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The Internet

Broadband Crackdown 790

Posted by michael
from the brave-new-world-of-high-speed-internet-access dept.
MrPeach writes: "In a move unsurprising to those of us who have had interactions with their so-called customer support, AT&T Broadband and Excite@Home are indefinitely filtering all incoming traffic on http port 80 for residential customers. They could have cut access to those running compromised servers, but instead chose to deny the ability to run a web server to all subscribers to their service. DSL anyone?" DSL won't save you. Verizon is apparently also blocking port 80 for their DSL customers, in addition to blocking outgoing port 25 and requiring use of Verizon's SMTP servers to send email. Verizon is also cheerfully paying fines for screwing over their competitors - the fines will be much less than the extra profit they can squeeze out once their competition is gone.
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Broadband Crackdown

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  • they've just never done anything about it before.
  • The version of AT&T's Broadband Subscriber Agreement that subscribers in my area (Formerly MediaOne Express) have agreed to could only be vaguely construed to prohibit web servers via the following clause:

    (g) restrict, inhibit or otherwise interfere with the ability of any other person to use or enjoy the AT&T Equipment or the Service, including, without limitation, posting or transmitting any information or software which contains a virus or other harmful feature; or generating levels of traffic sufficient to impede others' ability to send or retrieve information.

    Indeed, the service agreement even mentions things users should consider should they decide to run a personal HTTP/FTP server:

    (b) FTP/HTTP Service Setup. Customer should be aware that when using the Service to access the Internet or any other online network or service, there are certain applications, such as FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server or HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) server, which may be used to allow other Service users and Internet users to gain access to Customer's computer. If Customer chooses to run such applications, Customer should take the appropriate security measures. Neither AT&T nor @Home Network shall have any liability whatsoever for any claims, losses, actions, damages, suits or proceedings resulting from, arising out of or otherwise relating to the use of such applications by Customer, including without limitation, damages resulting from others accessing Customer's computer.

    See http://help.broadband.att.com/subagreelease.jsp [att.com] for the full text of the subscriber agreement.

    AT&T is trying to use the subscriber agreement as a shield against criticism about how they've failed to properly deal with their network's accute inability to handle widespread use of the codered software by subscribers and also their inability to selectively track and remove or restrict users of codered. Running a webserver like IIS+codered that by design, defect, or configuration tries repeatedly to install a software package on every other webserver on the network is surely a prohibited use of the service under the subscriber agreement. Running a web server that only implements RFC2068 and has none of these annoying codered misfeatures probably isn't.

    The most effective thing AT&T could do to stop the autoinstallation of codered on customer machines is to block port 80 right at the cable modem on hosts running versions of IIS that support codered. It's certainly within their technical reach, since AT&T does selective layer-3 filtering of ports 137-139 right at the cable per customer request. For hosts that both support and run codered, AT&T should treat the host like they would treat any other compromised host: disconnect it from the network until the owner has recovered control.

    Instead of using any of the more effective methods, they're just having routers discard packets bound for port 80. Not only does this solution fail to prevent autoinstallation within AT&T subnets (because that traffic never crosses a router) and from hosts inside AT&T's network to those hosts outside of AT&T's network, but it also inconveniences legitimate users of port 80.

  • I have AT&T Broadband (formally MediaOne) in Eastern Massachusetts, and I'm still able to get to port 80 from outside AT&T's network.

    Given that they can control which ports are open on a per user basis (they can unblock SMB if you ask), I would suggest calling and talking to their tech support and explain to them that your system is not affected and that you want port 80 reopened, assuming yours has been blocked. There's no harm in trying ask first...you just might get it.
  • We are allowed to run anything we want, so long as we aren't harassing people or doing anything to breach netiquette. My ISP is really cool with their policies. I just wish they were smarter WRT their own administration (I was effectively not able to browse slashdot for two weeks b/c my IP didn't reverse-resolve!)

    Here is our TOS:

    http://www.planetcable.net/policies.asp

  • by phoenix_orb (469019) on Thursday August 09, 2001 @12:11AM (#2117921)
    I work for a regional CLEC out of chicago. We have several thousand installed DSL lines. This is how we have been coping with the Code Red worm... (*as a buisness class of service, we can't be simply turning off all port 80.. many people do host off of our SDSL lines*)

    We have a large number of 10.x.x.x addresses for our broadband subscribers. (This saves us the trouble of assigning public IP's to every single customer, because most don't want nor need a public IP). Our NAT server was getting so clogged up with TCP/IP sessions because code red was serching for hosts. (and once it got into the 10.x.x.x network, it has lots of addresses to check.

    We simply got a free scanning utility (sorry... I am at home, don't have it here, nor the time to find it. ) After scanning all of our customers, we located around 30 infected computers.) We left messages stating that they were infected, and we were shutting off there connection until they would remove the offending computer..(we could discern the IP itself, and our users are statically assigned, not DHCP thank god..)

    Several users were irate as all hell, but the good of the many outwieigh the good of the few correct? Many times the customer simply unplugged the computer and we put them back on. They are then responsible for patching it.. We have been running scans everyday, and have now gotten fewer and fewer code red worms in our user's DSL systems.

    I think that this was the ideal approach. Why use a damn sledgehammer when all of about 30 minutes of work allows you to use a use a fly swatter to remove the offending computers.
  • I work for a big ISP offering DSL from Covad (bankrupt but still operating) and we don't filter nuthin'. Individual users get a dynamic IP, so you have to buy a multi-user setup if you want to put up a permanent web server, but if you run personal web sharing (for example) there's no trouble.

    Maybe it's because we don't have as many subscribers as the big boyz, we keep things simple and user-friendly?

  • by Kozz (7764) on Thursday August 09, 2001 @09:09AM (#2121916)
    So if you must host something but Excite@Home is blocking port 80, change your Apache config to listen on a different port number.
  • My web server is still getting a hit from 24.xx.xx.xx every few minutes. It'd be nice if those were hits on my resume from prospective employers :)
  • I just don't get it. I too am on a provider (Cogeco in Canada) who explicitly prohibits running any server in their 5-page AUP.

    Imagine, if you will, Bell giving you a phone that can only be used outbound. No incoming phone calls. If you get one, you are disconnected. Preposterous.

    The thing that's missing is $$$. If we were charged for incoming connections by the byte, we'd be required, not allowed, to run servers.

    Michael

  • by gnugeekus (463988) on Thursday August 09, 2001 @05:46AM (#2125640)
    I'll preface this by saying that I'm a @home customer, and I'm bummed out that I can't run a web server anymore.

    I think that this is a perfectly reasonable response from @home. I work at a large ISP and I've seen how rapidly this code red garbage spreds. The little editorial comment that they can "simply block infected machines" is, quite frankly, garbage. Code Red 2 spreads faster than anyone could possibly keep up with blocking one machine at a time.

