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Qwest tries to worm its way off hook for Code Red outages

Users see red over crashing DSL routers

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Qwest has turned down request by Washington's state attorney to refund clients whose DSL connections might have been affected by the Code Red worm.

The telco's broadband subscribers suffered outages created by one side effect of the worm, which (as previously reported) can result in the crash of Cisco's DSL boxes.

Cisco's 600 series of DSL routers, which have not been patched for a previously published vulnerability, will stop forwarding traffic if scanned by the Code Red worm. The workaround for this, pending getting a proper fix which we understand from readers can prove to be far from easy, is to disable web management of 600 series routers.

Associated Press reports of widespread discontent among Quest's broadband subscribers because of the issue, many of whom are unsatisfied with Quest's support services.

After receiving complaints from Quest subscribers about lost business, the Washington state attorney general's office got involved and is taking a position that customers shouldn't have to pay for a service they don't receive, and should therefor be refunded.

Qwest has responded that the problem is neither its fault nor that of Cisco as suppliers of the modem it supplies and blamed the creators of the worm for any problems.

Cisco and Qwest "made every attempt to work with customers on this problem," the telco said.

The situation throws up a number of interesting issues about the service agreements and to who is ultimately responsible for damage caused by virus writers and hackers, so that it'll be interesting to follow it's progress. ®

Related Stories

Code Red and the Cisco side effect
MS internal network whacked by Code Red
Son of Code Red is born
Internet survives Code Red

External Links

AP: Qwest Asked to Credit Users Over Virus
Cisco advisory on Code Red

Mobile application security vulnerability report

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