[LINK] Belkin Print Server - Phones home ...

Adam Todd 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 
Microsoft though!

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 
the internet?

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!

More information about the Link mailing list