    Code Red 2 is tearing up bandwidth at these cable companies. Its noticeably slowing down my speeds on my home internet connection. Something needs to be done in a hurry, and blocking port 80 is a fast solution that works.

    Instead of blaming the broadband providers, why don't you blame the real culprit in this situation: Windows. Get angry at Microsoft; if it weren't for their lousy code and lousy security this problem would not have been possible in the first place.

    • There are utilities which can identify what operating system and web server is listening on port 80. It would be relatively simple for a competent ISP to scan their customers and turn off access to port 80 solely on those systems running a Microsoft Operating System with IIS. It probably wouldn't be completely beyond the pale to write a little utility to test those foolish enough to be running a Microsoft operating system and IIS server, identify those who are vulnerable to Code Red, and shut those machines down, leaving those who have patched (nonforwarding) systems, as well as those wise enough to be using more secure, non-Microsoft systems, in place.

      Of course, competent ISP may be an oxymoron these days.
  • The problem is.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fataugie (89032)
    Fucking stupid people.

    End of story. If a few dumb assholes would patch their shit and keep current with it, then the majority wouldn't suffer. But no.......... This is military logic, one person screws up, and the whole unit pays the price. The problem is, we can't give a blanket party to the fucking dumbasses who refuse to keep current with secuity patches. This goes for Linux/Windows/Macintosh/Amiga/NeXT/BeOS/Solaris/CP /M/DOS/HP-UX/AIX/OS9/QNIX/FreeBSD/OpenBSD

    I don't care what you run, if you don't keep current on security patches, you are an asshole.

    "If it weren't for dickheads like you, there wouldn't be any thievery in this world Pyle"

    • by CM39 (513338)

      Unfortunately that isn't all it is....as I said in a previous post.

      "Bundling server software with win2k was stupid, I know several people who werent even aware they were running servers until just the last few day, I guess they were just playing around with add/remove windows components and ended up installing the software which then ran as a service without their ever being aware of it, I imagine quite a few people are in that situation right now. Microsoft could and should have made it a free download for those who knew they wanted it."

      I suppose the argument could be made that people were stupid for playing with "add/remove windows components", but microsoft has in many ways gotten as big as they are by claiming their products are almost idiot proof. I guess this is proof they are the idiots.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 09, 2001 @12:10AM (#2133160)
    I'm posting AC because it seems each time I post my opinion on this topic, I lose karma...

    I don't see any reason why providers shouldn't block port 80 incoming. The only reason to have that open is to run a webserver -- something most broadband providers explicitely disallow for residential customers. That's one of the reasons why a "business" account usually costs a lot more, even for the same speeds.

    Just because they let it ride up to now, doesn't mean they have any less a right to block it now. If they'd been doing this all along, I'm sure most people wouldn't be complaining now.

    Sure, it's nice to run a webserver at home, but residential service doesn't usually come with any kind of real uptime guarantees, etc. It just makes more sense to either get a business account, or get a real webserver (lease one, or use a shared provider, whatever).

    With the amount of port 80 requests in my firewall logs on my cable connection, I would welcome a block on port 80 personally. I've already bored of looking at 'dir' listings and deleting files on these idiot Windows/IIS machines... but seriously, it's time to put this thing to rest and move on. And get a webserver.
  • by SuiteSisterMary (123932) <slebrun@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday August 09, 2001 @08:05AM (#2151439) Journal
    In 2001,worm was happening.
    Customer1: What happen?
    Customer2: Somebody set up us the port filter.
    Computer: We get mail. Customer1: What?
    Customer2: Email client turn on.
    Customer1: It's you !!!
    Cable Provider: How are you, gentlemen ???
    Cable Provider: All your TOS are belong to us !!!
    Customer1: What you say???
    Cable Provider: You have no chance to host, make your time.
    Cable Provider: Ha ha ha !!!
    Customer1: Move boxen.
    Customer2: You know what you are doing?
    Customer1: For great serving,
    Custoemr1: Move every boxen.
  • You can thank IIS.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by victwenty (451152) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @11:53PM (#2151930)
    Blocking port 80 is the only practical way providers such as @home have to control code red. I'm on their network and in the last 48 hours, I've gotten:

    [root@gamara log]# grep DPT=80 messages | wc -l

    3722

    code red hits, all from other @home users. All W2K/IIS 5.0 users. The ip's I've looked into all have the default pages up too. I've even tried running "dir" commands on a few through the "root.exe" backdoor code red installs, incredulous that it would work, and yes.. thousands of wide open NT boxen. This hasn't even seemed to slow down yet, despite the wide spread publicity which leads me to believe that a large percentage of those stricken are either totally clueless, don't realize they have IIS running (?), or flat out don't care which leaves the ISP little choice. And it may be my perception, or unrelated factors, but my net connection has certaintly seemed more sluggish over the last week, perhaps as a result of upstream saturation, something @home doesn't have much of.

    So I would agree, blocking port 80 is the most practical way of defeating this and it should have happened earlier. It's that or ban all microsoft operating systems as a public hazard :)

    • ban port 80 only for people who are running the OS/Program at risk until it has been patched.
      In this case it happens to be IIS, but they can do the same when the next apache expoit shows up..
    • I can't speak for others, but I deliberately left my default Apache/Debian web page up. Anyone who has a need to see the real content can find it easily enough, and in the meanwhile I don't have to worry about some random visitor stumbling across sensitive information. (E.g., detailed information about the packages I have installed, which might tell people what attacks I'm vulnerable to, etc.)
    • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Thursday August 09, 2001 @12:07AM (#2153096) Homepage

      I can think of a more effective solution: every time a Code Red probe goes out, deprovision the modem belonging to the customer with that IP address. They've got a proven AUP violation and a proven security problem that's disrupting their network. That's more than enough justification for jerking the account entirely. This has the dual benefits of shutting down Code Red and forcing people to actually learn how to secure their systems which makes future problems slightly less likely, and doesn't impact those of us who aren't susceptible to Code Red at all.

  • virus protection (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Proud Geek (260376) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @11:52PM (#2152440) Homepage Journal
    All they are doing is trying to eliminate the two latest and nastiest network viruses, sircam and code red. Sircam starts sending stuff on port 25, and code red works by receiving stuff on port 80. I thought people WANTED those two worms squished!

    And for anyone complaining, read your TOS first. As several other people have pointed out, it specifically prohibits running servers, and allows this in other ways as well. You're not guaranteed an unbreakable or complete Internet connection for your $35 a month.

  • by BiggestPOS (139071) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @10:34PM (#2169343) Homepage
    But considering the average level of intelligence of our customers is close to NIL, I really think we should. We get a lot of emails, and calls from people who have detected attacks from our Customers, and we call the customers, and they are just like, "Wha?"

    Its great. So instead we just let the network FLOOD. But good thing we aren't blocking port 80, that would SCREW over like what, .1% of our cusomters?

