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Cisco has fixed a bug in its IOS (Internetwork Operating System) router software that contributed to a brief Internet blackout last week, thought to have affected about 1 percent of the internet.The experiment made it difficult to reach some networks in more than 60 countries, according to Renesys General Manager Earl Zmijewski, who blogged about the issue on Friday. More than 3,500 "prefixes," or blocks of Internet Protocol address space, were affected, he said. There are just over 333,000 such prefixes on the internet, according to the website Cidr-report.org.The bug was discovered last Friday when the RIPE NCC (Reseaux IP Europeens Network Coordination Centre) and researchers at Duke University started distributing experimental BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) data via RIPE NCC's systems. A large number of routers on the Internet became unreachable within minutes and the experiment was quickly stopped.The Border Gateway Protocol is used by routers to find the best ways to send traffic to each other on the internet. Because it is very easy for bad BGP data to spread quickly, security experts have warned that it could someday be misused to seriously disrupt the internet.In an interview on Monday, Zmijewski said that while Cisco's buggy software caused the problems, the Duke team running the experiment should have been more careful. "The days of academics playing with a live network are kind of gone now," he said. "I think it would be foolhardy to try something like this in the future. I'm amazed that this happened in the first place."RIPE NCC is going to be stricter about the way it runs such experiments and will give Internet operators advance warning in the future, the group said.