back to article 1000s of websites vanish as TalkTalk lets domain slip

TalkTalk has apparently let the ukgateway.net domain slip from its DNS servers, knocking thousands of small business and clubs off the internet. The problem emerged on Thursday when sites using the ukgateway.net domain started disappearing, and now the entire domain has vanished leaving the sites orphaned and untraceable, while …

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Happy

"dotted-quad"

*saves*

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Boffin

Dotted quad probably useless

Unless all websites on the shared host use the same domain name, e.g. you access the user website as http://example.com/~username as opposed to as http://username.example.com/ . Even if structured for ancient HTTP1.0 clients which don't send the hostname HTTP header with one site per IP address, most users won't be able to figure out the dot quad number anyway once the DNS record goes away.

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Headmaster

No, dotted quad works perfectly well.

If you put it in your local hosts file alonside the correct DNS name. Then you can put the real DNS name in your browser's address bar and it'll get the IP from the hosts file and send the proper Host: header when it connects. No problem.

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Stop

Good luck...

When I complained about sTalk sTalk's bot which does nasty things (like storing sessions that belong to Talk Talk users and then basically re-running those session when they’re actually still live). I got bounced from pillar to post by people who were only technical because that was in their job title... with their eventual response to my request being "Well its only bandwidth so whats the problem".

Talk Talk as a company are useless and incompetent - and actually sent a debt collector after my parents when Talk Talk in fact owed them money.

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I've dealt with these TT bellends...

...So I can empathise!

Not that I chose them as an ISP (term used loosely!) but my Dad did and it was up to muggins here to sweep up the fallout. But what do you expect when you go for the rock-bottom cheapest? Shit, it took them 4 months to even get him connected!

BeThere.co.uk - You get what you pay for, never had a problem. (Yes, I really do mean NO traffic shaping!)

Could you please elaborate on the sessions thing? I'm more of a layer 2&3 bloke.

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Silver badge
FAIL

You can change your name . . .

. . .but Tiscali lumbers on.

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Anonymous Coward

Here you go....

Basically TT have an "anti-virus" system that checks that the internet sites you are visiting are "safe". It seems to do this by basically intercepting your internet connection and trapping the urls you visit and it basically visits those urls a few minutes after you've been there If you use session ID in the url then of course those get trapped too and so if you've done something like change settings in your session, or say deleted something and then started it again it comes along and basically screws up your session.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/26/talktalk_stalkstalk/

and lots more information out there if you search for it.

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Pint

Oh dear

What a pile of fail. Don't even get me started on the way they block connections for "inactivity".

Drink.... they drive me to it!

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Anonymous Coward

In redemption

couple of days is normal for entries to expire from cache, thus creeping problem.

Domain Name: UKGATEWAY.NET

Registrar: ASCIO TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

Whois Server: whois.ascio.com

Referral URL: http://www.ascio.com

Name Server: NS0.AS9105.COM

Name Server: NS0.TISCALI.CO.UK

Status: redemptionPeriod

Updated Date: 13-apr-2011

Creation Date: 09-nov-1998

Expiration Date: 08-nov-2011

Interesting it was updated on Wednesday 13th of April!

In redemption!

Lookups return no name servers

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Bronze badge
Pint

amendment

That was likely when the name went into redemption period by their registrar.

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Anonymous Coward

Yup

UpdatedDate is the date that the domain went into the redemptioon period.

It will stay there for 75 days (during which it can be re-purchased for around $250 depending on registrar but unavailable to anyone else)

After that it will be PendingDelete for 5 days, then at some point it will be dropped altogether (and from past experience picked up by some company within minutes - and then offered for private sale for $$$)

I accidentally let a domain lapse last year, when I found out that it was $250 I thought - sod that its not a popular site, its not a common or sought after domain Ill let it lapse then re-register it.

I tried to register it 10 minutes after it was completly deleted... it was gone... I then got an email offering it to me for $900. Bargin - needless to say they were told where to stick that.

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FAIL

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

Actually, looks more like they forgot to renew it, rather than removing it from their nameservers.

Domain Name: UKGATEWAY.NET

Registrar: ASCIO TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

Whois Server: whois.ascio.com

Referral URL: http://www.ascio.com

Name Server: NS0.AS9105.COM

Name Server: NS0.TISCALI.CO.UK

Status: redemptionPeriod

Updated Date: 13-apr-2011

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Anonymous Coward

This TalkTalk outfit

Is it the same TalkTalk currently advertising itself as part of a fibre to the premises outfit (together with fellow cowboys Virgin) and a couple of other outfits with better reputations?

However bad BT may be, TT are consistently worse.

Let this be a warning to anyone thinking of looking at anything from TT.

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Silver badge

BT v's TT

As an ex BT BBand employee I can say that thier previous incarnation used to send out BBand modems that seem to have originated as free gifts in cereal packets. Their customers would raise a fault and Tisc would 'test' and blame it on BT. The job would go back to Tiscali asking them to replace the modem as it was they who had provided the bloody thing in the first place. Usually they would send the job back still blaming BT and we'd send out an engineer who would plug in a tadpole and prove connection. Tiscali would still try and reject the fault as not being down to them and still try to blame BT.