  • by SnapperHead (178050) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @10:37PM (#2169359) Homepage Journal

    Actually, cable and DSL providers are already blocking port 80 (and most lower ports) for months. I am a Charter cable customer. When I first signed up, all ports below ~1500 where blocked. (With the expection of 53, 113, and a few of others) Customers where forced to use there proxy server. Even outbound port 80 was blocked.

    After complaining for 4 months about it. and many phone calls to there head techs and managers. I finally won. I proved to them why blocking all of those ports was insaine. I simply wanted to run NTP on my machine. (Well, my entire LAN, but they didn't know anything about that :) Which requires 123/UDP.

    As the months went on, more and more ports started opening. One thing that they have relized is that people will run servers regardless. People who abuse it (setting up high traffic sites) will be shutoff. Personally, I think its insaine. I should have the right to run a personal site, as long as it doesn't get out of hand. If it did get to that point, I wouldn't be hosting on cable.

    So, they blocked the ports. I wonder how long it will stay. I would be very carefull, they may use this as an excuse to keep the ports blocked.

    Working with the large companys his difficault, tring to convince them that they should unblock them. I can kinda of understand there postion. But, then again, it kinda upsets me.

    • by einhverfr (238914) <chris@travers.gmail@com> on Thursday August 09, 2001 @12:16AM (#2116069) Homepage Journal
      I will never use such a service that requires me to proxy. Simple reason. I support other people in my house and I do so through SSH. If I am not home, I ssh into the box and fix things. If my ISP won't allow it, I won't use them. This is going to play havock with those that use XP when they call for support and drive up support costs for everyone because they can't allow incomming requests for remote desktop support!

      Not that I like XP. But I can see this causing lots of angery letters...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 09, 2001 @07:34AM (#2152341)
      99% of cable modem and DSL subscribers do NOT need to run servers of any kind. By leaving them open across the board you open the door for this kind of worm to propogate across misconfigured systems where people have gone and accidently installed IIS or even an unpatched UNIX box. Does that mean you shouldn't be allowed to run servers period? No! What should be required is for your to sign a consent statement that says you are responsible for any damage caused by attacks taking place from or to your machine and will pay any cleanup costs needed to deal with attacks against a server on your network. There should also be a formal risk assessment and penetration test conducted against your server setup to determine if it is indeed ready to be connected to the Internet. Too many people are putting these god damned buggy open machines on the Internet and then bitching about censorship when an ISP filters them. If people would take responsibility and make sure their systems are constantly updated it wouldn't be an issue, but most DON'T. And no, I'm not talking about the uber geek average Slashdot guy who upgrades their kernel every night to the latest version and has a cron job setup to do an apt-get update. I'm referring to Joe Average who installed his first Linux box to fiddle with or the guy who installs IIS during the Win2k install because it was there and he wants a full install of the OS. These people should not have full unfettered access to the Internet. You guys are starting to sound like the people I have to deal with who absolutely demand to have complete unfiltered access to the Internet so they can run whatever god awful program of the day they've come up with as a business requirement that is blocked by the firewall. Netmeeting anyone? Oh, you want to punch IPSec holes through the firewall? Uh huh.. no... FTP??? You want an FTP site on your desktop? Uhhh.. no.
      • An AC writes: 99% of cable modem and DSL subscribers do NOT need to run servers of any kind.

        Er, wait a second. Lets examine that statement. A server can be for more then ftp/http. For example, you are telling me that 99% of all DSL/Cable subscribers have never hosted a 'net game? I think that doesn't sound realistic.

        Think, then post.

        ~ Das

  • by Deadbolt (102078) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @10:37PM (#2169361)

    Verizon *DOES NOT BLOCK* outgoing port 25 *OR* port 80! I've been running my own mail server off the standard DSL offering, $40 a month, for almost a month now and never one hint of problems. I can send mail anywhere. I can telnet to port 25 on any Internet-accessible mail server.

    And correct me if I'm wrong, but if Verizon blocks outgoing port 80, wouldn't that put a bit of a dent in most popular web browsers?

    For the love of God, try to be a little accurate! There are plenty of real problems to bitch about!

    • by supz (77173) on Thursday August 09, 2001 @01:48AM (#2152938) Homepage
      Please forgive me if I don't make entirely too much sense right now, as I just woke up. (Yes I'm on the East Coast, Yes it's 2:29 AM, Yes I have insomnia)

      I noticed this happened around 5 am yesterday morning (Tuesday, August 7th). Well I didn't notice it, I just tailed my apache logs and web requests seemed to stop coming in around that time. None the less, I got into work that day and noticed I couldn't access my personal web page... NOTE: Personal, not commercial. I put pretty pictures, that I've taken with my digital camera, on it. I was however able to ssh into it and ftp into it.

      What was going on? I got scared for a second cause I thought perhaps they started enforcing some term of their service, but it wasn't until I got home and (not so thoroughly) skimmed through their TOS that I realized running a server was not against their TOS, as a matter of fact they worded it so JUST dialup users cannot run a "server of any kind", and it seemed to be fine for DSL users.

      So I call up Verizon, talk to a couple different people, none of which knew a single thing about anything. One tried to accuse me of violating the TOS, and I told them it said I'm allowed to run a server in it. She shut up immediately.

      Another told me that since I wasn't patched against code red, my internet service was being blocked. I told her I wasn't using a Microsoft operating system therefore I'm not affected by it, and even if I wanted to I wouldn't be able to apply the patch. She told me that because I didn't apply the patch, port 80 was being blocked. Again, I explained to her I wasn't running a Microsoft OS. In the end I think I explained it to her around 5 times... hopefully she knows a little more about computers now.

      Finally I got to some guy who was somewhat intelligent, although he did call Linux, L-EYE-NUCKS, he seemed to have some understanding of how to press buttons. I asked him why port 80 was being filtered, and he told me because Microsoft had recommended they block the port. (BTW, I totally agree with someone else that commented on this, who said that because of Microsoft building insecure web servers, we are paying. That is fuct) I asked him if there was anything they could do to unblock the port for me, like put me on another subnet and give me a static IP (I'm a sneaky bastard), or put some kind of flag on my account. He told me that for the time being there was no work around, however he would post a memo and suggest to their tech team they find a way around the port blocking for users who are patched, or not running a Microsoft OS. I asked how long the filtering would stay in place ... he told me it would only last for another couple hours. Right there I told him I didn't think that was true, but he insisted it would only last another hour or two, MAX... port 80 is still blocked.

      I just thought I'd contribute this tid bit. I have Verizon DSL in Northern New Jersey, in Essex County. Again, their TOS did not prohibit running a server, unless you are on a dial up. I would post it here, but there is also some clause in their TOS that prohibits reproducing it, so if some brave soul wants to post it below this, go right ahead =]

      I need to get a higher paying job so I can get a T1 and then just have to deal with UUnet fiber-optic cuts because of train wrecks [yahoo.com].

