News: Latest Ubiquiti vulnerability info

As many of you are probably aware, a lot of Ubiquiti devices running old firmware are under a new wave of attack taking advantage of an old vulnerability that was fixed a year ago.

In response to this latest wave of problems for some WISPs, Ubiquiti have thoughtfully emailed everyone on their mailing lists with their latest advice, namely:

“In recent days, we’ve seen virus activity taking network devices offline. In most cases, devices are reset to factory defaults. In other cases, devices are still operational, but inaccessible. The virus is using an HTTP/HTTPS exploit that doesn’t require authentication. Simply having a radio with out-of-date firmware and having its HTTP (port 80)/HTTPS (port 443) interface exposed to the Internet is enough to get infected.”
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HowTo: Load Balancing multiple Internet connections

A frequent request we receive is how to use a MikroTik Router to get more bandwidth by ‘joining’ multiple internet feeds together. There are a number of different methods, however it’s a good moment to clarify that the term ‘line bonding’ is not the same as ‘Load balancing’. With line bonding we are actually sending each packet in a ’round robin’ fashion up multiple lines and at the ISP end they are joined back together again into a single circuit.  This is a service that can only be carried out at a data centre or ISP and all lines must be all connected to a common interface sharing the same IP address.  Any Public IP Addresses used at the remote site must all be routable over any one of the multiple lines.  Not so easy when all the lines are possibly from completely different service providers.
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News: WiFi consultancy at Stand Up To Cancer Event

Over the last year, we have been working with Makelight and Eskimo on a number of high density WiFi based projects for concerts by Bastille, Laura Mvula, Biffy Clyro and more. On this occasion Makelight were hired to create a stunning special effect for the Channel4 TV programme “Stand Up To Cancer” tonight.  Using up to nearly 1000 iPads to be held up by the audience in the TV Studio.  The effects created will include light patterns and scrolling text to show for example, the total amounts donated so far, in a ‘ticker tape’ style.
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MikroTik User Meeting Venice 2014 – Presentation on QoS and Layer7

RonVeniceOnce again LinITX were in attendance at the European venue for MikroTik’s User Meeting.  Each year it gets larger with MikroTik stating that it was nearly the largest event so far, at approximately 1200 attendees. Ron Touw usually contributes to the meetings with a technical presentation and/or delivers Training in the days prior to the meeting to students from all over Europe who are keen to learn more about MikroTik and how they can use RouterOS to solve their networking needs.  On this occasion his presentation was on managing the every increasing demands placed upon ISPs to deliver ever more bandwidth as if there were no limit.
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‘WISP in a box’?

Does this sound familiar?

“We have multiple internet lines to our office with some spare capacity and we want to sell internet services to our local area as we know they don’t have good internet from the xDSL mainstream providers. What items do we need to put such a system together? We have limited technical skills in this business, so if you could be very specific in the list of parts required and the trade costs for each item, that would be great! We intend selling internet to our local town which is about 500 houses and we can get 8Mbps service on each of our 4 phone lines. Do you think that would be enough speed for those 500 users, i.e.32Mbps as I’ve been told we can get away with 50:1 contention which is the same that BT uses? I have heard about bonding lines together, but on talking to our ISP they don’t know what we mean, so doubt they can do that themselves. Therefore can you also give us advice on a suitable device that can bond them together please and thus bypass our ISP as they can’t help us? I’ve read on their website that MikroTik can do bonding and can also be used for the core of a wireless ISP business, so that’s why we contacted yourselves. We have now secured access to a roof top that can see the majority of the town, but we also want to feed some farms in the distance about 10km away. Although there are some trees and the odd building in the way, I can just about see the farms between all the obstructions, so the wireless should work fine shouldn’t it? I have read that 802.11n can work around corners, so it will work easily through just a few conifer trees, right? I will forward you some photos we took from the roof if that helps?  Our capital budget is only about £1000 for this project, which I reckon if we use MikroTik will be enough money to make it be successful.  What are your thoughts?  Don’t forget, we need a complete list of everything we need to order and how it all connects together, once we get that we’ll send you a bank transfer immediately!”
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From Bridges to Routes

A common problem amongst growing WISP businesses is rapid growth. Not a problem for the bottom line obviously, but once the owners see what is happening to their network, which is one single layer 2 bridge, they see they now have a problem they hadn’t planned for in advance.  

After all, it all started with sharing their broadband with their next door neighbour. Then it was the guy across the street, then the word got around and soon he was adding more and more WDS links around their little town and now the customers were complaining of frequent loss of service. Worse still is an engineer who’s background is from the wired networking world of corporate IT buildings and they’ve rolled out a network using VLANs to try and limit the broadcast traffic and to segregate the network into smaller areas, but still operating with one single /24 subnet!
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Quality Of Service

We have been frequently asked to control a WISPs backhaul from excessive usage by a minority of their clients, which then in turn spoil the experience for the majority. In one case, a provider had a 200Mbps leased line and it was 100% saturated with Bit Torrent and Binary UUNet News downloading.  Possibly to drive the point home about how bad things had become, their Tech guy was calling me on one of their VOIP phones which kept dropping out. Once we looked at his config on his Mikrotik Router, we could quickly see why.
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