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Anonymous Coward

No

Unless you're spoofing your host files, I highly doubt entering a dotted-quad is going to bring up any of these sites directly... Can't imagine that 'campaign for the restoration of All Saints Leighton Buzzard' is on its own dedicated server.

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Megaphone

yeah wahtever

I wondered how many posts it would take before a pedant came up with that statement :D

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Anonymous Coward

Unlikley but

Its not likley but its possible that each subdomain had its own IP and that each site had a unique IP (with multiple IP addresses bound to the same server), in which case this would work perfectly, in fact any of these sites using SSL would probably their own IP (Unless TalkTalk mad e a wildcard cert available, which I doubt)

However, this would be quite unusual, so I guess your point stands (although its not 100% correct)

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Boffin

heh

Pedant beaten by pedant! Indeed, I should have said 'own IP', but dedicated servers are marginally more expensive, so it made the prospect of use by All Saints Leighton Buzzard sound more unlikely! ;o)

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Last straw with TalkTalk/Tiscali

I've had a ukgateway.net email address since 1999 (it came with my old Gateway PC). Over the years, Tiscali (and now TalkTalk) would repeatedly f*** up the ukgateway stuff, from disappearing emails, to not being able to log in to webmail using the email address. So, eventually I got my own domain and have migrated a lot of email correspondence to that, so I now have less reliance on TalkTalk/Tiscali email. Sadly, I haven't yet migrated everything over, in particular my CV still contains the ukgateway.net email address (doh!).

This is the last straw for me. I refuse to call their crappy help centres as I really truely believe they've continually messed up ukgateway.net in an effort to generate more revenue through phoning them up and/or to "persuade" everyone to migrate off of ukgateway.net.

So, who's a decent, reliable broadband supplier these days? It's time to finally move to another provider.

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Go

eclipse.net.uk

Always found to be very reliable, and when there are problems there is someone intelligent and reasonably technically minded in Exeter to sort it out.

Their phone support guys are even patient enough to help my mum with her broadband when it has problems.

Not the cheapest, but certainly worth the extra cash for the reliability and support IMO. Recommended, but as always YMMV!

P

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Not a fan of Eclipse

Had trouble at peak times, barely usable from 4pm to midnight and they changed their limit times from six hours a day to almost eighteen without changing the volume you were allowed to use.

bethere.co.uk have been fantastic for the past two years, can't fault them one iota.

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Paris Hilton

@ bikerlad re ISPs

Try Be* (BeThere) or Zen... have used them both (currently on Be*). I have enjoyed a consistent connection (happymealstyle 8meg deal gives anything from a minimum 6.5meg right up to the magic maximum and sometimes it appears to go far beyond) excellent service (and the few calls for help answered by someone for whom English was a first, rather than a third, language).

Paris knows a cunning linguist

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TalkTalk...

...are awful.

My connection is about as stable as a drunk man, dancing in rollerblades on a snowy mountain during a blizzard at night.

But alas, I doubt I could find a fast, unlimited connection for £15 elsewhere... orz

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Swallowtail

"But alas, I doubt I could find a fast, unlimited connection for £15 elsewhere..."

OK, so you've got to decide whether you want "Cheap" or "Value For Money".

Pay the extra and use someone like Zen, and you'll get a reliable connection, with good support on the rare occasion that you do need it.

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Go

BeThere

Are also good, and not far off 15 quid for their value package.

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Unlimited? No.

But Plusnet'll do you 60GB usage allowance, plus free UK calls (incl 0845 and 0870) for £14.99 plus line rental. I'd ask whether you REALLY have to be unlimited? No, I don't work for them, by the way.

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Thumb Up

Demon

For another £3.60 a month you could go with Demon. You rarely need their support but when you do you tend to get someone who knows what they're talking about*

* or when I last called them, probably 4 years ago

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demon have gone down hill,

the rot set in when thus took over, now there on a par with tiscali, and talk talk.

go for a proper isp, and pay the extra.

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Coat

Alas poor Demon

I moved from Demon to BeThere about a year and a half ago.

Demon used to be lovely for techies, you could speak to somebody about any problem and once they worked out you knew a bit you could cut to the chase.

Maybe 2-3 years ago they put in an india front end with the classic "trouble shooting" script that they had to work through. The script wasn't a very good one and if you had to do a follow up call because their "fix" didn't work then it was back ti line one of the script.

Demon is still fine while it continues to work but if anything breaks that isn't fixed by a router reboot I'd say it's time to get your coat and leave them. You'll get a new ISP connection running faster than they'll fix it.

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Thumb Up

Decent broadband supplier

Zen internet are pretty good - they just do Broadband

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i'll second that

last time i looked i think Zen were the only company to feature in the 10 biggest and 10 best ISPs.

been with them for... i think about 5 years now with consistenrtly good speed access and, to the best of my knowledge, I've only had connection issues (that were their fault) once in all that time. their tech support also give the impression that they know what they are talking about.

by no means the cheapest ISP but you do seem to get what you pay for.

