On the Occasion of 100 Simultaneous Connections —
I had a new record rather recently: someone decided to download textfiles.com through 100 simultaneous connections.
I have to be clear that I don’t mean 100 files downloaded or they connected to me 100 times in some period of time; I mean that they maintained 100 separate connections to my server and had them going full bore for hours. They were obviously on some sort of connection not unlike the satellite-death-ray at the end of Akira; the pipe that textfiles.com rests on had been dropped to emulate an acoustic coupler running during a GWAR concert.
How many leeches can dance on the end of a pipe is a question that’s been considered for decades; the guys who take and don’t give, what they are in the scheme of things. Personally, I consider them vital links in the chain, people willing to be distribution points across time and distance, even if their collections don’t make it out into the general pool for some time. When I collect piles of disk images from 1980s era 8-bit home computers, I know full well these are the products of man-years of gimmie-gimmie downloads, someone hooked to a BBS overnight and cleaning them out.
In this case, however, the folks involved are trying to acquire the data through insane means and literally ruining it for everybody. I now use the textfiles.com server for other projects, not because I don’t have servers locally that could do the work, but so I can feel the heartbeat of the connection over the day.
Good thing I have a Defibrillator handy.
This Defibrillation device comes in the form of a script, which I call OINK. Here it is:
#!/bin/sh # # OINK OINK for oink in `netstat -an | grep ESTAB | cut -f5-8 -d"." | grep ^80 | cut -c11- | sort -u` do ponk=`netstat -an | grep ESTAB | grep $oink | wc -l` if [ "$pork" -gt "5" ] then echo "$pork $oink" fi done
Oink will tell me of anyone who has more than 5 connections. It doesn’t DO anything; I have to do whatever I feel necessary, which shifts over time. Currently I just do a software firewall and block people completely. I could put something into the webserver software, but that’s making apache do all sorts of work it doesn’t need to; better to just forget Mr. Multiconnect ever existed for a while.
What makes this effort worth it are the letters. Oh yes, the delicious, luxurious letters I get from people who slowly, methodically determine that textfiles.com is in fact up, but they are in fact down. Oh, the positions, the promises, the junkie trying to plead his case while you notice all the furniture is missing. It’s a great thing.
And it takes very little bandwidth!
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“Personally, I consider them vital links in the chain, people willing to be distribution points across time and distance, even if their collections don’t make it out into the general pool for some time.”
Jay, kinda like the million or so textfiles you downloaded in the early- to mid-80s, staying up all night on your dad’s PC XT with the (gasp!) 1200 baud modem, filling up that 10MB hard drive, right? You were just sucking up the data, with no hints that you would one day “give back.”
It’s karmic payback, sonny.
“I know full well these are the products of man-years of gimmie-gimmie downloads, someone hooked to a BBS overnight and cleaning them out.”
Folks, when Jay did this, it was the equivalent of a museum grab, in which a fleet of tractor-trailers waits on the loading dock while the crooks steal EVERYTHING, including the door hinges. When the employees come in the next morning, the doors fall and shatter and they find a fat bastard security guard tied up in the bathroom. Oh, and the vending machines get robbed too.
I’m just keepin’ it real, Jay.