    • by Dutchie (450420) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @10:45PM (#2169397) Homepage Journal
      He said 'incoming port 80'. Yeah that'd be swell, blockign outgoing port 80.
      • I'm a Verizon DSL user. My brother and I just got off the phone with tech support. First they tried to convince us that hosting a web server was illegal (after we convinced them that we had seen the ToS which says DSL users are exempt); after about ten minutes of arguing that was changed to "We don't support that." Then they told us that they would not open port 80 for specific machines, and that they would not even tell us ANY details about other ports (like the mysterious 25). I hope to call back later and speak to someone a bit more helpful...

        As for why we learned about the port closing from /. long before we heard about it from verizon in a vaguely worded, hidden post [verizon.net], they told us that they didn't send an email because it only affects about 5% of their customers. They also won't notify us when they reopen port 80, however distant that may be. Furthermore, they claim that the vast majority of users who would receive such an email would not care. Still, if I were the average user I certainly would rather hear service/security updates I can ignore than miss ones that might be relevant.

        Conclusion: Verizon is at least approaching Evil, if not already there... please let me know if you've had any better experiences with tech support since the start of the filtering!

        TildeMan

        • The EVIL that you describe is something that infects most large, and many medium, and even some small, corporations. It's a combination of bureaucracy and authority concentrated (generally it has to be) in people who don't care to deal with reality (or the customers who provide such clues).

          5% is enough to send a mailing for. 1% perhaps not. But that's subjective. Someone will be affected. What would be useful is for a signup list for such things to opt-in to get non-general announcements. Then they can justify sending them since they would only go to the people who want them. But they probably don't want to have their web developer(s) spending time (less than a day for a good developer, which I have doubts they have) putting something like that together.

          If you'd like to have some fun with then, call them back and raise the original point, again, that got that 5% excuse. Then say "but you keep sending out those crappy email ads to get people to sign up for more services, and less than 1% of the people care about those, so why not just stop annoying people and cancelling that?" :-)

    • The top of this thread needs to be modded up to 5. I've had verizon since last October, and I'm running a web server and smtp server just fine off my LAN. I've nmaped myself from outside verizon and they don't seem to be blocking any ports.

      I just re-read the Verizon TOS. An in attachment B, there is a clause that explicitly states that DIAL-UP users can not run servers, and that DSL users are exempt. Attachment B-3q is the clause.

      My reading of the Verizon TOS, which covers Dial-ups and DSL users, indiecates that DSL users can do whatever they want with the bandwidth they have, as long as what they do doesn't interfere with network operations and is not illegal. So if you had a Code-Red infected server...they could shut off yer whole account to prevent network degration.

      I think someone is confusing Verizon's statement to restrict use of their mail server's to email that includings a valid verizon.net account in the From header, to mean blocking smtp ports...Ttoally inaccurate.

      1) Verizon is not blocking web servers
      2) Verizon is not blocking smtp servers
      3) Verizon isn't blocking any ports as far as I can tell
      4) Verizon IS preventing spam from being generated from their mail servers by requiring every piece of mail sent from their smtp servers to have a valid userid@verizon.net.
      5) Verizon will shutdown DSL accounts on a case by case basis if you computer account is being used to degrade overall network service (ie you are a spam or virus factory, and Verizon can trace the network congestion back to you)

      • Okay so I replied to myself...deal. I just called verizon tech support, and here's the scoop.

        Verizon IS blocking port 80 from outside verizon's network, and the reason verizon has been giving its tech support people, is that this is a temporary port block becuase of Code Red.

        The block started yesterday, and affects in bound traffic into verizon's network. I can get to my website from other verizon addresses, but not from outside of verizon's net. I couldn't get a specific time frame on how long the block is going to be up, but the tech support people have been told that its not permenant.

        Does Verizon have a legitimate concern about Code Red investation across its network? Maybe...but since I'm not running in MS products on my LAN and I take the time to secure my stuff, I'm pretty unhappy that my services get knocked off the net like I'm one of the clueless masses.

        The best solution to get Verizon to hurry up and unblock the port is for everyone who has a verizon DSL account to call them and tell them in a very nice calm manner that if the block stays in place, your business will go elsewhere. I was call 25 this morning. Let's see if the slashdot effect works over the phone as well....I want to see the number of complaint calls jump to 2000 in the next 30 minutes.

        Verizon Tech Support:
        1-800-567-6789

        -jef

  • Speakeasy! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Evil MarNuke (209527) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @10:39PM (#2169367) Homepage
    If you want to host servers at host there is only one real choice out there, and that's SpeakEasy. Oh, don't take my word for it, read the Terms of Service [speakeasy.net]. It says:
    Personal Web Page Restrictions:

    We believe in the right of the individual to publish information that they feel is important to the world via the Internet. Unlike many ISP's we do allow you to run a server (web, mail, etc.) over your DSL line.

    Enough said.

  • by James_G (71902) <james@gMOSCOWlob ... p.org minus city> on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @10:40PM (#2169372)
    To be fair, @Home have always said that their residential customers should not run servers of any kind - this has always been their policy and up until now, they've basically turned a blind eye (At least, they never complained when I ran servers on my cable modem connection).

    Now they're doing the sensible thing to contain potentially hundreds of thousands of machines running IIS (Mostly run by people who probably have no idea about worms and the like anyway - even if they knew they were running a web server in the first place).

    Seems pretty sensible to me, although my DSL ISP has no problems with me running servers, so I'm happy either way..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @10:40PM (#2169373)
    It would mean them having to to do real work shutting down accounts of those who are not smart enought to run a 1mo old patch on their systems. I't makes me angry, because if there was another option for a high speed connection, I would have done it a long time ago. All day I have recieved calls from clients wondering if my dev machine dropped off the web. I called att and what they acually said was "when we installed the service, we set up with NT Based systems because it was the fastest way to get it working, not because it was the most secure", then the tech followed with "all of our servers have viruses",, I'm not sure but it sounded like she was'nt too happy with her job..
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Ok folks..quick TCP lesson here. The goal is to stop the spread of the worm. What good is cutting off inbound port 80 to already infected servers? This will do absolutely NOTHING to stop those infected servers from outbound scanning for new hosts to infect. Apparently a lot of you were sick the day they taught IP and IP school.
  • Read your TOS! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SClitheroe (132403) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @10:41PM (#2169378) Homepage
    Seriously people... Most, if not all, broadband providers prohibit running servers from home accounts (it's definitely that way for @Home users, even if they do generally turn a blind eye to small time web servers). They generally also have some sort of clause which basically doesn't guarantee unlimited or uncontrolled inbound or outbound access. For that matter, most broadband (and thinband) providers provide a clause which basically exempts them from any sort of service level agreement.

