Heartbleed

An extremely serious vulnerability, the “Heartbleed” bug, has just been announced for the server software that runs the vast majority of secured Internet connections.

The good news is that none of the servers hosting Spiral customer content are running a version of the OpenSSL software that is vulnerable to this bug.

If you have concerns about the security of your e-mail, website, or Spiral-hosted data, please feel free to call our office at (530) 478-9822, Ext. 1 for tech support.

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Brief e-mail/hosting outage

Due to a power outage in Nevada City (and our Nevada City office) affecting network connectivity, most of our e-mail and web hosting services suffered approximately 15 minutes of downtime early Sunday morning, March 2.

Services have been fully restored.

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Pace modem firmware upgrade

We have been working with our DSL modem vendor, Pace, to identify and resolve an issue where high network traffic is causing difficulties with customer Internet access.  This issue has been tracked to a vulnerability in the modem firmware, leading to attacks where a large volume of spoofed traffic is sent to Pace modems in order to contribute to a denial of service attack against a third party.

We have coordinated with Pace to push out a remote firmware upgrade to all our deployed Pace modems by the end of the business day.  This upgrade requires no action on your part.  No downtime is anticipated and no modem reboot is required.  However, if you begin experiencing any difficulties with a Pace 4111N modem you purchased from Spiral, call our office at (530) 478-9822 or (916) 252-1619 and press Ext. 1 for technical support.

EDIT: After further conversation with Pace we will push the upgrade on Monday, Jan. 27.

However, if you are currently experiencing slow/erratic Internet issues and are using a Pace 4111N modem you purchased from Spiral, you can manually install the patch before the vendor push with the following instructions.  This is not necessary — it will simply allow you to install the fix early if you would prefer not to wait through the weekend.

1) Sit down at a computer that is using the Pace 4111N modem to get through to the Internet.

2) Download the patch file at this link: http://spiral.com/pacehotfix* If you right-click that link and choose “Save As…”/”Download Linked File As…”/”Save File To…” you can choose where on your computer to save it.  If you simply click that link it should go to your normal Downloads folder.

3) Go to this address: http://192.168.1.254/upgrade

4) Click “Upgrade.”

5) Click “Choose File”, and select the file named “pace-ntpd-hotfix.install.pkgstream” that you downloaded in Step 1.

6) Click “Upgrade.”  Wait for approximately 5 minutes while the modem installs the patch and reboots.

7) When the power light goes back to solid green and your DSL/Internet lights come back on, you are ready to get back on the Internet!


* The file’s md5 hash is e8f2860c5091b6e840b67340b96e4502.  If this means nothing to you, don’t worry; it’s a security verification.

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NCCN mail server down (restored)

As of Tuesday, November 26, the incoming and outgoing e-mail server for nccn.net e-mail addresses is currently offline due to a disk failure. We are in the process of restoring from backup and hope to have that server working again by the end of the day.

Edit, Weds. 11/27: The process of restoring from backup is unfortunately slower than anticipated but the server should be live approx. 4. pm today, 11/27.

Edit, Weds. 11/27: Service was restored as of approx. 4:20 p.m. and we have been monitoring the server since in order to ensure smooth recovery.

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Services down

As of approximately 4 p.m. Thursday 9/12, most Spiral web hosting and e-mail services are temporarily inaccessible. There appears to be an issue with the T1 circuit serving our internal and hosted servers, and we are in the process of tracking down the problem with AT&T (the telecom over whose lines the T1 passes). Updates will be posted here.

5:15 p.m.: Our servers do appear to be currently reachable from the outside world, and broadly responsive; however, some traffic is still not passing through correctly.  Testing continues to determine the extent of what’s affected.

6 p.m.: Wider problems have returned and efforts to isolate the source continue.

7 p.m.: Timeline for completion of AT&T testing is approx. 7:30 p.m. At this time, no traffic is getting in or out of our network and thus all hosted services and e-mail are once again down.

9 p.m.: Services were restored approx. 7:30 p.m. and we are verifying the fix.  There will be a short final outage later tonight (anticipated 15 mins. or less) as we deploy new rules on our primary firewall to address the new circumstances.

10:15 p.m.: Normal service has been restored and we will continue to monitor our servers in case of further issues.

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Mail server outage 9/3

Some lingering power issues stemming from yesterday’s lightning strikes caused one of our battery backup units to drop out of service today, resulting in a few of our internal servers being temporarily out of service.

This primarily meant that phone calls did not reach our office for an hour or two on Tuesday afternoon, 9/3, but one of the affected servers handled inbound and outbound e-mail for our NCCN.net customers.

Phone service has been restored as of 4 p.m. and we are currently bringing our mail server back online now that the power issues have been addressed.

Edit: As of 4:30 p.m. mail service has been restored.

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Power outage

Nevada City lost power at approx. 5:15 p.m. today 7/3 — right before the big July 4 weekend. We kept Spiral’s servers running (with just a few hiccups), and are going to double-check them before heading home.

This is a great time to remind you to check your DSL modems and computers: power outages can lead to surges that damage electronics. Make sure you have surge protectors or battery backup units on your valuable devices!

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Closed for Memorial Day

Spiral will be closing its office on Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.  We will continue to monitor servers and address major outages, but technical support and billing issues will be deferred to the next business day (Tuesday 5/28).

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Telephone issues

Here at Spiral Internet’s Nevada City office, we’re having some temporary problems with our telephone circuit that are causing incoming calls to fail to a dead line rather than reach our backup answering service. We are urgently working on restoring telephone service. If you need immediate technical support, you can send a request via our website or send an e-mail to support@spiralinternet.com.

EDIT: As of 3:15 p.m., Friday 5/17, the issue has been resolved.

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DSL outage (resolved)

Late last night, Thursday 3/14, our upstream provider did some maintenance on their aggregation equipment serving Spiral DSL customers throughout the Sierra Nevada.  There was a problem with a block of new IP addresses Spiral was assigned and several hundred customers were knocked offline.  As of about 9:15 a.m. this problem has been resolved.  Please call our office at (530) 478-9822, Ext. 1 for tech support, if you are still having issues with your DSL connection.

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