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Moar liek NSAT&T amirite?
July 26, 2009 5:12 PM   Subscribe

AT&T appears (NSFW, may disappear) to be blocking access to 4chan's /b/ board.

You can check your personal connectivity here (SFW).

AT&T was centrally involved with the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program and removing political comments from the webcast of a Pearl Jam concert.

4chan, and /b/ specifically is an image-based bulletin board known for extremely lax moderation guidelines and has been a target for denial of service attacks. Anonymous (VERY NSFW), 4chan's most famous offspring, is known for inspiring local news hyperbole, hacking Sarah Palin's email and an ongoing feud with the Church of Scientology.
posted by Skorgu (148 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Anonymous vs. ATT

who will win

hint: not us
posted by synaesthetichaze at 5:15 PM on July 26, 2009


Your World. Delivered. To The FBI.
posted by mattdidthat at 5:15 PM on July 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


I hate stories that involve /b/. On one hand I'm kind of like "Great. That place is the Sodom & Gomorrah of the internet", but on the other "Big brother, much?" and it's like. Two gross tastes that taste gross together.
posted by GilloD at 5:17 PM on July 26, 2009 [11 favorites]


who will win

The American viewing public?
posted by Askiba at 5:17 PM on July 26, 2009


There Will Be Lulz.
posted by ryoshu at 5:19 PM on July 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


Well, I just tried and I can get to it fine over my AT&T data connection on my iPhone.
posted by floam at 5:19 PM on July 26, 2009


It sounds like they blocked access to an image server, rather then a specific folder location
posted by delmoi at 5:23 PM on July 26, 2009


So, I have to choose between fascism at 4chan?

Let me think about this.
posted by Avenger at 5:24 PM on July 26, 2009 [35 favorites]


Well, I just tried and I can get to it fine over my AT&T data connection on my iPhone.

I'm on AT&T DSL and can't get to it. Anyone have a guess why it would be different? Different DNS for wireless vs. wired or something?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:24 PM on July 26, 2009


Recently and totally relevant.
posted by oddman at 5:28 PM on July 26, 2009 [23 favorites]


I'm in SoCal and /b/ is fine on my iPhone... well, other than being the septic tank of the internet, that is.
posted by Huck500 at 5:28 PM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Love the reddit link. It's always fun to hear the Яevolutionaries try outdo each other's rhetoric. BONUS: see if you can find a libertarian explaining how a private company censoring something is proof that net neutrality is a bad idea.
posted by Garak at 5:29 PM on July 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


At the end does the chest of one explode and a terrifying monster baby with the combined features of both pop out? And does it open its little monster mouth and go, "SKREEE!"?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:31 PM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


So AT&T helps the government snoop on our calls, but when 4chan gets hit — which may or may not be true — a few pimply-faced dorks on the Internet suddenly get upset. Apologies if some of us just can't share your outrage right now, guys.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:31 PM on July 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Doing a DNS query for 'img.4chan.org' brings up "207.126.64.181, 207.126.64.182" for me. What does it show up as for people on AT&T?
posted by delmoi at 5:33 PM on July 26, 2009


My question is why does this 'Anonymous' geezer keep spamming AskMe?
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:33 PM on July 26, 2009 [12 favorites]


What does it show up as for people on AT&T?

207.126.64.181 too. Times out if I try to ping it.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:36 PM on July 26, 2009


DNS appears to be resolving just fine, but packets aren't coming back. I just pinged from a terminal session, and it sent out a buttload of packets and returned zero.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:36 PM on July 26, 2009


This is pretty upsetting. I never read /b/ beyond about three times a year when I wonder what's horrifying and stupid on the internet, get my five minutes of hurf durf and then I'm out, but the fact that they're pulling this shit is infuriating. One can't help but wonder what sites will be next.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:39 PM on July 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm on AT&T DSL and the DNS query is correct but I can't get to img.4chan.org and tracerts all time out.

Until this point I haven't ever wanted to get to /b/. Now it's all I want to do. I hate censors.
posted by Justinian at 5:40 PM on July 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm on AT&T DSL in Tennessee, and /b/ seems to work.

Thanks a bunch for helping me exceed my annual dose of Anyone Else's Scrotum.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 5:44 PM on July 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


You know, there's so many reasons that access to one image server wouldn't work from some part of the Internet. I'd sure like to see more evidence of deliberate censorship before the Internet pitchforks come out.
posted by Nelson at 5:47 PM on July 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


When they came for the pimply-faced dorks, I said nothing, because I am not a pimply-faced dork any more.
posted by flabdablet at 5:48 PM on July 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


So, for the ignorant among us who don't want to click over to the "internet's septic tank," what kind of atocities are featured on /b/ that would merit blacklisting by AT&T?
posted by Crotalus at 5:48 PM on July 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


And nothing of value was lost blocked.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:48 PM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hmm, a 4chan AT&T feud. I can't think of any way this won't end with at least a little bit of jail time for someone.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 5:49 PM on July 26, 2009 [10 favorites]


unavailable on AT&T DSL in Nor Cal.
posted by porn in the woods at 5:49 PM on July 26, 2009


Appreciate the links to AT&T's censorship in the past, but this seems like less a rights issue and more like one of those times in Half-Life when the soldiers are fighting the aliens and you hold back to save ammo until the winner comes after *you*.
posted by tastydonuts at 5:55 PM on July 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


I don't understand why AT&T would do this. I'm far from a lawyer but it was my understanding if AT&T dipped their toe into moderating the entire internet, they'd be losing the whole "common carrier" thing? Meaning they can be sued if they don't block the next pile of garbage?