    Signing on with a domestic oriented ISP means that you are essentially "users" on their network. Blocking inbound port 80 access is a good starting point for at least protecting their internal network segments. If you were running what is essentially a DHCP/DNS/proxy service for thousands of users, wouldn't you at least take this step to protect the integrity of your network?? (I admit it doesn't begin to solve all the problems, but...)

    If you want to run your own "mini NOC", then pony up the cash and get ISDN, a T1, or something faster put into your basement. But if you are subscribing to a consumer grade ISP's offerings, don't be suprised when this happens. And especially don't start with the geek indignation, because consumer broadband is not meant, nor sold, under the pretense of running home servers.

    • Seriously.

      I'm both a customer of residential broadband and an employee at a DSL ISP -- and I'm not a customer of my own company. For my DSL line, I accept the fact that it's a consumer product and shouldn't be expected to have all the functionality of a product for which someone else (e.g. a business) is paying 4 to 10 times as much. It's ridiculous to assume that your $50/mo connection (which the company is probably losing money on, if not breaking even) can run a web server and a DNS server and what-have-you. If you think that you're entitled to everything and entitled to it for free, get over yourself, get a job and pay for what you use.

      On the other hand, where I work, I didn't hesitate to block inbound port 80. It's the first large-scale compulsory filtering of any kind we've done on dialup or broadband. It sort of hurt to do so, but with Code Red et al propogating like rabbits, it had to be done. If (business) users contact us and explain that they're running apache or a patched IIS server, I'll gladly set up an exception for them. But with something like Code Red, everyone has to do their part to stop it from spreading. Despite near-domination by commercial entities, it's still a community which requires upkeep by all participants.

      Just my $0.04.

      -Chris
    • It may be in the TOS, but the "no servers allowed" clause in the agreement is totally unreasonable. Lots of residential customers have plenty of good reasons to have servers - small web servers for their own amusement, Freenet nodes, Quake servers for hosting games with neighbors, an email server that serves as a spam filter, etc. I can understand the need to limit bandwidth with rate caps so one person isn't hogging the network, but within those constraints, people should be able to run servers if they want.

    • Back in the day, Internet access meant completely unfiltered ip routing. Anything less and we called it "AOL". My how times have changed.
    • Re:Read your TOS! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bacchusrx (317059) on Thursday August 09, 2001 @12:53AM (#2123907)
      I don't know if its just the prole in me talking or the heat, but it seems to me that the arrogance & pretentiousness of saying, "Get your own T1 or stop complaining," is just a bit mindboggling.

      From a social standpoint -- where our priorities are less about the "bottom line" and more about providing for a healthy, vibrant, diverse democracy -- there isn't an incredibly good reason why web servers or other content servers are prohibited on so-called "consumer" Internet service providers.

      In some cases the bandwidth isn't there-- I understand that, however, in general, the speeds are suitable for most people's private soapboxes... further, overall and in general, home servers do little harm to the network, Code Red notwithstanding.

      And in all seriousness, I doubt anyone expects strict uptime SLAs or performance guarantees from your local @Home franchise. I'm not suggesting that "consumer-grade" Internet access claims to offer such things or even really ought to... However, I tend to believe that the prohibition on servers is more an effort to control media content creation & affordable distribution more than it is an effort to ensure network stability.

      In effect, a ban on servers prevents citizens from competing affordably for so-called "mindshare" with big corporations and others who don't sweat the cost of dual redundant T3 connectivity.

      Broadband internet access has the potential to really revolutionize media distribution by empowering individuals to affordably control & create new and innovative media outlets.

      On the other hand, most home servers probably aren't even public servers but private servers used for, say, development purposes or sharing files between office & home. These uses are of course even less stressful on the network and certainly more benign.

      Meh... just some food for thought.

      BRx.

      • thank you, bacchusrx, for a well thought out and well put thread.

        It's sad to see so many people believe that publication has to be expensive. As you point out , it could not be further from the truth technicaly. Someone downloading flash trash and comercially produced video consumes far more bandwith than someone serving static web pages. Still, when I tell people at work that I want to host so much as my own email, they look at me like I have a hole in my head and want to provide Hotmail. What's driving this kind of nonsense? Where are all of these arogant trolls with their "Enterprise missions" coming from?

        Keep up the good fight. The web must not end up like broadcast media.

    • If you want to run your own "mini NOC", then pony up the cash and get ISDN, a T1, or something faster put into your basement. But if you are subscribing to a consumer grade ISP's offerings, don't be suprised when this happens. And especially don't start with the geek indignation, because consumer broadband is not meant, nor sold, under the pretense of running home servers.

      If I pay $50/month for a 256k pipe, and if I want to do my own personal development and want to be able to show others my site from work, or setup a private FTP so that I can grab files offsite, they sure as hell better not stop me. These are totally legitimate uses of a consumer/home office level Internet connection. Plus, with most connections, you can't run a "mini NOC" due to the bandwidth restrictions (128k - 256k upstream).
    • Re:Read your TOS! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by janpod66 (323734) on Thursday August 09, 2001 @04:20AM (#2142656)
      Seriously people... Most, if not all, broadband providers prohibit running servers from home accounts

      And what exactly is a "server"? Is accessing your Pilot calendar remotely using a server? Is using an FTP client a server? What about identd? What about my PC vendor's remote Windows support system? Is running a client connection to establish a VPN to some other host on the Internet and poking out a server socket on that machine "running a server"? Let's be concrete please, because my TOS don't actually say. They are so vague that the provider can make up what they mean whenever they like.

      And especially don't start with the geek indignation, because consumer broadband is not meant, nor sold, under the pretense of running home servers.

      That would be true if broadband providers fully owned all the rights of way and infrastructure. They don't. They tear up public streets and use public spectrum only because the communities where they deliver service let them. They can be kicked out if they don't satisfy the needs of the community. And peer-to-peer and servers are crucially important in particular for non-commercial and non-profit uses.

      Furthermore, for broadband providers to try to control whether you may run a "server" is the beginning of content controls. The next thing you know, you'll only be able to connect to the commercial sites of your provider's choosing.

      Broadband providers should be legally required to provide universal Internet connectivity and set rates and limitations based on bandwidth and volume only. Possibly, there might be two rate structures, one for non-commercial and another for commercial customers. But providers should have no business deciding what content or packets travel over their networks, as long as the packets are properly addressed and their format is according to spec.

    • Re:Read your TOS! (Score:5, Informative)

      by almeida (98786) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @10:54PM (#2169436)
      http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=01/08/07/19262 12&cid=301 [slashdot.org]. I read my TOS, you obviously didn't.
    • by The Famous Brett Wat (12688) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @11:17PM (#2169527) Homepage Journal
      I would definitely like to take issue with the idea that "users" means "client applications". It is my opinion that the ISP should not care one whit whether my applications use the Internet by initiating outbound TCP connections, or by accepting inbound TCP connections. The distinction with UDP is even less relevant. All of these schemes result in inbound and outbound traffic. If they wish to say something about traffic volumes, then let them do so, but I do not want them dictating how I use that volume (other than reasonable constraints on network abuse, and other legal matters).

