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 November 2009

                                                 

Nov 20, 2009: 25. On providers and being hacked

 


 
1. Introduction

For the moment, this is a start to test out whether my computer has again been hacked. My previous computer has been hacked in May of this year, and I got no help whatsoever - except from extra-ordinarilyy and grievously impolite types - from my Dutch provider xs4all, that refused to supply any clear answers or help, and effectively told me to fuck off.

Since they did so before - I have been using a telephone-modem for years (being poor and ill), that required 3 or 4 times phoning in, and waiting for minutes, just to be able to download mail - using the same recipe, viz. literally

"This is not happening to others, and therefore it is not happening to you. Good afternoon."

BANG! Telephone on the hook, forcing me to restart in their waiting queues, that sometimes took 40 minutes, in 2004 I decided to take another provider for my site, and got One.com, that is in my case based in Denmark, for several reasons.

One.com worked very well for 5 years for me: They are polite, they answer mails (xs4all.nl doesn't answer my mails: see above for their mode of operation), their site is much better organized than that of xs4all, they are cheaper and give more diskspace for less money, and overall they have been a relief compared to the sick idiots of xs4all - and yes, I am a psychologist of nearly 60, and I don't want to be addressed by the impolite young Dutch shits that man the xs4all "helpdesk", for things like the above happened many times, and seem to be completely natural on the part of the staff of xs4all.nl.

However.... I have now for 4 or 5 months, with a new computer, problems with One.com concerning my site statistics, that used to be quite good, and were provided by a program called Modlogan, that is not made by One.com, but is freeware, and has not been developed since 2007 or so, nor does it need to, for it works quite well, if it works at all.

It stopped working for me 4 or 5 months ago - something which had incidentally happened in previous years, and then always was straightened out rapidly and politely by the staff of One.com.

It still doesn't work, and I have been mailing now for months about this with One.com, always polite and friendly from both sides, but with no relief: I get no statistics, or get statistics of 10 days ago, and that is that.

Now this is fairly ridiculous to have to take months, for effectively - and yes, I CAN program - all One.com has to provide (and has provided for years without problem for me) is a link that connects me after I have been identified by my password to the Modlogan-program, they and I can know (i) to have worked for years very well (ii) not to have been changed for years, hence to be free from recent bugs.

But it doesn't work, it keeps not working, and I also noticed that, at least since July of this year, I am uploading my site to One.com from my own computer in Amsterdam, since July by ADSL and on a new computer, to their servers in Denmark - and there is the rub: That run on GMT.

That is, until European daylight saving in October the computer I uploaded to was 2 hours behind European i.e. Dutch, Danish and German time; since daylight saving the site I upload to, that I get by way of the inlogging and my password for One.com, runs 1 hour behind.

To finish this introduction: Yesterday I heard, coincidentally no doubt, a clear, interesting and disquieting report by one Jeremy Wagstaff in a BBC-WS program for business, that detailed what he claimed was the general response of providers to reports of their customers (such as I am, for xs4all) who believe they may have been hacked.

That general response - usually to persons who believe they are doing well indeed, and are being helpful and decent, and who know more about computers than average users - seems to be generally impolite, to consist of a denial, and of a refusal to help.

And indeed, I detailed this here, because I may also wish to contact the BBC about this, for I found my experiences with xs4all truly sickening, and they were only possible because the people that work for xs4all are functionally anonymous, and beyond control or litigation: If I knew where to find several of the bastards of xs4all I have talked to over the years, indeed I would prosecute them, if not in law than in person, for I do not want to be lied to, demeaned and denigrated by an anonymous piece of ignorant lying shit, such as I found at xs4all, including provider-staff who claim to me, that they are proud that they do not know how to program, and therefore will not answer by questions about their utterly defunct and failing "services" (*).