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess some AT&T execs' daughter decided to share some photos with /b/.
posted by malphigian at 5:55 PM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


So, for the ignorant among us who don't want to click over to the "internet's septic tank," what kind of atocities are featured on /b/ that would merit blacklisting by AT&T?

Think of everything you've ever wanted to warmly welcome into the sweet embrace of your five senses.

It's the exact opposite of that.

Altho Caturday is pretty rad.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:03 PM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Does anything interesting show up for folks with AT&T if they try a traceroute? (Maybe you hit bigbrotheriswatchingyou.att.com, and then it dies?)
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 6:05 PM on July 26, 2009


I will wait and see if the b-tards decide this is interesting and actionable, if so, how long it will take them to figure out who made this decision. It won't take much effort to figure out which parts of AT&T are blocked and what the common thread is.

It would be more interesting if Wired notices this, the way they noticed the /b/ vs. Scientology thing. Wired seems to have an axe to grind with AT&T, so this might be fun for them. Wired might have the appropriate sources to discover who made this decision. Should that information get out while /b/ is still blocked by AT&T, various middle managers within the organization might find themselves Very Surprised. People who have that much time to Photoshop, say, Britney Spears' head onto ... well, just about anything ... are not really people you want bored and frustrated because they don't have their favorite outlet for their, ah, creative endeavors.

I had considered switching from my current, rather expensive ISP to AT&T, but between the craven eagerness of assorted quislings to hand over information to the Bush administration and this kind of nonsense, it's starting to look like a no-go. I think it's time for a call to their sales department tomorrow and some pointed questions. Assuming I can reach someone who isn't reading out of a three-ring binder or the electronic equivalent thereof in another continent.
posted by adipocere at 6:08 PM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's like the Iran-Iraq war, when America wished they could both somehow just wipe one another off the face of the earth.

Only instead of chemical weapons and child soldiers, there will be hilarity unending lulz.
posted by paisley henosis at 6:12 PM on July 26, 2009


NoCal - I can't get there now on AT&T DSL - it times out. I can get there on my iPhone no problem.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:15 PM on July 26, 2009


This sets a really bad precedence for a tier 1 ISP.
posted by spiderskull at 6:17 PM on July 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Does anything interesting show up for folks with AT&T if they try a traceroute? (Maybe you hit bigbrotheriswatchingyou.att.com, and then it dies?)

Here's my last hit on a traceroute before it stops:

4 65-64-1-254.ded.swbell.net (65.64.1.254) 1023.108 ms 1122.682 ms 1331.945 ms
5 * * *
6 *^C


ded.swbell.net? Lulz.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:19 PM on July 26, 2009


There's a comment on the reddit with traceroutes, and they generally match up with mine.
posted by pwnguin at 6:19 PM on July 26, 2009


BONUS: see if you can find a libertarian explaining how a private company censoring something is proof that net neutrality is a bad idea.

Well, this fairly libertarian reader is having trouble even parsing that sentence for actual meaning, so you may want to try being more coherent in your insults. I'm not even sure if there is a common position on net neutrality in that crowd, and while you can probably find SOMEONE arguing almost ANY position, that's not necessarily representative of the views of the whole.

My personal take is that if a carrier wants to do traffic shaping, that's fine, but it needs to be on a per-customer basis, and completely under that customer's control. If they want to do traffic shaping for their own benefit, by using it to damage competitors, or oversell bandwidth, they can do that too, but then should be forced to give up common carrier status. If they want to tamper with their traffic, they give up the legal protection they get from not tampering with their traffic.

As far as this particular thing goes: it sounds like it's probably a routing error somewhere in AT&T. Not everyone in the AT&T network is shut out of that server. Routing can get fearsomely complex, and even small errors can have very odd results, like part of your network being unable to access specific subnets.

Further, the error may not be AT&T's. Rather, the error could be in 4chan's provider. AT&T may be routing packets just fine to img.4chan.org, but then when 4chan replies, the packets get dropped because of a routing error at THEIR ISP. Or it could be an error at any hop along the way -- they could be transitioning through two or more intermediate ISPs.

Routing requires cooperation from everyone involved, and if ANY party screws up, it breaks. And it can break in very weird, hard-to-diagnose ways.

AT&T is a scummy corporation, and worthy of disdain, but don't leap from that to assuming deliberate malign intent without further evidence.

Most likely, this is 4chan noticing a problem, and then deliberately inflaming the internet to get the problem looked at, because getting small routing errors fixed can be a major pain in the ASS otherwise. Getting the attention of someone senior enough to fix routing issues can be very difficult in big companies.

My guess: you're all patsies for 4chan.
posted by Malor at 6:20 PM on July 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


Works via AT&T on my iPhone. Oh right, it's the Internet—I forgot that I'm supposed to jump on the conclusions bandwagon. *posts angrily to Twitter*
posted by Mikey-San at 6:24 PM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm more concerned with the fact that I'm seeing gay porn on /b/ today. Something is clearly wrong in the 4chan department today.
posted by saturnine at 6:29 PM on July 26, 2009


Malor, apparently not. If you read the linked material and you assume they aren't lying, AT&T tier two tech support has admitted to blackholing the relevant IPs. It's not an accident or a small routing error.

