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AT&T Denies Resetting P2P Connections 112

Posted by Soulskill
from the it-was-the-one-armed-isp dept.
betaville points out comments AT&T filed with the FCC in which they denied throttling traffic by resetting P2P file-sharing connections. Earlier this week, a study published by the Vuze team found AT&T to have the 25th highest (13th highest if extra Comcast networks are excluded) median reset rate among the sampled networks. In the past, AT&T has defended Comcast's throttling practices, and said it wants to monitor its network traffic for IP violations. "AT&T vice president of Internet and network systems research Charles Kalmanek, in a letter addressed to Vuze CEO Gilles BianRosa, said that peer-to-peer resets can arise from numerous local network events, including outages, attacks, reconfigurations or overall trends in Internet usage. 'AT&T does not use "false reset messages" to manage its network,' Kalmanek said in the letter. Kalmanek noted that Vuze's analysis said the test 'cannot conclude definitively that any particular network operator is engaging in artificial or false [reset] packet behavior.'"
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AT&T Denies Resetting P2P Connections

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  • It's ironic that in America, the country that much of the basis for the Internet hails from, seems to be regressing in Internet access. In Eastern Europe, more and more people enjoy fast and unthrottled connections, and ISPs don't care how many gigabytes of traffic you pull in each month. One ISP I know in Romania helped alleviate demands on its network by setting up a DC++ server where people could share films and music with people from the same city, not by penalizing customers.
  • Re:Confirmed? (Score:5, Informative)

    by budgenator (254554) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @09:19AM (#23206838) Journal
    No and Vuze was quite up-front about the study, they basically measured the number of RST messages and divided by the number of network connections. The numbers weren't intended to be accurate but rather to give an indication of realevive trends.
    For example,
    37 users on Telecom Italia France using ASN 12876 experienced a median of 2.53% RST messages;
    27 users on AT&T WorldNet Services using ASN 6478 experienced 13.97% RST messages;
    24 users on AT&T WorldNet Services using ASN 7018 experienced 5.35% RST measages;
    40 users on Comcast Cable using ASN 33668 experienced 23.72% RST messages.
    One thing you have to remember is the forged RST packets is a man-in-the-middle-attack, the Vuze plugin connected on a AT&T connection doesn' know if the RST came from AT&T at ASN 6478 , AT&T at ASN 7018, Comcast or Telecom Italia France.
  • by sjvn (11568) <sjvn@nOSpAm.vna1.com> on Saturday April 26, 2008 @09:54AM (#23206964) Homepage
    I have an AT&T DSL connection. I've used it for years. I've also beaten the heck out of it for years with massive downloads, uploads and the like. It has worked fine, until the last few months. Now, whenever I have a P2P Torrent going a day or more, I know my connection is going to lock up completely anywhere from 20 to 28 hours into the process. The only solution is to hard boot my DSL modem. It then happens again, about once a day, until I stop the torrent.

    Coincidence? I think not.

    Steven
  • Chuck's right (Score:5, Informative)

    by laird (2705) <lairdp@gma i l . com> on Saturday April 26, 2008 @10:07AM (#23207000) Journal
    TCP resets can occur for many reasons. All that client software can know and report is that the TCP reset occurred. But, for example, it can't know whether it got a reset because the software on the other end of the connection crashed, or had a bug, or the computer was turned off, or there was some corrupted communications between the two causing the TCP connection to get confused and need to be reset. This is all explained at http://www.tcpipguide.com/free/t_TCPConnectionManagementandProblemHandlingtheConnec.htm [tcpipguide.com] (for example).

    Vuze's test only counted reset rates, so it can't prove anything about what's going on. At most, it could suggest areas where it might be productive to do more investigation.
  • Re:Confirmed? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Geldon (444090) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @10:18AM (#23207036)
    ... One more note... Not only does this study do nothing to show that AT&T might be modifying traffic, it shows that AT&T is probably NOT modifying traffic!

    Comcast has admitted to sending false resets, so, no surprise, they are on top of the list. In fact, they are not only on top of the list, they're nowhere else. This is to be expected with a systematic interference with traffic.

    HOWEVER, if you look down the list, and I mean, WAYYY down the list, you'll find that ranked at #101 (out of 108)... is AT&T! If AT&T has been systematically producing false resets, they wouldn't just have one network high on the list, but all of them.. (see: Comcast).

    No one ever got a good rep defending AT&T, but stories like this just make /. look like a group of geeks with nothing better to do than bash AT&T. I'm sure you can find some legitimate grievances against AT&T instead of wasting people's time and ruining the reputation of a good news source with trash like this.
  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @11:45AM (#23207430) Homepage
    It could also the the OS or BT software that you are using. A few years ago (not sure if it's still the case), I used to get 3-4 time the speed when downloading torrents in Linux as I did in Windows. Currently I can max out my connection in Windows, but I'm only on a 1 mbit connection. Whereas I used to be on a 5 mbit. I could max that out in Linux, but not in Windows. I know my brother in law maxes out his 10 mbit connection using windows, but he has an uber gaming computer with dual core and 2 gigs of RAM. When I had my 5 Mbit connection I was running XP on a machine with 256 MB of RAM and only running at 266 MHz.
  • Re:no reset for me (Score:5, Informative)

    by arth1 (260657) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @12:11PM (#23207526) Homepage Journal

    I'm on AT&T, and I use P2P about once a week, and I've never seen any resets in my router log.

    Unless you run a business class router and have configured it to log incoming RST packets, you haven't seen any resets in your router log because they are not logged.

    The typical Linksys/Netgear/D-Link/whatever NAT "router" found in most homes most certainly won't log incoming RST packets.

    Regards,
    --
    *Art
  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @01:12PM (#23207804) Homepage

    Like Comcast they can forge packets on BOTH sides of the router if they were doing it and therefore you'd get RST packets on both sides. Therefore merely comparing the output on both sides is not enough to determine if forging RST packets is occurring.

    You need to log, at each end, what each end is both sending and receiving. Then compare the results. Unless you installed a stateful firewall or a proxy server, there shouldn't be anything in the middle changing the packets. If there is, it's useful to know that.

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