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Mystery - Argument

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Mike Gonzalez (The only good blogger on the internet)
Bitdesigns ~ Bit Santos

November 6th, 2006

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01:30 pm - Mystery
Last Thursday, the internet connection at my house went down for the nth time. I, of course, attributed it to PLDT being totally worthless, just as they had continually proven over the years. However, the problem was much worse than I initially thought.

When I got home from the office, I tried connecting to the internet to see what would happen. Much to my surprise, the Linksys wireless router has ceased responding. I did not even want to think that my third, brand new, router had gone down so soon. It was plausible, however, due to the power fluctuations that we experienced during the recent typhoon. I restarted it, with some success. To my chagrin, it quickly disconnected itself not a minute later. I tried connecting to the internet directly, in hopes that I could bypass the router. I remained connected for much longer, but I nevertheless ended up disconnected many minutes later.

It was only then that I noticed that the light on the DSL modem was blinking on and off. Was something wrong with the DSL modem itself? This appeared to be the case. I lifted my phone off its receiver, and was greeted with loud static. I noticed then that even the act of lifting the receiver would cause the modem light to simply blink out; it was a horrible thing, hearkening back to the days of dial-up networking. Perhaps, then, the wireless router was going down due to some sort of corrupt data passing through the DSL modem. Nevertheless, it was clear that whether it was the modem or the line, the problem was something that was PLDT's responsibility to fix. Satisfied, I sat back down and used the computers.

My problems were not to end there, however. Disconnected from the internet, I tried using the computer. Again, the wireless router quit on me. I lifted what remained of my bloodied head (a sad after-effect of shooting yourself in the face) and tried to figure out what the problem was.

Until that point, I was wondering why every single facet of my home network seemed to have gone down. It hit me then. I had made all my diagnoses on a horrifyingly flawed premise: that there was only one problem. There was no question that PLDT's lines were broken, but there was a second problem. Quickly, I opened up a Cygwin console.
Hundreds of connections to several IP addresses popped out at me. The packets being sent were labelled "microsoft-ds" and "netbios-ssn". It doesn't take a networking guru to figure it out from there. I don't know how it happened, but the second problem was now clear. I had been hit by worms. Worse, it turned out that my firewall had somehow been uninstalled.

To this day, I run anti-virus scans every night, hoping to eliminate the threat that has installed itself on my property. It is a Sisyphean struggle at best, but I do what I must do. Sad to say, there is no happy ending here, at least not yet. There is not even a moral. There is only me, rambling like a madman, trying to convey in a thousand words the very same emotions encompassed in a single picture:
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