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Wednesday, 10 June 2009 11:30

Comcast owns your server

Written by Nick Farell

Image

What happens on port 53, stays on port 53

US ISP Comcast
, which has annoyed its customers by sending them to advertising pages when they mistype a web address, has been found to be hijacking punters computers to make sure it works.

For ages customers have been moaning that they end up with Comcast's advertising if they make a mistake because its DNS server sends the traffic to its own server.

An anonymous blogger claims that the situation is a lot worse because the ISP is messing with users port 53, possibly in collusion with Earthlink. He writes that what is happening is that any UDP traffic bound for port 53 on any server is redirected to its own server. So if you get under the bonnet of your computer and wire it so that it uses a different DNS server you will still end up in Comcast's clutches.

The anonymous blogger has tested the network traffic and shown his proof online. While there is probably nothing illegal in what Comcast is up too, it does indicate that it thinks it has the right to control your traffic the way it likes. 

There are a lot of geeks who are not going to like that.

Nick Farell

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