[ntp:questions] Very rapid polling

Unruh unruh-spam at physics.ubc.ca
Tue Feb 10 19:25:39 UTC 2009

"Richard B. Gilbert" <rgilbert88 at comcast.net> writes:

>Unruh wrote:
>> "Richard B. Gilbert" <rgilbert88 at comcast.net> writes:
>>> jlevine wrote:
>>>> In the last few days I have seen an increasing number of systems that
>>>> are requesting the time in NTP format several times per second. This
>>>> poll interval is far in excess of the usual best practices. Since
>>>> there are a number of such systems, it is possible that this problem
>>>> is a result of a new version of NTP that has just been released.
>>>> Please let me know if you have any information about a new version of
>>>> NTP that can do this or if any of you are seeing the same problem.
>>>> Thanks.
>>>> Judah Levine
>>>> Time and Frequency Division
>>>> NIST Boulder
>>> Have you captured the IP addresses of the systems involved?  If so, have 
>>> you identified the ISP responsible for those addresses?  Complained to 
>>> the ISP?  Etc, etc?
>>> The half witted will always be with us. . . .
>> There is no way you can set up ntpd so that it will poll many times a
>> second, unless there is a severe bug in ntp. He is asking if perhaps such a
>> bug exists in the latest version of ntpd ( since the latest version just
>> came out a month ago, and latest devel version a week ago, this would be a
>> sensible worry).
>> Alternatively one of those modem manufacturers may have screwed up again,
>> or some ntp  like program has come out that has such a default.
>> I agree that asking the IP addressee what it is that they are running might
>> work, but probably not.

>It may take a while to get results but if the only alternative is to do 
>nothing and suffer. . . .  The ISPs have the power to cut these idiots 
>off at the knees!  Whether they are willing to do so is something you 
>have to ask them.  They also have the ability to reduce a network 
>address to a street address.  Again, you have to ask.  If you ask on 
>NIST letterhead, your chances of being taken seriously are much improved.

IF it is a bug in ntp, then the users are not idiots, unless using ntp
makes you an idiot. If it is a bug in some other ntp software, then the
users of that software are not idiots, unless use of that software per se
makes you an idiot. If it is some modem manufacturer who has misapplied ntp
on their modem/router, again the same applies. He is trying to find out if
it is possible that such bugs exist, or than anyone else has seen them. 

>As I recall my contract with Comcast, they can simply cut me off in 
>response to just about any sort of abuse.  If nobody complains, I can 
>get away with practically anything!

Is a bug in the software "abuse"?

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