      If anyone can explain a good reason for banning servers rather than limiting data volumes, I'm all ears. I think it's either a combination of laziness and sloppy thinking on the part of the providers, or a desire to force the "users" to also be "content consumers" rather than "content providers". Hanlon's razor, I believe, favours the former explanation.

      • If anyone can explain a good reason for banning servers rather than limiting data volumes, I'm all ears. I think it's either a combination of laziness and sloppy thinking on the part of the providers, or a desire to force the "users" to also be "content consumers" rather than "content providers". Hanlon's razor, I believe, favours the former explanation.

        No, the second is closer to the truth. It's the same reason why companies can't buy a residential phone line. The vast majority of people who want to run servers want to do it for commercial reasons. And therefore have money to pay for a more expensive connection than cheap broadband. By forbidding the use of servers on the residential cable/DSL service, they force all the companies to use the (more expensive) business services. Voila, more money for them, and the only people who get screwed are the relatively small number of us who are poor individuals but who want to run services on priveleged ports on our home boxen.

        [TMB]

      • > If anyone can explain a good reason for banning
        > servers rather than limiting data volumes, I'm
        > all ears.

        Because 99.9% of security issues comes from someone running an unpatched redhat box at home.

        This is not something tier1 tech support can handle, a real sysadmin has to look at it, figure out where it's coming from, and figure out what is going on. That costs money. Say it took collectively 30mins of peoples time to figure it out, already that has costed more than what you've paid for this month's service.

        The AUP would not be this stupid or strict if these things weren't a real problem. But they are. Until people (not necessarily you), get the brains to keep their computer up to date and know what's going on, the ISPs will have to keep these stupid provisions just to protect their ass.

        • Because 99.9% of security issues comes from someone running an unpatched redhat box at home.

          Even if that were true, so what? I bought bandwidth from my ISP and I expect them to deliver that bandwidth. If my machine has a security problem and starts attacking other sites on the Internet, that should be my problem, not my broadband provider's problem. My broadband provider may choose to limit my outgoing and incoming bandwidth to a previously contractually agreed-upon minimum, but no further.

          By your reasoning, the telephone companies should listen in on our telephone conversations to make sure we don't do anything illegal and don't make prank calls. Wisely, we have chosen not to place that authority in them, and we should take a similar approach to security with broadband providers.

    • Simply not true... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Gregoyle (122532) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @11:18PM (#2169532)
      Most, if not all, broadband providers prohibit running servers from home accounts

      Definitely not all. MediaOne (now AT@T Broadband) never prohibited it. I understand your reasoning, but if you chek the TOS, many companies do not explicitly prohibit running your own server, and some even explicitly permit it.

      What AT&T (at least the Roadrunner service) prohibited was duplication of their services. You weren't allowed to run as an ISP, and they also reserved the right to shut you down if you used up too much bandwidth. You weren't allowed to run a commercial web-server, because they sold web hosting.

      I don't disagree with their decision, as inconvenient as it is for me. I can just have my webserver listen to a port that is not 80. I don't even know if MS IIS supports this, but luckily I'm not running IIS.

      Think about it this way: if the virus was actually eating enough bandwidth and resources to affect the general home user experience, they would get complaints from those users. Maybe they will open the ports back up. Ha. that kind of stuff never happens. oh well... guess I have to look for a new ISP (maybe speakeasy.net, even though ovad is going belly up...)

    • Re:Read your TOS! (Score:5, Informative)

      by StarTux (230379) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @11:18PM (#2169533) Journal
      I'll test this "filtering" in a couple of days (DNS updates going on).

      If you read the link Slashdot kindly provided for you you will notice this:

      Looks as though they updated that part about servers, all I could find was this:

      " (b) FTP/HTTP Service Setup. Customer should be aware that when using the Service to access the Internet or any other online network or service, there are certain applications, such as FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server or HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) server, which may be used to allow other Service users and Internet users to gain access to Customer's computer. If Customer chooses to run such applications, Customer should take the appropriate security measures. Neither AT&T nor @Home Network shall have any liability whatsoever for any claims, losses, actions, damages, suits or proceedings resulting from, arising out of or otherwise relating to the use of such applications by Customer, including without limitation, damages resulting from others accessing Customer's computer. "

      So they do not mind you running the services, just that you are responsible for your security.

      For reference:
      http://help.broadband.att.com/faq.jsp?content_id =7 92&category_id=54

      http://help.broadband.att.com/subagreelease.jsp

      StarTux
  • by isdnip (49656) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @10:44PM (#2169392)
    The @Home customer agreements never allowed servers, particularly web servers. There's a valid technical reason, too: Cable bandwidth is asymmetric. There's typically a downstream pool of about 27 Mbps (depending on settings) shared among all users, while the upstream pool is more often in the 2 Mbps or less range. This comes about because upstream has to fit into the narrow patches of usable spectrum below 40 MHz, while downstream just fits among the TV channels between 50 and 750 MHz.

    So stick a server out there, get Slashdotted (or even just get mildly popular), and the upstream bandwidth is wiped out for your whole neighborhood (technically, the area of your optical conversion node and CMTS channel). This is a big risk, so the cable companies don't take it. Instead, they do give you some free hosting space at their data centers.

    VeriZontal has no such excuse -- ADSL has little upstream bandwidth (they typically provision only 90 kbps) but it's your very own, and they end up with a huge surplus of upstream bandwidth at the back of the DSLAM, where all of the traffic is aggregated. It's downstream that can congest easily. They're just being shmucks as usual. But if their customer agreement doesn't allow servers, then that's the deal -- commercial-grade DSL services allow servers.

    The real problem they're addressing (even VZ) is Code Red II. Web servers that get infected will probe their own networks like crazy looking for others to infect. This creates congestion. So shutting off port 80 stops the worm. Crude but effective. See the recent LinuxPlanet column about Charter for how a cable company won't admit that its infected servers are causing huge congestion. The author suggests blocking port 80!
    • If the bandwidth is limited, then quota the bandwidth to each user! It's just as possible to eat up the limited upstream bandwidth by uploading large files to Hotmail, but they don't ban that.
    • The author suggests blocking port 80!

      There is always port 443! https is good for these things.... They would have to get really anal and make us use their proxies for all usable service ports to be reasonably blocked....

  • by Dr. Awktagon (233360) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @10:47PM (#2169407) Homepage

    Imagine if the phone company checked your lines for "business use" and shut you down unless you got a business contract.

    Or how about the power company, charging you differently depending on how you use the power, and limiting you to, say, 10 amps peak if you don't have a business contract.

    I wonder if it isn't appropriate to have a little (eek) government regulation when it comes to these things? Like not blocking any ports for any customer unless it is clearly marked in advertising or something?

