Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 18 October 2001
Note: the comments below are the unabridged
submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.
From: Mike Smith For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Understanding Business > It takes me just a few seconds to fire off all the > details required in an email but it takes much longer to > fill out some dumb form. Once again Bruce exhibits his inability to understand how real world business operates, and the fact that Telecom don't pay for these investigations-based-on-email he apparently enjoys alerting Xtra about. The customers pay for the time and effort involved in any investigation in the end - and the more (structured/useful) information is provided - the less time needed to investigate, and the less end-cost to the cosumer. If you've got the energy to report all those evil people pinging you or heaven forbid - running a portscan - then you've got the energy to do it in an efficent manner that is usable by the people you are reporting too. However, all this being said, I would surmise the total effectiveness of all Bruces reports todate would be - zip - zero - nada - not a bean of difference to anyone - much less to the 12 year old who probably originally ran the port-scan against you in the first place. So almost certainly your new choice of not reporting them at all will have entirely the same result - and save some poor helpdesk technician the pain of having to deal with something that is essentially 'your own lookout' anyway. From: Ian For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: The internet is not just the www... Just suppose I was an internet user from way back and did not access the world-wide-web, using such arcane things as email, usenet, gopher, ftp and so forth. (Yes, such people still exist.) I would still be at risk from hackers, even the ones using Xtra dial-up accounts. How could I even start to report these people? Bear in mind that these complaints are only to be accepted from a form on the web. Even if I was prepared to use the world wide web for such things, would I really want to use a computer that was potentially under unsolicited review to access a complaint reporting form with a URL beginning with http:// rather than https:// ? From: David Annett For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Telecom can't communicate For a communications company Telecom are hard to contact. I need a static IP address for my ADSL connection at home so I can't change from Jetstream to Jetstart, yet. During the recent peak in the Microsoft virus season I got though 1.7GB on my Jetstream 600 account and ended up with a domestic phone bill of over $500. So I thought I would ask Telecom the simple question why it cost 20c MB for my data to get from home to my ISP, given that cost $20 a month for the data to get the rest of the way to anywhere in the world ? I got no response from them at firstname.lastname@example.org so I thought that I may have guess the email wrong. As there appears to be no email address on any of Telecom's web pages I tried the ever faithful postmaster and it bounced with the following: The message that you sent was undeliverable to the following: email@example.com (user not found) It was clear that Telecom made a simple mistake in the set up of their mail server so I emailed all the other addresses to help them out and got this reply: The message that you sent was undeliverable to the following: firstname.lastname@example.org (user not found) email@example.com (user not found) firstname.lastname@example.org (user not found) email@example.com (user not found) firstname.lastname@example.org (user not found) Oh dear... I figured that since my orginal emailed didn't bounce I would try again and got a human reply at last: David sorry, not sure why you have not had a reply. Also not sure why you are asking the question as the 20 cent fee per Megabyte is simply what we choose to charge. whether it is international traffic or local traffic that is the set charge. regards Terry McIntyre Telecom Jetstream 0800253878 >>> "David Annett"Now Have Your Say
01-10-2001 16:44 >>> I haven't had an answer back yet. Can you tell me how soon you will be able to answer my original question ?----- Original Message ----- From: David Annett To: email@example.com Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2001 12:25 PM Subject: Pricing Why does it cost 20 cents per MB for excess data on Jetstream 600 to get from my house a few km to my ISP ? David Annett. Annett Computer Company Limited www.annett.co.nz So I guess that is their way of saying that they are a monoply so tough luck. Personaly I think it sucks big time and I am reseaching dynamic DNS and other things so I can move to Jetstart. It was that kind of attidute that in part made me go for GPRS over CDMA. From: Chris For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Reporting hackers Having once had the opportunity to experience first-hand the thrill of working in an ISP's security department, I can say that I wish I'd had the option to direct users to a webform at the time. The typical communication from a customer was a firewall log file attachment containing THOUSANDS of portscans and pings dating back weeks or months and a vague request to 'do something about them'. Instead, we adopted a policy of quietly forgetting all about a customer's problems after the third time we had to reply to ask them for another detail they'd forgotten. Better yet were customers running firewalls which could be configured to automatically fire off a message containing the details to the helpdesk EVERY SINGLE TIME a ping came in on an unexpected port, and god help us if were bold enough to suggest to the customer that maybe they should only report those incidents that originated from one of our company's IP addresses to us... From: Simon Lyall For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Xtra abuse Expecting Xtra to close the account of everybody who is complained about is not realistic. The majority of complaints are either stolen accounts, false complaints (to get someone in trouble), complaints made in error (ie tipped of by napster) or incidents where there persons computer is being controlled remotely (by subseven or similar programs). What is worse it's is usually impossible for the abuse dept to tell which sort of complaint it is just off a plain "this ip connected to this port at this time" report. As such Xtra is doing what most ISPs do in warning the person first rather than deleting their account on minimal evidence. Half the problem this days is idiots who install a personal firewall that automaticly sends an email warning every time it sees a packet it doesn't like. Users of these programs have no idea what the errors mean and assume they are being constantly hacked. I would expect Xtra gets hundreds of complaints per day from these sort of programs usually with the the demand that the person's account be closed.
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