Cisco Systems says arrest in Sweden linked to theft of its code

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WASHINGTON (AFX) - Tech giant Cisco Systems Inc said Tuesday that an arrest was made in Sweden for the theft of its source code, or programming instructions, for equipment controlling a large share of global internet traffic.

The company did not elaborate on the theft, but computer security experts said the source code, posted last year on the internet, had been used for a series of attacks on computer systems, including those of the US military and research institutions.

The New York Times reported earlier that the stolen codes had been used in a 'broad and long-lasting' attack on computer systems serving the US military, NASA and research organizations.

Cisco said it was aware of the arrest in Sweden linked to the theft last May of a portion of Cisco's Internetworking Operating System (IOS) code that was 'illegally copied and subsequently posted on the internet.'

The company provided no details about the suspect, which The New York Times said was a 16-year-old in Uppsala, Sweden.

'We are very encouraged that an arrest has been made in Sweden and will continue to work with the appropriate law authorities,' Cisco spokesman David Cook said.

'We will take every measure to protect our intellectual property and take this issue extremely seriously as you would expect.'

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