hoist by their own petards

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Yesterday afternoon when I arrived at the hotel in Seattle, my connectivity (wireless in the lobby, wired in the room) worked beautifully. But last night and this morning, connectivity was awful. First I couldn't get IPs, then the response time was beyond sluggish. They assured us that by this evening it would be fixed, and right before we got on the bus I tried it again and it seemed fine, so I was reassured.

But when we returned this evening, it was awful again. I called the front desk and threw a fit, and they sent their tech support guy up to my room. He was baffled, because he'd been on the network with no problems the entire day while our group was away. (Figured it out yet?)

Well, he finally fired up a packet sniffer and took a look at the network. It was being flooded with junk, almost definitely the product of a worm like MyDoom. And it was coming from multiple machines on the hotel network.

What that means is that one (or more) of the people in the "Search Champs" group showed up with a worm already on their computer, and proceeded to both flood the network with DoS traffic and infect other computers on the network.

As the only Mac user one of the very few Mac users in the group, I must admit I'm feeling a bit smug at the moment. I'm 100% sure that I'm not the culprit, and that I'm not at risk.

The hotel's service provider is in the process of banning the offending machines from the network, and those folks will have to get their machines cleaned before they go back online. Good thing we're headed back to the Microsoft campus tomorrow...maybe they'll be able to find someone there to help them get their systems under control.

Ah, sweet irony.

2 TrackBacks

Liz Lawley is one of many at some hush-hush NDA'd thing at Microsoft (seemingly about search). She's got a funny observations about the wireless network at the hotel where all the outta towners are being put up. But when we returned this evening... Read More

For the Record from Chris Pirillo on October 5, 2004 4:07 AM

I didn't do it, but I did have a great time today (and tonight). Catching up with a VERY ... Read More

1 Comment

"Good thing we���re headed back to the Microsoft campus tomorrow...maybe they���ll be able to find someone there to help them get their systems under control."

Surely you jest.

Actually, I would be very interested to learn what their response is and what actions they take. (There are several downloadable mini-apps that are designed soley to seek out and destroy such worms on PC systems. I would hope they'd have at least one or two of them available.)


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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on October 4, 2004 9:07 PM.

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