[LINK] Belkin Print Server - Phones home ...
link at todd.inoz.com
Mon Jul 24 14:45:14 AEST 2006
I was trying to talk to my newly installed Belkin Print Server today, well
not so much the printer server, but the printer attached.
Anyway, the print server could not be found, but I could talk to it's web
interface and ping it. Weird, so I fired up Ethreal and WOW! Did I see
something that caught my attention!
Belkin Phones Home!
It did a DNS lookup for heartbeat.belkin.com and then sent an HTTP packet
to the server.
OK, I looked closer, nothing in the packet, just saying "hello" and you
can't get back to the print server because it's well hidden deep within my
network and I've got nothing to hide! Anything from an "odd" address in my
network shuts down my firewall and alerts me - this wasn't ODD enough
obviously. (I have since increased my "odd" traffic to now include
anything that isn't human operated!)
Anyway, I guess my issue isn't so much that it's phoning home, that could
be helpful in alerting me to software upgrades and I do trust Belkin (and
Dlink) and Firefox (although my upgrade from 1.5 to 1.5.4 has caused me
grief with a hanging browser so I downgraded again) - I don't trust
The issue was with so many of these products out there, all phoning home at
five minute intervals a huge amount of useless traffic is being created and
sent from all over the world.
And what is this purpose?
To see how many print servers after connected with some ability to talk on
P.S. I have since restructured the internal IP addresses within my
network. I've put all HUMAN devices in low range with ability to
communicate via firewalls and DMZ's to the big bad world, and all "non
human" devices (servers etc) on a private subnet space that is totally blocked.
But I'll keep this Belkin doing it's heartbeat cause it's got my interest!
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