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Thumb Up

Another vote for Zen

I have used them for many years both commercially and privately, and I heartily recommend them.

Their technical people have a real, in-depth knowledge of the subject and are genuinely helpful.

I also strongly recommend their hosting.

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Terminator

Overloaded business model

Let's see how this works: webhost company gets bought by small ISP which wants to provide cheap webspace to customers as a marketing feature. Large cheap ISP buys small ISP and doesn't understand technical maintenance of webhost maintenance when it comes to costcutting. Skilled staff leave, domain doesn't get renewed, webhost maintenance becomes a liability, pissed off customers left stranded.

Moral of the story - keep your web and email addresses on a domain the registration of which you maintain yourself and which you can move between providers, and if you pay nothing for the service don't bother complaining if your digital assets get consumed and excreted during or after an act of corporate cannibalism.

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Silver badge
Happy

Well said!

I got peeved at losing my online stuff, I went out and bought a couple of domains I fancied and the registrar ( Freeparking ) even chucked in some free POP accounts on those domain so I didn't have to worry about email services. Setting up and redirecting to where the webspace is actually stored is not rocket science and does not need a trained CISCO admin to set it up for you, just 5 mins and a little reading up.

As the poster above says, DIY then at least you know what's going on with your kit!

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Google Apps for mail

You can use google apps for free for your email needs (so web access and pop/imap) with your own private domains. Just like using gmail.

Fairly easy to set-up and there's also a host of other elements within gapps that come with it that you may find useful.

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ukgateway demise

I'd be grateful if the Register would kick TT into restoring my gateway.

Technical said that the problem would be solved by Sales Upgrades....SU said write to customer relations in Southampton whilst my little charity which gets 200 e-mails a day, many requesting help, is totally silent.

Go kill them for me please

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Alert

TapeTape?

Might be that they had a meltdown on a critical server - and no backups as per this : http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/15/storage_tapes_role_experts_speak/page4.html

hurrrrrrr durrrrrrrrrrr

penny wise, pound foolish

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FAIL

Doesn't surprise me

I used to work for Carphone Warehouse when they owned TalkTalk. All the Broadband infrastructure was run by a bunch of cowboys in Manchester.

On Saturday morning they called my and accused me of making network changes because the default route from their office was routing via CPW head office. After explaining that we had very strict change control and no changes were ever made on a Friday evening. They went away and decided to have a look at their own systems. They hadn't even noticed that their main office Internet firewall had gone down and hence wasn't publishing a default route. This was from a team whose only purpose was to manage and run a major network. Why do you think TalkTalk/Tiscali broadband is so crap?

I could tell you how bad they were at renewing SSL certificates as well. But I'll save that for another time.

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Talk talk aren't bad

Had them before, parents have them, sister has them... none of us has had a problem, and they're cheap as chips.

I'd like to find an isp who hasn't upset someone at sometime, most of them will have done.

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Gone Now

Pipex Business were great but they got bought out by Tiscalli then it all went down hill.

As a point of referance, Pipex Business managed to changet at least 5 TAG'S for me when other so called ISP's said that another ISP was "holding" them and i should contact them. Also MAC codes suck ass.

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Anonymous Coward

60GB?

Caps like this are so outdated.

Maybe that was enough like a decade ago, but when your download and upload are 400GB combined on a monthly basis, it's totally inadequate...

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Anonymous Coward

Sorry but

the handful of eejits doing 400GB a month are the *reason* why most sensible ISPs have either caps or traffic management, especially the non-LLU ones.

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Unhappy

our ISP

was taken over by TT a while ago.

I can't keep up with the changes (all unexplained) in login arrangements.

they've buggered up a nice service and turned it into a kafkaesque nightmare

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Thumb Up

nightmare...

I hear you and agree 156%!!!

F2S/Opal here and now TT business, what a shower of shite, the webmail is a bloody abortion.

And do not mention the billing, every month I get a demand saying I am being cut off because of unpaid bills that had been paid the previous week by DD, the way it has been for years. Ever month I call the helldesk and they say "Disregard it is a cock up"

My speed has dropped by nearly half and this is supposed to be on a priority 1/20 contention line, I can only get 3+ meg due to distance from exchange but now I am lucky if I can hit 2 meg, it also decides to go walk about at different times which really screws my servers up.

Arghh! they make my blood boil.

I could go on* but as it is the weekend I shall try and keep the old BP level down.

*Oh I certainly could go on, and on, and on!

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Bronze badge

re:f2s

So Glad I am not the only one here who is an original F2S customer (who by the way were amazing for 4 years) which then moved to Tiscali, Opal and now Talk Talk.

Among the many things that irritate me - is the connection dropping at some ungodly hour of the morning with no prior notice.

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FAIL

Direct

If you are a business you should learn from this and use a "proper" web host for your site. As far as i am concerned ISP's are not web hosts they just provide the pipe.

£30 a year will get you a basic web host, control over your domain, uk based support and prevent this sh*t from occuring.

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Stop

Problem solved

The problem was already solved before u even made your post. And 30 quid a year wont guarantee u 100% up time.

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