Can I be the first to say that it was the NSA or GCHQ, conducting a test of their Belkin router back door across the whole of the internet???
(The sad part is that you have to view that as at least something of a possibility....)
A large number of Belkin routers were knocked off the internet on Tuesday, owing to an as-yet-unexplained glitch. It's not known how many routers were affected, but it was a lot of them and quite possibly worldwide, all at once. Complaints began popping up on Twitter shortly after midnight Eastern time, with some customers …
I was thinking more along the lines of it being an update server that became unavailable because some mid-level tech upset an ancient and little-understood chain of complicated routes, or a DNS update being incorrectly added or something (which would explain the work-around).
Or yeah, it could be something snooping on you or whatever, but the real question is to ask why an unreachable server would make the router throw such a tantrum.
Very poor design somewhere along the line.
The difference between functional and broken Belkin hardware is infinitesimal. I wonder how they noticed this issue. Perhaps large groups of Belkin routers inexplicably started routing traffic properly?
From experience I do know how to tell if a Belkin UPS is working properly. If all the equipment attached to the UPS is on fire and the UPS's transformer is performing a china syndrome then the unit is operating according to specification.
The above little tidbit of knowledge isn't of much use anymore as Belkin stopped manufacturing UPSes after their last factory worker was transferred to the QA department and was promptly electrocuted.
That was along the lines omy own thought on it. The best way to make a Belkin router go titsup is to plug it in. I have had 3 or 4 of them, considering whether you invoke a Tennant Rule and count a replacement unit as one or two. All 4 have died well before their time.
> The marketing geniuses at Belkin, the consumer networking vendor, have dreamed up a new form of spam - ads served to your desktop, by way of its wireless router
> The router would grab a random HTTP connection every eight hours and redirect it to Belkin’s (push) advertised web page.
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Is it sad that I didn't even need to read the article to suspect it was a phone-home server suddenly going unreachable, and the devices hard-coded not to work in that case...? Should we just accept it as an immutable law of the universe that exactly the same way engineers will always tend to leave an open UART with root access and programmers will always tend to code in a back door bypass, companies will always tend to require their product to "keep in touch" (purely for your own good, of course, and the sake of CHILDREN!)...? Aaaaaanyway, mine is the one hanging from the CAT5 from my Tomato router...
Belkin staff were amazed to find their office block completely covered in Laptop Bags this morning.
Police officers had been scratching their heads as to why millions of people had had their laptops stolen simultaneously at midnight last night. "This is where they all are" police spokesman Fred Bloggs told us earlier, on condition of a None Enimity.
I've seen a number of instances of intermittent loss of connectivity over the last few months, with people on different ISPs and with different makes of routers.
In every case, it's been DNS failures and moving the PCs / devices off the ISP DNS or it's router proxy has cured the problem.
Belkin may be more susceptible, but it's not a problem limited to their gear.
The hardware looks pretty enough, but I do not trust Belkin's software. So let's use an open-source firmware. Oh look, Belkin does not post the open-source software that runs on their routers, and many of them use proprietary drivers and locked bootloaders. For example, the Belkin-Linksys WRT1900AC, announced with great fanfare as an "OpenWRT" router, but not actually supported.
Belkin used to be fine-but-overpriced when they were just a Mac accessory rebrander, but if there's a firmware involved, then I will stay away.
Never really trusted Belkin for, well, anything - but least of all their DNS resolution. I did briefly use a router of theirs, but it displayed a very weird bug of occasionally and inexplicably transposing bytes in looked-up IP addresses. It's for emergencies only now, and didn't work last time I tried it anyway.
Probably not. But we're going to be hearing a lot about PWNed routers in the very near future because they're susceptible to the Bash bugs and haven't been patched.
It's time we had a public list of susceptible routers and users yelling at their manufactures as to why there isn't already a firmware update out to kill the Bash bugs.
In the meantime: Go into the settings for your router and turn OFF logging into the router from the Internet, unless of course you require that feature. That single setting change may save your router while we wait for the complete solution to the Bash bug mess.
Seen this before with other kit.......
Some scruffy manufacturer decides to setup a 'secret' heartbeat server,, hundreds of thousands of products contact heartbeat server.
some idiot updates server, then server thinks it is under attack. mass disconnects and blockages of 'offending' ip addresses.
The question Belkin users should be asking themselves, is what happens if Belkin goes bust.
some Chinese & Taiwan manufacturers do this with their kit as well.
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