It appears that the Code Red virus has been killing our DSL modem for the last 72 hours and all that qwest could say was, “If you find out how to stop it, please tell us!”

The Code Red virus infects good-ol’ Windows Internet Information Server aka IIS. Once infected, like a mindlessly zombie it attempts to attack neighboring hosts by sending large HTTP requests on port 80 to each potential victim. Due to a bug in the operating system that runs the cisco 675 DSL modem, instead of ignoring it, the poor thing locks up when such a large HTTP request is received.

The Code Red virus infects good-ol’ Windows Internet Information Server aka IIS. Once infected, like a mindlessly zombie it attempts to attack neighboring hosts by sending large HTTP requests on port 80 to each potential victim. Due to a bug in the operating system that runs the cisco 675 DSL modem, instead of ignoring it, the poor thing locks up when such a large HTTP request is received.

Sadly the only way to unlock the IOS software is to power-cycle the modem. Even more sadly was that until today, all that qwest could offer was the suggestion to disable the web management feature of the modem (which was the first thing I checked on the first day of this fiasco). Of course, this did nothing to prevent the lock ups.

Fortunately, qwest figured it out and updated the virus information page to tell users to not only disable web management, but to change the port number from port 80 to some different port number.

Of course! How obvious! I was embarrassed not to have come upon this solution on my own, having watched the “port number” option scroll by countless times when browsing through the modem settings…

I must credit a colleague from work (Troy Davis) with originally suggesting the solution to me independently. In fact I was in the process of looking at the virus information page at the qwest web site, when the page magically changed to include the “…and also change the port number” suggestion in their troubleshooting guide.

Author: Randy Antler

News Service: The Experiment