    I always wonder when my ISP will decide, for the good of all customers, to shut down this or that port or filter or monitor traffic. They'll probably not even notify me, they'll just update the terms of service buried in their web page someplace.

    • by Ronin Developer (67677) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @11:18PM (#2169531)
      Imagine if the phone company checked your lines for "business use" and shut you down unless you got a business contract.

      The have do so for many years with regard to digital service. To residential customers, a phone line is sufficient if if passed voice. If you managed to get over a 300 baud connection , consider yourself lucky and don't complain if bandwidth sucks or you have drop offs.

      However, if you want higher bandwidth or guarantees, then you are supposed to order a data grade line (which is usually a business line). In fact, they tell you in their service agreement that if they detect business use of the line, they will charge your more for it.

      Telephone service is not a right but a priveledge to those willing to pay for use of the network. Same thing goes for most residential services like @Home. It is their network. You agree to their terms of service prior to them turning the service on. If you want to go outside the bounds of that agreement, then you are expected to pony up and purchase the appropriate service.

      There is nothing wrong with them enforcing the terms of their agreement. If you don't like their actions or policies, then take your business elsewhere. However, these actions are being taken to protect their customers from others as well as themselves through their own incompetence and negligience.

      The warning signs were plastered everywhere, remedies were posted in accessible locations, and these people did nothing to protect themselves. Now, they complain because their systems have been compromised. Oops.

      Or how about the power company, charging you differently depending on how you use the power, and limiting you to, say, 10 amps peak if you don't have a business contract.

      They can and do. Power companies routinely offer reduced rates for certain customers willing to meet certain guidelines. Example might be reduced rates for home owners willing to curtail power consumption during peek hours. They provide power real cheap so you can run your refrigerator and other minimal services (like keeping your house at 60 degrees). If you use the added circuits outside the conditions imposed on the line, the will either charge your a fortune or cut you off from the special deal altogether. It's not rocket science.

      • by Detritus (11846) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @11:59PM (#2123432) Homepage
        Telephone service is not a privilege. The telephone companies are regulated common carriers and are required by law to offer service to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. The conditions under which service can be refused or terminated are set by state and federal law and regulations, not the whim of some telco executive. The same can be said for other regulated common carriers, such as gas and electric companies.
        • Like driving, telephone service is a priviledge and not a right. I have never read in the Constitution or its ammendments (ala the Bill of Rights) that I have the right to telephone service. If it isn't there, it is not a right but a priveledge.

          We, the citizens of this country, seem to think that somethings as common as telephone service or driving are rights. They are not. Simply because something is regulated or provided for by law does not imply it is a right. If you know what provision of the Consitition guarantees basic or data grade phone service, I'd be much interested in hearing about it.

          The United States is *NOT* a communist or socialist society. What you construde as a right may be in those societies. Not here. We may have our liberal factions, but we are capitalist society driven by those rules. Yes, the gov't can establish regulations to provide minimal services such as publicly accessible phone. I don't think data grade service is one of them. Unless you are making an emergency call, you still have to put money in them or you get cut off. No?

          If you don't pay your bill, they CAN and WILL cut you off. Same thing goes for cell phone use. The exception is 911 or emergency calls. All public pay phones and cell phones will permit a 911 call at no cost (hence you should keep your cell phone even if you no longer have service).

          When I have moved and needed to set up phone service to my new domicile, the phone line at my old residence loses its dialtone. I can not make a phone call when the line has been disconnected DESPITE the fact that there is a phone line running into the old residence. This is because I have not paid for service in both locations.

          The service they must provide to you is, naturally, no-discriminatory as you pointed out. But, the rate at which you pay for your calls is based upon a legally binding contract. Go over your allocated minutes or call into a long distance area, and different charges apply. Am I not correct? Regulated or not, they are in the business to make money.

          Gas, electric and water companies can also cut off service. But, they may not do so when such action endangers life (that *IS* in the consitituion...You have the right to *life*, liberty and the pursuit of happiness). That is why they won't cut off service in the dead of winter or to a nursing home during a heat wave. When the endangering condition no longer exists, they can and will cut off your service. And, they will temporarily restore it if the dangerous condition resumes.

      • Nobody will complain if the ISPs punish users for their individual indifference to numerous warnings. In this case, that would be disabling the cable/DSL modem of any user sending out Code Red requests.

        But that's not what's happening. EVERY user, including the responsible IIS user who patched their system and all Apache, NCSA, et al users are being punished for the inactions of others.

        If the reason why this is so offensive isn't already clear, let me ask you a question: if I'm going to be punished for the actions of others anyway, why should I give a flying fuck about cleaning up my own act? If you don't hold people individually responsible, most behavior quickly falls to the lowest common demoninator.
  • by Kiwi (5214) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @10:49PM (#2169419) Homepage Journal
    I can understand the thinking behind this move. The sort of people who make a decision are thinking in terms of traditional big media thinking, which goes like this:

    The average American is a mere couch potato which the corporations feed information to the unwashed masses the same way the inhabinents of Huxley's Brave New World were fed soma. The average consumer has nothing to say unless what they have to say is under corporate control. While people running web servers were tolerated when what they did was not attracting the attention of the corporate suits, they are being cut off by those who feel that people really shouldn't be running personal web servers.

    I am also annoyed that, while Apache and other UNIX web servers are able make a web server without countless remote root exploits, all UNIX users on these cable modems suffer because Microsoft did not make a secure web server.

    Thankfully, this is easy enough to work around. E.G:

    http://24.x.x.x:8080/whatever.html

    - Sam

  • Road Runner (Score:4, Informative)

    by chill (34294) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @10:56PM (#2169443) Journal
    While Road Runner isn't blocking (my cable modem light is still going nuts even when my computer is off); it is part of their Terms of Agreement: no e-mail servers, no web servers, no port scans.

    If you want to run an e-mail or web server, get a business line ($295/month w/1 IP; $325/month w/5 IP).

    However, they have been turning a REAL BLIND EYE to all of the above. I get port scanned daily and it looks like 30%+ of the machines on my subnet are running a web or mail server. (According to my *cough* port scan *cough* of the subnet.)

    • I convinced my parents to get Road Runner while I was home from school. We had three computers set up while I was home, two after I left. Both needed internet access. Road Runner charges an extra $6/month for another IP address. Their TOS specifically forbid running a router or DHCP server off of their line (says so in black and white on the contract). I called up customer service to ask about this, they were clueless about what a DHCP server was, and forwarded me to tech support. Tech support was clueless about the contract, and finally I got piped through to some manager. The manager specifically told me to buy a router (you know, one of those little boxes with a DHCP server in it) and hook that up instead of paying for the extra IP address.

      So they don't just turn a blind eye, they actively encourage users to violate the contract signed when procuring the cable modem service.

