Lynn likened IOS to Windows XP, for its ubiquity.
"But when there is a Windows XP bug, it's not really a big deal," Lynn said. "You can still ship (data through a network) because the routers will transmit (it). How do you ship (data) when the routers are dead?"
"Can anyone think why you would steal (the source code) if not to hack it?" Lynn asked the audience, noting that it took him six months to develop an attack to exploit the bug. "I'm probably about to be sued to oblivion. (But) the worst thing is to keep this stuff secret."
"There are people out there looking for it, there are people who have probably found it who could be using it against either national infrastructure or any enterprise," said Ali-Reza Anghaie, a senior security engineer with an aerospace firm, who was in the audience.
During his talk, Lynn demonstrated an attack in real time using his own router, but did not allow the audience to see the steps. The attack took less than a minute to execute.
"In large part I had to quit to give this presentation because ISS and Cisco would rather the world be at risk, I guess," Lynn said. "They had to do what's right for their shareholders; I understand that. But I figured I needed to do what's right for the country and for the national critical infrastructure."