Never give the Big Guys the benefit of the doubt.
posted by adipocere at 6:30 PM on July 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Unavailable on AT&T DSL in Madison. Can any non-AT&T users get to it?
posted by aaronetc at 6:31 PM on July 26, 2009


img.4chan.org does not work for me, Oklahoma City area AT&T broadband. I have to sleep on whether this is a good or bad thing.
posted by crapmatic at 6:34 PM on July 26, 2009


It just occurred to me, would I need to have a TV to understand this?
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 6:34 PM on July 26, 2009


I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with lolcats.
posted by allen.spaulding at 6:35 PM on July 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


So what's next? Erowid?

What is to be done? Change ISPs? Impotently post on the remaining internets? Have a good rant with your anti-censorship friends and turn on the Colbert Report for some lolconservatives?
posted by Maximian at 6:37 PM on July 26, 2009


I can get there. I don't know if I am happy about that or not.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 6:37 PM on July 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


My guess: you're all patsies for 4chan.

If it is a coincidence that one of the biggest and most famous cesspools on the internet and the staging ground for all kinds of internet ass-fuckery and bandwidth-chewing attacks just happened to be the one major site (and not even the whole site, just the part of it that's the worst) that's accidentally blocked, well, I'm not going to feel terribly stupid for not believing that it's just a coincidence. AT&T hasn't exactly done much to earn benefit of the doubt on, well, anything.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:41 PM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hall, modernized: "I disapprove of your shitting-nipples fetish, but I will defend to the internet-petitioning your right to semi-ironically indulge it."
posted by cortex at 6:42 PM on July 26, 2009 [22 favorites]


I'm on qwest and it works fine. Tracerout goes from qwest to savvis.net and then to 'xeex.net' then 4chan.
posted by delmoi at 6:43 PM on July 26, 2009


People who think 4chan is the worst thing ever are behind the times; there are far worse imageboards these days. The attention drawn to 4chan has led to some circumspection and policing and such; other, more obscure boards have popped up to take the reins.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:44 PM on July 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Stand alone complex vs. government backed megacorp, film at 11...hmmm. Yeah, I'd watch that film. It's late on a Sunday so it's too early to tell if this will lead to something. If it does, I'll root for injuries.
posted by ryoshu at 6:48 PM on July 26, 2009


I can get to it on comcast in the midwest.

It's hard to defend net neutrality to middle america when 4chan is the poster child.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:53 PM on July 26, 2009


A good place to watch for updates on this is the NANOG (North American Network Operators Group) mailing list. The first email on the issue just arrived about 5 minutes ago.
posted by jbiz at 6:56 PM on July 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


hmm... IA_AL and usually I'd be out there defending free speech rights, etc., but... ya know... 4chan... somehow, they just aren't worthy of free speech rights, considering how they have abused them in the past.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 7:06 PM on July 26, 2009


Okay so I just learned about Creepy Chan. That was interesting.
posted by delmoi at 7:07 PM on July 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


You all realize of course that you have all just been co-opted into a social-networking-powered denial-of-service attack, right? Right about now, millions of people are trying to read /b/ to see if it's true that AT&T is censoring it. It's brilliant.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 7:16 PM on July 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Two gross tastes that taste gross together.

GilloD, I'm totally stealing that.
posted by rahnefan at 7:17 PM on July 26, 2009


BONUS: see if you can find a libertarian explaining how a private company censoring something is proof that net neutrality is a bad idea.

How do you feel about governments telling restaurants that smoking can't be allowed in their establishments?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:20 PM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


So I'm not a 4chan fan, but I still appreciate that they exist.

At&T I think has commited violations of the natural rule of law on a biblical scale and should go bankrupt. Afterwards we should salt the fucking earth of their headquarters, just to make sure they don't come back (They hate salt).

On a more informative note, I've heard that att tier 2 reps are confirming a block due to ddos attacks coming from that ip (the img board?)

There's a forum up now Project ATT. It appears to be for tracking up to date information and planning whatever the hell 4chan does.

It floors me that there are over 820 guests reading it right now. How big is that community?
posted by Lord_Pall at 7:23 PM on July 26, 2009


I suspect this may be connected to the uptick in people posting child porn onto /b/ in the last few weeks. It's gotten to the point where I'm seeing it posted every day, and the moderators seem to be sleeping on the job.
posted by SansPoint at 7:23 PM on July 26, 2009


The Encyclopedia Dramatica page has this to say:

"Call off the raid.

"Just got a call back from AT&T - seems the reason for the block isn't CP. It's because the site is a constant target of DDOS attacks that were routed through AT&T servers. AT&T blocked it because their bandwidth was spiraling out of control."

It seems the problem WAS Anontalk & co after all. AT&T detected the constant DDOSing of 4chan's servers, the attacks were coming from AT&T lines. So they shut off those lines to stop the DDOS against 4chan and stop their bandwidth rape.