Finally, xs4all has told me a few things viz. (1) that they know that the software they provide for viruschecking and security by McAfee is bugged but (2) that they do not understand this bug and (3) they refuse to provide other anti-viral or security-software and (4) they refuse to let me speak to McAfee, for they have, it seems, a licence from them to provide themselves - the "helpdesk" of xs4all - the "help" that McAfee would give if it were otherwise arranged.

Also, it may be interesting to know that McAfee itself claims that in and around Amsterdam 1 in 4 computers have been hacked, and that the cost of being hacked on average run in thousands or tenthousands.

2. A first test

So... here is a test to start with.

This morning, I found in my mailbox the following last response of One.com (they say, and it may well be, which is what my first test is about), clocked in at 3.49 in the early morning local Dutch time, that is also Danish time, that I now quote in full:


Statistics & Modlogan again  :  Support - cb

Added 20 november 2009 3:49

Hello,

Regarding your concern, all our servers are located at Interxion in Denmark. See www.interxion.com for further information. The default timezone on our servers follows the Europe/Berlin timezone which has the same timezone as Denmark.

Regarding the statistics, we have migrated One.com's stat servers to better storage hardware. The new hardware does not work as intended at the moment, and this may cause a delay for some customers in the generation of statistics. However this migration will also lead to a long-term improvement of stability and a better user experience for our customers.

At present, we are unable to tell when the stats generation will be running again. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. Our Office Phonenumber is Denmark is Phone:+45 4690 7100.

Lastly, as per our terms of business, all disputes will be taken to a Danish Court. Please refer to our Terms of Business (3.11. Venue and choice of law) for more information:

http://www.one.com/en_US/terms-and-conditions

If you have any more concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best Regards

SUPPORT
----------------------------------
One.com

Web-site: http://www.one.com
---------------------------------

Now the test consists of this - and is at least as much in the interest of One.com as it is in mine, and relates to the first paragraph of the above:

Regarding your concern, all our servers are located at Interxion in Denmark. See www.interxion.com for further information. The default timezone on our servers follows the Europe/Berlin timezone which has the same timezone as Denmark.

I will now upload the above to my site as I do normally, and make a screen-capture of my FTP-utility to clearly document my problem if I am uploading to Denmark, that runs the same time as Holland:

As you see, the Remote Site has received and clocked this at GMT (and my computer's clock is off by two minutes, which is correct).

So... there you see my problem.

I will now upload this (called BAP025) again to that site:

And I will now mail a reply to One.com or "One.com", URGENTLY asking them to explain themselves COGENTLY AND FULLY and not in salestalk-terms - I have been repeatedly told before that the statistics has been moved to "new servers" and that

"this migration will also lead to a long-term improvement of stability and a better user experience for our customers"

which I do NOT appreciate at this point AT ALL: I have first told them of this problem FIVE MONTHS ago, and spend half a paperback of emails on the problem, that any script-coding kiddie of 14 should be able to resolve in ten minutes.

In brief, gentlemen at One.Com, I want a CLEAR, FULL, ACCURATE, TESTABLE reply - and I have meanwhile moved all my site elsewhere also, and will try to contact the BBC if this problem is not resolved soon:

EITHER your servers are in Denmark as you say, and are running Danish time, which is Dutch and European time OR something very odd is going on with those Danish servers OR I am not uploading to Denmark, but elsewhere (and that elsewhere may easily and within milliseconds also upload it to your servers, keeping the hoax going on and going on).

I appreciate RAPID and FULL cooperation, also by someone knowledgeable about programming, and I do not want anymore salestalk.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Regards,

Maarten Maartensz.

P.S. Apart from this P.S. the above was received on the server I upload to at 11.26 today at that server's time, and sent 12.26 Dutch and Danish time.

(*) That cost me from 2002-2007 more than a hundred Euros a month just to phone in by telephone-modem to get my mail, because it usually took three or four times to make contact, and then the mails were relayed by 4 Kb per second (on a good day) and full of tons of spam they couldn't and wouldn't sort out.

Maarten Maartensz

 

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