Awesome programming cock-up

D-Link, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of networking and Internet equipment, has had a bit of a shocker. NTP (Network Time Protocol) is a simple protocol designed to allow computer equipment to keep an up-to-date time clock – it’s done by a handful of hierarchical “time servers” around the world which individual computers are supposed to indirectly connect to to update their time. I say “indirectly” and “hierarchical” because the availability ot so-called “Stratum 1” servers, or those time servers at the very top of the food-chain is quite limited, and normally are only connected to by time servers further down the list.

But D-Link have hard coded in a list of Stratum 1 time servers in to the operating software of some of their routers, causing all sorts of problems, creating what essentially equates to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on many time servers around the world.

D-Link are supposedly still considering their position on the mess and ultimately they should be coughing up some dosh to help out the organisations running these servers whose bandwidth costs have gone through the roof. In addition to that, a firmware patch ought to be released which will solve the problem. Though the chances of your average Joe User flashing his D-Link router? Apart from him thinking that’s just something he’d do after one too many zambucas, the reality is, it’s never going to happen. Naughty D-Link.

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