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How to Not be a Shamefully Bad Time Server Abuser

Nov 10, 2008, 23:03 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carla Schroder)

"Time server abuse is not perpetrated just by inexperienced network administrators — the worst cases are from vendors of networking devices. One might think that big companies all full of engineers and other paid brainiacs would not commit such acts of stupidity. But it has happened a number of times. Netgear was the first famous NTP server abuser. In 2003 it released four routers that were hard-coded to use the University of Wisconsin's NTP server. The result was a distributed denial-of-service attack that continued to escalate, at one point reaching nearly 150 megabits per second.

"Netgear released firmware updates and gave a big bag of money to the University of Wisconsin, but the problem persists to this day because most of the people who own the defective routers will never patch them."

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