Shit's over, go home now. "

So it seems like we may be spared becoming China after all. Which is good, I was all set to call my senator. (Yes, I love /b/-- but I love it as a sociological experiment more than anything else.)
posted by WidgetAlley at 7:23 PM on July 26, 2009 [10 favorites]


It looks like this was a denial of service originating from within AT&T's own network, so they shut off all access. This makes sense.
posted by geoff. at 7:24 PM on July 26, 2009


ED wiki page (Without anyone calling anything off just yet)

After reading that stuff and seeing how fast these guys mobilize, holy shit. It really gives meaning to the term "waking the slumbering giant". That's a community that you don't want to piss off..
posted by Lord_Pall at 7:28 PM on July 26, 2009


If it is a coincidence that one of the biggest and most famous cesspools on the internet and the staging ground for all kinds of internet ass-fuckery and bandwidth-chewing attacks just happened to be the one major site (and not even the whole site

It absolutely could be deliberate on AT&T's part, and someone upthread says L2 techs have admitted to deliberate blackholing. As you point out, it's a pretty awful site, and the conservative overlords at AT&T could easily have chosen to get all fascist on their ass.

But, at the same time, as you yourself point out, they're the staging ground for "all kinds of internet ass-fuckery and bandwidth-chewing attacks"... so how do we know, yet, this isn't more internet ass-fuckery and bandwidth-chewing? I can't imagine they'd have any qualms about fooling the Internet into helping them to "fix" something that was annoying them. Lying their heads off to make AT&T look bad, to get their problem fixed faster, is easily within their remit.

I'm not inclined to trust AT&T, but it strikes me that trusting 4chan might be even dumber. This is 4chan, not your granny's knitting circle.

I'm only going to get my panties in a wad about this if it's still happening in about a week; at that point, drawing the conclusion that it's deliberate should be fairly safe.
posted by Malor at 7:33 PM on July 26, 2009


"So AT&T helps the government snoop on our calls, but when 4chan gets hit — which may or may not be true — a few pimply-faced dorks on the Internet suddenly get upset. Apologies if some of us just can't share your outrage right now, guys."

Was any significant minority (it's 4chan their is probably 1 or 2 of anything) of /b/ posters pro internet wiretapping? No? Well then this comment doesn't make any sense. So much shitty stuff happens on a daily basis it's impossible to be outraged about every injustice.

"IA_AL and usually I'd be out there defending free speech rights, etc., but... ya know... 4chan... somehow, they just aren't worthy of free speech rights, considering how they have abused them in the past."

So: free speech only for those who deserve it? Ya, that sounds like a good idea. Thank deity for organizations like the ACLU.
posted by Mitheral at 7:35 PM on July 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Huh, well, I should probably preview more. If WidgetAlley's post is correct, that's a perfect explanation. No fascism, just network engineers tired of bullshit.
posted by Malor at 7:36 PM on July 26, 2009


I'm still hoping that the momentum toward a confrontation is too much too overcome and that 4chan vs. AT&T will become an epic story of lulz that I will be able to tell my grand kids about.
posted by oddman at 7:47 PM on July 26, 2009


posted by Cool Papa Bell How do you feel about governments telling restaurants that smoking can't be allowed in their establishments?

The same way I feel about swimming pools that have a peeing section.
posted by mattdidthat at 7:47 PM on July 26, 2009 [21 favorites]


btards wrong as usual. Instead of "the man" bringing them down, its even more pathetic nerds attacking the image server.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:49 PM on July 26, 2009


A good place to watch for updates on this is the NANOG (North American Network Operators Group) mailing list. The first email on the issue just arrived about 5 minutes ago.

Thanks for that.
posted by jessamyn at 7:57 PM on July 26, 2009


posted by Cool Papa Bell How do you feel about governments telling restaurants that smoking can't be allowed in their establishments?

The same way I feel about swimming pools that have a peeing section.


You don't have to go to the peeing pools. You can choose to frequent only non-peeing pools.

But some of us have a piss fetish, and would like the right to still operate pissing pools.

Going to a restaurant is not a right. Going to a particular restaurant is even less of a right. If you feel otherwise, please tell the people at Le Bec Fin that I'd like a reservation... their prices infringe my right not to pay more than I want to.
posted by Netzapper at 7:59 PM on July 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


But, at the same time, as you yourself point out, they're the staging ground for "all kinds of internet ass-fuckery and bandwidth-chewing attacks"

I kind of said it obliquely upthread, but since nobody noticed, I'll say it more plainly: planning invasions and raids and such is currently grounds for banning on 4chan, since moot got sick of dealing with it and worried about getting sued or losing his hosting. It's the same reason Something Awful will ban you for inciting that kind of behavior. There are sites set up by channers for planning invasions and raids and so forth, but they're fairly obscure and not run by 4chan.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:02 PM on July 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Holy smokes, what a thread derail.
posted by kmz at 8:03 PM on July 26, 2009


I'm sure once Monday rolls around and the backlash about censorship gets out, there will be a hasty press release of an 'accident' in configuration.
posted by MrLint at 8:03 PM on July 26, 2009


Sorry, 4chan. AT&T has retroactive immunity.
posted by Balisong at 8:12 PM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


posted by Netzapper But some of us have a piss fetish, and would like the right to still operate pissing pools.

I've thought about it, and you're not invited to our hot tub party.
posted by mattdidthat at 8:14 PM on July 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


From the previously mentioned NANOG list:
There has been alot of customers on our network who were complaining about ACK scan reports coming from 207.126.64.181. We had no choice but to block that single IP until the attacks let up. It was a decision I made with the gentleman that owns the colo facility currently hosts 4chan. There was no other way around it. I'm sure AT&T is probably blocking it for the same reason. 4chan has been under attack for over 3 weeks, the attacks filling up an entire GigE. If you want to blame anyone, blame the script kiddies who pull this kind of stunt.

