BlackHat USA 2006 Scandal with Michael Lynn? Not Quite.

yesterday (now two days ago), fx, mumpi (see, i remember!), nicole, dan kaminsky and myself went to the cisco black hat party. with us was the ciscogate renowned michael lynn.
we were fx’s guests, as he kindly invited us (great guy who knows how to have fun, and unlike most people, was as honest and blunt as i usually am when we talked, gotta respect that).

we went to the party, registered, said hello to a couple of cisco employees who knew who each and every one of us was (bouncers), a club bouncer, and entered the party. one of many community fun after-parties that come with these conferences.

so far so good. cisco was fun and the party was great. mike spoke with many cisco guys (no hard feelings on either side, it seems, we’re all in the same industry) and we even got our pictures taken together.

a nice older lady, who kept smiling, stood with us in line as we got into the party, etc. was known to us as a reporter. i was next to mike when he said “hello, how are you?” and moved on, not looking to talk with the press yet still being polite.

she watched as mike signed his name.

then, she released this tabloid-like article on, and i quote:
“juniper researcher michael lynn crashes cisco party at black hat”

“the invite-only party last night that cisco held at a nightclub for black hat conference attendees was crashed by security researcher michael lynn, who last year was sued by cisco for revealing a serious flaw in cisco routers.”

and before i get too annoyed, last quote:
“along with some friends, michael lynn, who now works for cisco rival juniper networks, evaded the security checks cisco had put in place for the party, which included a name check and legal identification. lynn and his friends, declaring “cisco owes us a drink,” gleefully posed in front of a cisco sign inside the pure nightclub. once aware the lynn entourage had crashed the party, cisco employees took it in stride.”

not any usual tabloid though, no sir. this was at network world. you can read this article, if you can call it that, here:

inventing a story for fun? trying to get mike into trouble? whatever her game is, this was just low.

there were at least six other reporters there, non of them did this. she did.
ellen messmer, thank you.

as a side-note, that same evening we went in a limo to the zdi party, thumbs-up to tipping point (“a division of 3com”) for the great party! and for fx for knowing how to have fun!

gadi evron,

  • Gouki

    Well, you’re doing the right thing (telling what really happened).

    If this was really a tabloid, I wouldn’t be worried.
    Everyone knows that tabloids are just, tabloids.

    I wasn’t expecting this kind of behavior from NW, tho.

  • Xavier

    Are there news about the CISCO shellcode, and where it can be found ?

  • Pingback: Hackers Blog » Blog Archive » Did Michael Lynn really crash the Cisco party at Blackhat? Hmmm…not so sure about that

  • Paul McNamara

    Ellen Messmer knows what happened here because she was standing directly behind Michael Lynn as he attempted to enter the party. You can read her full account here:

    Your suggestion that she fabricated this story is a grotesque insult. An apology would be in order.

  • Aviram

    paul, ellen might have been standing directly behind michael lynn, but sunshine was standing next to him. as he mentioned, they entered the party together (with some other people mentioned above).

    also, i have to say that your version of what happened actually sounds more like sunshine’s version than ellen’s original article. her article talks about ‘evading security checks’ and ‘crashing the party’ where in your article you talk about not answering the person who checks the names in the entrance – hardly my definition of ‘party crashing’ ;-)

  • Paul McNamara

    Now there’s a Clintonian defense if ever I’ve heard one. Not party crashing? I mean the phrase has no meaning if it can’t be applied here. Seriously, what Lynn did is no crime, sin or even bad deed — personally, I find it amusing — but he crashed the party by evading the security check … and trashing a reporter for reporting it *is* wrong.

  • Jeremy Richards

    To anyone saying it didn’t happen… I was with them and snapped a pic or two…

    There are some inaccuracies in the article in the networkworld article but the event DID happen.

  • mesoge

    I find it hilarious that this is controversial.

    Mike was invited by cisco. How on Earth do you crash a party that you have been invited to?

    The press is so eager for a story this year some have resorted to inventing controversy.

    Seeing things like this distortion happen in person gives me new perspective on the “news” industry.