hey, why not? They have more money than most banks.

Play Vista for me: It seems Microsoft considered other names before settling on Vista, including Sapphire (a worm or a liquor) and Seven (a slasher flick). I can think of a few others: Windows Succubus (Windows Sux, for short), Windows Ice (because it's constantly melting down), and Winux (just to give SCO someone else to sue). Meanwhile, Cringefan, Ken M points out that VISTA is really an acronym for Viruses, Infections, Spyware, Trojans, and Adware. That's clarity for you.

Got hot tips or Cisco exploits? Send 'em to and you may receive a bag perfect for storing restraining orders.

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