Regards,
Shon Elliott
Senior Network Engineer
unWired Broadband, Inc.
If this is accurate, AT&T likely blocked it because the ddos was against 4chan (and running for weeks now), and it was traversing ATT's network.
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:18 PM on July 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


this will wendell.
posted by chunking express at 8:22 PM on July 26, 2009


hmm... IA_AL and usually I'd be out there defending free speech rights, etc., but... ya know... 4chan... somehow, they just aren't worthy of free speech rights, considering how they have abused them in the past.

When have they abused free speech rights in the past? The Sarah Palin e-mail thing, for which someone is currently on trial and probably getting heavily fined/jail time for? Or something else I'm not familiar with?
posted by graventy at 8:28 PM on July 26, 2009


graventy When have they abused free speech rights in the past? The Sarah Palin e-mail thing, for which someone is currently on trial and probably getting heavily fined/jail time for? Or something else I'm not familiar with?

The people posting CP qualify as abusing, I think.
posted by SansPoint at 8:29 PM on July 26, 2009


This is 4chan, not your granny's knitting circle.

Yeah, true, point taken. I'm not necessarily on the /b/tards' side, but my reflex was (and pretty much nearly always is) to side with the assholes who have the power, not the assholes who don't.

And I'm glad this was just a bandwidth issue. I don't have a good cost-friendly alternative in this area.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:34 PM on July 26, 2009


Unavailable on AT&T DSL here as well. It loads fine on the same computer via Comcast cable.
posted by foggy out there now at 8:38 PM on July 26, 2009


This is all a trick to make me look at goatse, isn't it?
posted by Artw at 8:39 PM on July 26, 2009


3OE <--ascii goatse
posted by middleclasstool at 8:40 PM on July 26, 2009


except I did it backwards, goddammit
posted by middleclasstool at 8:41 PM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


aka ascii goatse Jazz Hands
posted by cortex at 8:47 PM on July 26, 2009 [8 favorites]


But some of us have a piss fetish, and would like the right to still operate pissing pools.

Exactly. And now that you understand that, welcome to libertarianism.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:51 PM on July 26, 2009


There has been alot of customers on our network who were complaining about ACK scan reports coming from 207.126.64.181 […] 4chan has been under attack for over 3 weeks, the attacks filling up an entire GigE.

So, I'm not really that clued-in on current denial-of-service attacks: what are the attackers doing that's causing 4chan's server (the one at 207.126.64.181) to ACK scan random hosts? Some sort of packet forgery? Or is the implication that the people calling in to complain about 4chan's server scanning them are actually part of the botnet that's performing the DDOS attack?
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:54 PM on July 26, 2009


And I'm glad this was just a bandwidth issue.

Yeah, me too. The era of corporations routinely censoring content could start at any time; all the technology is in place. We already very heavily censor any group we call 'terrorists', which frightens me a lot -- once you're a US-labeled 'terrorist organization', they can aggressively go after anyone who even so much as rents you web space. (and have, in fact, done so.)

4chan could potentially be painted with that brush, since they're so disruptive -- all they'd have to do is tweak the wrong nose. While I think very little of many of their denizens ('lulz' are frequently worthy of a good punch in the face), I'd never want them silenced.

I stand behind my original post in this thread: even if shutting down a DoS was the reason for the blackholing, even if AT&T really was null-routing them, we were still 4chan's patsies. They painted the issue in huge, overwrought terms, and people all over the net swallowed their explanation whole.
posted by Malor at 8:56 PM on July 26, 2009 [2 favorites]



cortex: "aka ascii goatse Jazz Hands"

o

o

o

o

BONUS: TWO GIRLS ONE CUP

☺∪☹
posted by boo_radley at 9:02 PM on July 26, 2009 [30 favorites]


Huh. /b/ has been pretty much inaccessible for the last month or so. They had a rash of spam attacks on the board, and I assumed they were on-going even though the spam had ceased. This makes more sense.

There are rumors that Moot, the administrator of 4chan, will be nuking /hc/, the Hardcore Pornography image board. They are calling it "the cancer that is killing 4chan". Sounds about right to me.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:04 PM on July 26, 2009


Meh.

Goes back to looking at /s/
posted by wfrgms at 9:05 PM on July 26, 2009


I came here to be outraged.
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:06 PM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Kadin, I think an ACK scan is where you send an unsolicited ACK to a remote server. Normally, you open a TCP connection with SYN, the remote site replies with SYN/ACK with a sequence number, and you send an ACK with that same sequence number to establish the connection. If you send just an ACK, you get back some kind of error, which changes, I believe, based whether the port you targeted has something listening or not. (if the behavior isn't different somehow, it wouldn't really be an ACK 'scan', it would just be sending ACKs.)

My guess is that people are forging SYN packets to 4chan, which then replies with SYN/ACKs to those forged addresses, which then do the usual error reply. If the actual attacker just forges lots of packets from the same bogus IP, all on different ports, the reply packets will look like a scan coming from 4chan.

In other words, hacker A targets 4chan, sending forged packets that look like they come from random computer C. 4chan replies to C, and the connections fail, since C didn't actually start them. From the perspective of C's owner, it looks like 4chan is scanning them, even though it's really all A's fault.
posted by Malor at 9:11 PM on July 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


posted by Malor The era of corporations routinely censoring content could start at any time; all the technology is in place. We already very heavily censor any group we call 'terrorists', which frightens me a lot -- once you're a US-labeled 'terrorist organization', they can aggressively go after anyone who even so much as rents you web space. (and have, in fact, done so.)

