CenturyLink Let One Bad Networking Card Disrupt 911 Services in Multiple States

Dec 31, 2018
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To the author of this post: Are you trying to report news (like a journalist) or editorialize? Just curious since you apparently couldn't help yourself by inserting your blatant Net Neutrality bias... Nearly renders an article like this unreadable.
 

PaulAlcorn

Senior Editor
Editor
Feb 24, 2015
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Thanks for the heads up. We've amended the article to stay closer to the facts of the matter.
 
Dec 31, 2018
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No problem. I must admit I wasn't expecting an amendment but am pleasantly surprised.. I commend your dedication to impartiality. Thank You.
 

Kenneth Hans

Reputable
Sep 3, 2014
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I'm sure it took a while for someone to admit it was the NIC. It probably started with 'blame the antivirus software'...
 

bit_user

Splendid
Herald
I was thinking it would probably turn out to be hackers. More likely extortion than state-backed. But, I guess it's worth remembering never to underestimate incompetence.

To be clear, it's only down to incompetence that the system was vulnerable to such a point of failure - and especially that it took so long to diagnose and correct.

Regardless, I am sure this gave a few black hat hackers some ideas about new exploits to try and infrastructure to target.
 
Dec 31, 2018
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I have a sneaking suspicion that CenturyLink is suffering from failing infrastructure and is either too cheap or too broke to fix it... Either way, if true, it certainly doesn't bode well for them when they inevitably get all their 911 service contracts cancelled... We may be seeing the beginning (or the middle, anyway) of the end of CenturyLink).
 

shadowfur

Prominent
Oct 9, 2017
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Any essential services and businesses that require internet should have a minimum of two internet connections from different isps that do not share the same network and backbone set to automatically fail over to the other isp if reliability issues or connection going down is detected.
 

bit_user

Splendid
Herald

What they said was it injected bad packets - not that they wouldn't pass traffic. We don't know exactly how they were bad, or what sort of effect it was having, but the comment about enabling bad packet filtering suggests the bad packets were causing some sort of nonlinear effect.

So, I don't think it's as simple as that they lacked redundancy on their uplinks.
 

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