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Accept it's Cisco source code up for sale

The Source Code Club hackers are back, selling what they claim are files of Cisco firewall software.

The Source Code Club has opened up shop again.

The group of self-identified hackers has posted files online that it claims contains source code for Pix security firewall from Cisco Systems. The price for the proprietary software: $24,000.

"SCC is proud to announce the general availability of Cisco Pix 6.3.1 source code. This release is significant because Pix is vital to the security of many ultra-secure networks," read a Google group posting marked as a Source Code Club newsletter.

The Source Code Club does not indicate in its file posting or in the newsletter where the source code came from or how it was obtained.

"We are aware of the posting and are looking into it," Cisco spokeswoman Penny Bruce said Tuesday. She was unable to comment further on the authenticity of the source code or its source.

Version 6.3.1 is an older version of the firewall product released in March 2003, Bruce noted. Cisco came out with version 6.3.4 in July of this year.

It's the second time this year that the Source Code Club has offered to sell proprietary software to the public. In July, it listed files purporting to contain Enterasys Networks' Dragon intrusion detection system and Napster's client and server software. In its newsletter posting, the group said the prices of that source code had been raised.

The Source Code Club appears to be attempting to boost sales, in an indication it plans to be in business for some time. It now offers a "buyer incentive": People who purchase one full set of source code become a private member, which gives them access to sources not available to the general public, the group said in its newsletter.

Customers can conduct business with the group via e-mail and encryption, a system designed to keep both buyer's and seller's identities secret.

Cisco suffered an earlier leak of its source code in May this year, when an unspecified amount of proprietary source code that drives the company's networking hardware appeared online.