Who are "they"? And could you please cite some examples of how "once you're a US-labeled 'terrorist organization', 'they' can aggressively go after anyone who even so much as rents you web space. (and have, in fact, done so.)"
posted by mattdidthat at 9:15 PM on July 26, 2009


mattdidthat, from the context of his post, I'd say "corporations routinely censoring content".
posted by boo_radley at 9:22 PM on July 26, 2009


I'll wait to pass judgment, but it looks like someone else was using AT&T to DDOS 4chan, and AT&T has temporarily blocked 4chan to prevent that traffic from going to 4chan. Possibly to protect other ISPs (and 4chan) from getting that excess traffic.
posted by jeblis at 9:27 PM on July 26, 2009


Such was my assumption, but I'm unclear as to how corporations can (and, according to Malor, have) "aggressively go(ne) after anyone who even so much as rents [a US-labeled 'terrorist organization] web space."

So maybe he means "the government", although he doesn't mention what part, and I'm not aware of any actions taken against an American ISP for such activity. Perhaps Malor will explain.
posted by mattdidthat at 9:29 PM on July 26, 2009


I can't help but feel like this sort of thing is just going to encourage more DDoS attacks in the future if it means that taking it to the logical extreme results in the targeted site being blocked by an ISP.
posted by marchismo at 9:30 PM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


and as for who, I believe that Charles Clarke, British Home Secretary, has implemented or discussed some ideas. I'm not a British subject, so I'm not quite as well informed there, although he's always been stringently anti-terrorist as far as I can tell.

In America, the State Department says that "It is unlawful for a person in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to provide funds or other material support to a designated FTO."
posted by boo_radley at 9:37 PM on July 26, 2009


I can't help but feel like this sort of thing is just going to encourage more DDoS attacks in the future if it means that taking it to the logical extreme results in the targeted site being blocked by an ISP.

So you're new to denial-of-service attacks, then?
posted by Mikey-San at 9:46 PM on July 26, 2009


jenkinsEar: Well, that's just boring.

/Puts away pitchfork.
posted by Phire at 9:59 PM on July 26, 2009


The people posting CP qualify as abusing, I think.

Ah, sorry, didn't see your comment. I don't visit 4chan too often, but when I do it has always seemed like they crack down on the CP stuff pretty fast and hard. Or at least attempt to. Monitoring a largely anonymous message/image board must be a pain in the ass.
posted by graventy at 10:12 PM on July 26, 2009


it was my understanding if AT&T dipped their toe into moderating the entire internet, they'd be losing the whole "common carrier" thing?
That was certainly a major force behind preservation of uncensored speech on the early Internet. But I've never seen that point come up and really be answered in a modern net neutrality debate. Which strikes me as very odd. Is the notion of common carrier status no longer relevant? Or what?
posted by hattifattener at 10:32 PM on July 26, 2009


/b/ shut down for a while a few months back because of DDOS attacks. Why?

Here at 4chan, we're so fucking hardcore we DDOS ourselves!
posted by Avelwood at 10:52 PM on July 26, 2009


In that context, "they" meant the Federal government. But note that AT&T is a proxy for that organization, having voluntarily become part of its surveillance arm.

It doesn't seem a particularly wild stretch to imagine they'd be willing to be part of enforcement, too. Whether they could get away with it is, perhaps, questionable, but their willingness to cooperate seems assured.
posted by Malor at 11:06 PM on July 26, 2009


Oh, and let me see if I can find the specific case I'm thinking of. It's been awhile, and a quick search didn't turn it up.

It was a webmaster on, I think, the East Coast somewhere, who was charged with aiding terrorists simply for hosting a particular Arab-language website. He had that unfortunate brown skin color, and had immigrated from the Middle East somewhere, so they wrecked his life over hosting a simple website that wasn't even shown to be about terrorism. It was vaguely related to 'a terrorist organization', which was enough to wreck him. This case also clued me in to the fact that if you're declared a terrorist group, you're not even allowed to make your case to the public.

Once your organization is on those lists, I don't think there's any reasonable way off.
posted by Malor at 11:12 PM on July 26, 2009


Aha, here it is! Once I thought my way through the story, "webmaster charged with terrorism" brought the article right up.

Webmaster Charged with "Terrorist" Weblink.

He was charged with multiple counts of "aiding terrorism", and ended up having his life in America more or less destroyed, even though he was found innocent of all terrorism charges, three of the eight immigration charges, and the jury deadlocked on the remainder. The authorities just WOULD NOT let the matter drop. They hate losing more than anything, because it makes them look bad, and they preferred fucking this guy over to admitting they were wrong. He was in prison for more than a year, and they forced him to leave the country or be retried on the remaining five charges.

His actual "crime"? A couple of links on one of the websites he helped with that had links to give donations to Hamas. The immigration charges appear to have been simply that he 'did work' for people in this country on a student visa, even though it was volunteered and he didn't make any money. Seriously -- they considered that a crime, and ruined his future in the US over it.