      ~Moller
    • Road Runner's AUP varies depending on where you have service. Here in Virginia, there is no restriction on running a server: Morthern Virginia Road Runner AUP [24.28.192.235]

      All the say is that you are responsible for securing your services:

      Customers are liable for having unsecured services, and would be held liable if unknown 3rd parties utilize these services at any time. It is the customer's responsibility to monitor these services. Examples of unsecured services would be use of SMTP relay, incorrect configuration of Proxy or SOCKS services or unsecured operating systems. /BLOCKQUOTE
    • Hmmmm. That's not in my RoadRunner TOS - it doesn't even mention servers.

      My cable data light started flashing like crazy the other day (and is still doing so). Out of curiousity, I ran iptraf, and discovered the traffic was all ARP packets coming from the default router (and I didn't see any destined for my MAC).


  • [Rummaging in drawer for flamesuit...]

    "They could have cut access to those running compromised servers, but instead chose to deny the ability to run a web server to all subscribers to their service."

    Honestly, if I was in the position of the ISP, I would just have cut off all port 80. It makes perfect sense, from a business perspective, that is.

    [donning flamesuit...]

    I mean, do you really expect them to sift through millions of accounts, determine which ones were compromised with CodeRed IIS servers and block them off? And this list would have to be dynamically maintained , of course, and more port 80s continually blocked because Code Red II is still on the loose. And the ISP couldn't discriminate. If they decided to block all compromised IIS, they'd have to keep up with each and every server running.

    It would simply be a logistical nightmare where thousands of hours of work are diverted from network administration, support, maintenance, etc. It wouldn't work. They'd probably have to start up a whole new management division to keep track of it. And then their support people would continually be taxed by calls from people who are getting blocked when their neighbor's Apache box is still serving up pages.

    And even if they did do this, how would they correct for human typos in the blocking tables and correcting for all of it, verifying that it was an error, etc?

    So Which would you prefer? An ISP where you could just run a proxy and keep your server running, or one that throws all their support staff into keeping the IIS boxes under control and doesn't have the people to actually manage/administrate the network/support so your site wouldn't be available half the time anyway?

    In an ideal world, they WOULD block only the people who didn't patch their IIS servers and got infected. But unfortunately for *everyone* it just doesn't work that way.

    [peeks out from flamesuit helmet... do I have any friends left on /.? ;-]

  • by q-soe (466472) on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @11:33PM (#2169573) Homepage
    This has propably been said but iam an Optus@Home customer in Aust and it firmly states (about 6 times) in the user agreement, FAQ, member pages and help sections that you cannot run a server on the web, this is in breach of the AUP and you get immediate disconnection.

    So if this is the case then why the story ? why the complaints ?

    ignorance is no defense - when you sign up for any service or contract you read the terms and conditions - thus you dont have these problems.

    End of story - if its not acceptable and you do it you get thrown off - i cant see anything fairer than that and whingeing about it happening is like ignoring the warning on a chaisaw that says dont cut off your leg and doing just that !!

    (of course in the US you could sue the company as stupidity is no exclusion - get the right jury and get lucky)
  • by maggard (5579) <michael@michaelmaggard.com> on Wednesday August 08, 2001 @11:44PM (#2169613) Homepage Journal
    AT&T "Customer Service" is claiming that their Acceptable Use Policy forbids servers. This is not true for all customers; I know it's not true at least for the former customers of MediaOne in Eastern Massachusetts.

    Partially quoted from:
    roadrunner.techtalk.general [roadrunner...lk.general]
    3B709BDA.3480@mediaone.net.invalid
    chelm@mediaone.net.invalid wrote:

    Posting to ATT/RR Home Page on transition to Excited@Home:
    New Service Subscriber Agreement

    Your AT&T Road Runner home page will automatically change to the new content provided by AT&T @Home on June 30, 2001. Effective with the elimination of the Road Runner content, the AT&T Road Runner Service Subscriber Agreement will be replaced with the AT&T@Home Subscriber Agreement. You can see the new agreement at http://help.broadband.att.com/support [att.com] under the Policies section of Answers to Questions. Because you are not using @Home software, the @Home End User License Agreement attached to the end of your new agreement will not apply to you.

    "AT&T@Home Subscriber Agreement" links to:
    http://help.broadband.att.com/support/faq.jsp?cont ent_id=584&category_id=34 [att.com]
    which leads to:
    http://help.broadband.att.com/subagreelease.jsp [att.com]
    Which states:
    9. Service Characteristics

    (b) FTP/HTTP Service Setup. Customer should be aware that when using the Service to access the Internet or any other online network or service, there are certain applications, such as FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server or HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) server, which may be used to allow other Service users and Internet users to gain access to Customer's computer. If Customer chooses to run such applications, Customer should take the appropriate security measures. Neither AT&T nor @Home Network shall have any liability whatsoever for any claims, losses, actions, damages, suits or proceedings resulting from, arising out of or otherwise relating to the use of such applications by Customer, including without limitation, damages resulting from others accessing Customer's computer.

    (c) File and Print Sharing. The Service functions as a Local Area Network (LAN) in that each Customer is a node on the network. As such, users outside the Customer's home may be able to access the Customer's computer. As well, some software includes capabilities that permit other users across a network such as the Service and the Internet to gain access to the Customer's computer and to the software, files and data stored on the computer. For example, operating systems such as Windows 95 and Apple Macintosh include file sharing and print sharing capabilities which, when enabled, will permit other users to gain access to the Customer's computer even if the Customer is not using the Service. AT&T therefore recommends that the Customer connect only a single computer to the Service and that the Customer disable file and print sharing and other capabilities that allow users to gain access to the Customer's computer. Any Customer who chooses to participate in the Service using other than a single computer or who chooses to enable capabilities such as file sharing, print sharing, or other capabilities that allow users to gain access to the Customer's computer, hereby acknowledges and agrees that the Customer does so at the Customer's own risk, and that neither AT&T nor @Home Network shall have any liability whatsoever for any claims, losses, actions, damages, suits or proceedings arising out of or otherwise relating to such use by the Customer.

    And furthermore from the same document:
    11. Miscellaneous

    (b) Amendment. AT&T may, in it sole discretion, change, modify, add or remove portions of this Agreement, and the Service provided thereunder, at any time. AT&T will notify Customer of any such changes by posting notice of such changes on the Service, or sending notice via e-mail, postal mail or other means. Customer's continued use of the Service following notice of such change shall be deemed to be Customer's acceptance of any such modification. If Customer does not agree to any such modification, Customer must immediately stop using the Service and notify AT&T that Customer is terminating this Agreement in accordance with Section 7(a) of this Agreement. Customer will then be entitled to a refund of any unused portion of any monthly Service fee that has been paid in advance.

    Did anyone else get notification before port 80 was blocked? The above policies certianly still seem to be in effect; they're still posted [att.com] and they clearly imply customers may run HTTP & FTP servers at their own risk.

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