internet fixed!

I finally figured out what the problem was with my internet connection dropping constantly. My ISP wasn’t blocking TCP ports 137, 139 or 1025 at their gateway to the internet and worms were having their vile ways with computers in my ISP’s network.

To exacerbate the problem, they had the switch I’m connected to misconfigured so that it forwarded on unknown traffic. Thus, the worm traffic for the whole network was being broadcast over the segment that I’m connected to.

Turns out, microwave internet isn’t that bad after all. Fairnet Wireless isn’t so bad. Their phone support really tried to help me. I don’t know why they didn’t have their stuff configured properly before, but at least it’s fixed now. Preston and Phil were both pretty helpful too, so props to them.

The only thing that really annoyed me was that I’ve spent around 15-20 hours diagnosing this problem, making sure that I’d done *all* my homework on it, etc. I didn’t want to blame them for something that could have possibly been my fault. Then, once I’d done that, I had to diagnose the problem on their end, since they couldn’t seem to. Once it was all done, and I asked if they were going to give me any sort of discount for my troubles, they gave me one month free. A month is nice and all, but I suspect that I just saved them several hundred dollars a month in electricity (it takes power to transmit all that worm traffic constantly), let alone saved them future customer complaints and improved their network reliability.

Oh well. One free month of service, and service that finally works is worth it, I spose. It _is_ annoying being limited to a single broadband service out here in the sticks. I’m just thankful that they are responsive.

  1. Be thankful for what you have.

  2. Heh, electricity? Are you kidding me? With those ports open, electricity would have been the least of there problems. If they had called us asking for help, it would have cost them 5,000 minimum for us to come in for a single day and help straighten them out.

    Odds are that any system relying solely on that ISP to protect them has been having some issues. With netbios wide open, people are just asking for bad things to happen, and I’m not just talking about worms. I was recently on an assessment where they had accidentaly misconfigured things and left a single server exposed over 135, 137, 138, 139, and 445. Within several days there were literaly hundreds of thousands logon attempts. People were walking the SID, getting user accounts, and locking them out on a regular basis as a result of their brute force attempts.

    You saved them more then you realize 😉

  3. Yeah, be thankful. No intarweb in my styx.

  4. If you live in the styx, perhaps you could get Charon to deliver some packets for you now and then? I hear he’s pretty reliable.. 😛

  5. Charon’s prerequisites for subcontracting are pretty heavy, though.

  6. Ah, good point. Reliability always comes with a hefty pricetag I spose.

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