Wikipedia's writeup on Al-Hussayen.
posted by Malor at 11:25 PM on July 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


At&T just lifted the block. I guess we'll find out tomorrow if the Anonymous shitstorm that was brewing can be put back into the bottle as quickly or if inertia has set in by this point. There were already fake reports of the CEO's death circulating on reddit and Digg before the block vanished.
posted by CheshireCat at 11:45 PM on July 26, 2009


Appreciate the links to AT&T's censorship in the past, but this seems like less a rights issue and more like one of those times in Half-Life when the soldiers are fighting the aliens and you hold back to save ammo until the winner comes after *you*.

First, they came for the soldiers, and I did nothing, because I wasn't a soldier.
Then, they came for the aliens, and I did nothing, because I wasn't an alien.
Then, they came for me, but I still had a whole lot of ammunition saved up so it was OK.
posted by Bokononist at 12:04 AM on July 27, 2009 [14 favorites]


Now 4chan itself isn't even loading for me. I noticed mention of a site called 'anontalk' which seems to be this site. Anyone know the story?
posted by delmoi at 12:28 AM on July 27, 2009


Now 4chan itself isn't even loading for me. I noticed mention of a site called 'anontalk' which seems to be this site. Anyone know the story?

When in doubt, keep checking here.
posted by Avelwood at 1:11 AM on July 27, 2009


Anontalk is a chan-like imageboard and often gets into DDoS wars with 4chan.
posted by Mikey-San at 1:12 AM on July 27, 2009


Before anyone clicks the anontalk link, multiple posters on Digg where they were talking about this, said the place is a cesspool.
posted by empath at 1:18 AM on July 27, 2009


Yeah, I wouldn't click any of the links you see on that site. Fortunately, it doesn't actually have any images on the site itself.
posted by delmoi at 1:40 AM on July 27, 2009


The entire internet is a cesspool and we're all monkeys looking for the best shit to fling at each other.
posted by WalterMitty at 1:43 AM on July 27, 2009


the error may not be AT&T's. Rather, the error could be in 4chan's provider.
this is AT&T we're talking about, the provider that blocked a lollapalooza song, the company that is said to have let the NSA warrantlessly wiretap your conversations, the folks that have announced a policy of "filtering all Internet traffic which passes through its network for intellectual property violations" (wikipedia).

now they even confirmed they are "currently blocking portions of the internet site 4chan.org" and you still wish to defend them? are you being intentionally obtuse here?

this is going to be the trainwreck of the day week month year. watching this play out will be way too much fun, if only because the channers are a feisty bunch.

wendell, wendell, wendeeeeell.
posted by krautland at 2:00 AM on July 27, 2009


now they even confirmed they are "currently blocking portions of the internet site 4chan.org" and you still wish to defend them? are you being intentionally obtuse here?

You have no more facts about the situation than anyone else here. Stop being a dick to people who aren't jumping to conclusions.

waiting for more information != being obtuse
posted by Mikey-San at 2:13 AM on July 27, 2009


So apparently, ATT was blocking 4chan because it was 8getting* ddos'd. So, /b/tards shit themeslves, make noise, and ATT removes the block.

Now 4chan is down for everyone due to a ddos... which att had been actually preventing.

lulz
posted by Merik at 2:14 AM on July 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


They are just going to turn their rage against anontalk, and this whole issue will be forgotten by Wednesday.
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:23 AM on July 27, 2009


Jesus Christ I had a whole bunch of animal dick photos to post too.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:35 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I can get there on ATT DSL, but from what I've seen on Reddit and Encyclopedia Dramatica this may be because I'm on what was once Bellsouth DSL. It looks like formerly SBC and other customers are the ones having problems.
posted by crataegus at 2:37 AM on July 27, 2009


krautland: now they even confirmed they are "currently blocking portions of the internet site 4chan.org" and you still wish to defend them? are you being intentionally obtuse here?

Congratulations, krautland! You win the careless reading award for this thread.
posted by Malor at 4:27 AM on July 27, 2009


Stop being a dick to people who aren't jumping to conclusions.
actually... you're the one who desperately wants to conclude a private company could not under any circumstance make a wrong decision and has no problems leaving such an unchecked and unappealable ruling stand as 'good.' your rhetoric is making you exactly what you accuse me of being.

tinfoils all around!
posted by krautland at 4:50 AM on July 27, 2009


This is the most 4channish thread I've seen on MetaFilter in some time.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:59 AM on July 27, 2009


actually... you're the one who desperately wants to conclude a private company could not under any circumstance make a wrong decision and has no problems leaving such an unchecked and unappealable ruling stand as 'good.'

You're not posting that in the right thread. I don't know where you got all that from, but it sure as hell wasn't here.
posted by Malor at 5:03 AM on July 27, 2009


hmm... IA_AL and usually I'd be out there defending free speech rights, etc., but... ya know... 4chan... somehow, they just aren't worthy of free speech rights, considering how they have abused them in the past.

You should not be a lawyer.
posted by EarBucket at 5:39 AM on July 27, 2009


Now 4chan is down for everyone due to a ddos... which att had been actually preventing.

OR... AT&T has stepped up their plans and blocked 4chan entirely!!1!
posted by graventy at 5:42 AM on July 27, 2009


VICTORY FOR THE OPPRESSED!!!

MARCH ON WE WILL!!!


This is a small victory for Asian teen fisting pic purveyors the world over.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 5:43 AM on July 27, 2009


amusing AT&T story.

I work for a hosted service that requires our customers to open up ports on their firewall, and sometimes to add our ip address to their firewall's permit list to allow our traffic through.

One of our techs asked their customer to add our ip addresses to the ACL on their firewall (they didn't actually have a firewall, but that's not that relevant to the story). Somehow our non-technical customer heard that and translated it to -- we need to have these ip addresses programmed into our Cisco -- "Hey, AT&T manages our Cisco I'll call them."

"Hi, AT&T, you need to add these ip address to our Cisco."

"Uh, you want us to route these ip addresses to your cisco?"

"Sure, yeah, whatever."

"Do you own these IP addresses?

"Of course, yeah, go ahead and add them."

"Okay, I'll put a ticket in."

Some hours later, customer calls AT&T and escalates up because our service is still not working. And in the meantime has gotten hold of an email from us that says, essentially... "Please confirm that your ISP has added these IP address to your Cisco so we can route traffic to you." [I didn't say our techs are geniuses, either, here, but they were under the impression they had a PIX that was blocking our traffic..]

at some point the following conversation happens, though the customer SWEARS he didn't say this..

"So you want us to update the backbone to route these IP address to your router?"

"YES JUST FIX IT I NEED IT WORKING..."

"Oooooooooookay...."

And within a few hours several hundred MB/s of traffic starts getting re-routed from us to this customers poor T-1, taking down their T-1 and more importantly, OUR ENTIRE FUCKING BUSINESS.... It took quite a while to A) figure out what happened and B) get it fixed, but to AT&T's credit they did send us a nice apology letter, we could send to our customers.
posted by empath at 5:51 AM on July 27, 2009 [7 favorites]



A good place to watch for updates on this is the NANOG (North American Network Operators Group) mailing list. The first email on the issue just arrived about 5 minutes ago.


Normally the discussion on NANOG is better than this, with professionals discussing things. It seems like a smaller operators are basically posting digg/reddit comments to it.
posted by smackfu at 6:40 AM on July 27, 2009


Okay so I just learned about Creepy Chan. That was interesting.

Holy shit. I'm not a b-tard but I did come across Creepy Chan before. You just blew my mind in a million different pieces. Creepy Chan... on America's Next Top Model? WTF!

I feel like I just stepped through the looking glass.
posted by splice at 8:32 AM on July 27, 2009


The 4scrape site that pulls wallpapers off /wg/ has been offline for a few days and now only gives a 404. I wonder if it has been hacked or the owner just pulled the plug. A pity if it's gone - I've gotten some incredible wallpapers off that site without having to surf through /wg/.
posted by Ber at 8:58 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, between the #amazonfail stuff and this, I've got enough anecdotes for a Malcolm Gladwell book about large groups making assumptions about complex systems.

I think I'll call it 'Leap.'
posted by verb at 9:11 AM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


And people used to think that Death Star looking like the AT&T logo was a coincidence.
posted by tommasz at 9:15 AM on July 27, 2009


I was looking at 4chan last night and was pretty surprised at how mature the discussion around AT&T was. There was a thread started but one Anon who lived a block or so away from the CEO of AT&T and, despite the expected lulzy suggestions for retaliation, a voice encouraged reason and the absolute absence of aggressiveness and was not shouted down.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:30 AM on July 27, 2009


but = by
posted by stinkycheese at 9:31 AM on July 27, 2009


I was looking at 4chan last night and was pretty surprised at how mature the discussion around AT&T was. There was a thread started but one Anon who lived a block or so away from the CEO of AT&T and, despite the expected lulzy suggestions for retaliation, a voice encouraged reason and the absolute absence of aggressiveness and was not shouted down.
So that's the standard for maturity, now? "Not attacking or harassing the head of a company at their home, just because their custom service department hasn't responded to your information request fast enough?"

Man, I'm a saint.
posted by verb at 10:07 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


So that's the standard for maturity, now?

That's pretty mature for 4Chan, yeah.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:39 AM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


one Anon who lived a block or so away from the CEO of AT&T

Interesting. I would expect the CEO of AT&T to live in some fancy-pants, ultra-high-end gated community somewhere. I would expect most Anons to... not. Maybe they live a block apart in Second Life?
posted by aaronetc at 12:26 PM on July 27, 2009


I just chalked that up to rich parents and their 4chan dwelling teens.
posted by smackfu at 12:37 PM on July 27, 2009


verb: So that's the standard for maturity, now? "Not attacking or harassing the head of a company at their home, just because their custom service department hasn't responded to your information request fast enough?"

Man, I'm a saint.


I don't think sainthood properly reflects a severe degree of maturity. I think you should emphasize that you are a geezer.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:54 PM on July 27, 2009


As i expected:

In the end, this wasn't a sinister act of censorship, but rather a bit of a mistake and a poorly executed, disproportionate response on AT&T's part. Whoever pulled the trigger on blackholing the site probably didn't anticipate [nor intend] the consequences of doing so.
posted by MrLint at 3:28 PM on July 27, 2009


it's possible, even, that he didn't know what 4chan was.
posted by empath at 5:05 PM on July 27, 2009


Given that 4chan is one of the larger bandwidth black holes on the internet, I'm highly skeptical that anyone in the business doesn't know about 4chan.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:22 PM on July 27, 2009


a poorly executed, disproportionate response on AT&T's part.

No, it was exactly the appropriate response. Do you understand what happened and the consequences of what was going on?
posted by Mikey-San at 6:41 PM on July 27, 2009


I've worked with network engineers that would have had no clue what 4chan was.
posted by Malor at 7:21 PM on July 27, 2009


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