Collaboration

Help! I’ve broken the Internet!


It was a quiet morning on the helpdesk. Being a Monday, we had done our fair share of password resets and reminded those who had fried their brains over the weekend how to switch on a PC and where the printers were.

Then the call came in to save the day:

“I need help. I think I’ve broken the Internet.”

Slightly dumbfounded, and remembering my training regarding "Checking understanding," my remark was a little weak:

“You’ve broken the Internet?”

“Yes, I was looking at the latest models on the BMW Web site, and a screen popped up, asking if I needed to enlarge my penis!”

By this time, we were on speakerphone.

The unspoken thought ran around the room; the general consensus was that he probably did. We were a little concerned that the pop-up blocker was failing in its duties, although it has been noticed that online advertisers are finding more and more ways to get around the blockers.

“So what can I do?”

“We’ll look into it. Don’t worry, I don’t think you’ve broken the Internet. We’ll just re-configure the proxy server and the firewall to stop this stuff getting in.”

“Oh, don’t bother, this computer isn’t on the network, it’s one we have on the desk here for Web browsing. It isn’t a company one.”

7 comments
Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

A PC not connected to your network, and not under your control, within the workplace, and accessing the internet. Can anyone say, "Security Breach"?

wallowamichael
wallowamichael

We put everybody through a proxy to get to the internet. If the machine accessing the internet is not a 'company pc', it gets less bandwidth (128k for all guests). The wireless APs are managed in such a way as to allow guest access only until authentication is verified, and then allowed to access the company network resources. Once the AP client is running on the laptop or handheld, the link is on SSL, so there's no sniffing of wireless signals (at least easily).

fixit
fixit

I had to do the same thing on my network. One of the BIG bosses wanted an open terminal in the front office for surfing. I was going to put in a box with a very restricted Linux dist. installed, but he insisted on winXP. I eventually had to build a m0n0wall gateway to split my internet connection between two networks, so this guy could spend his 'valuable' time on ebay.

xanthos_d
xanthos_d

C'mon ... how many of you have fielded calls like this? You start jumping through hoops to fix someone's problem, only to find out half way through that it's not even a company PC you're trying to fix! :-)

mildmildwest
mildmildwest

a la Ted Stevens, of course

RipVan
RipVan

So did they guy get his Viagra or not????

Jeff Dray
Jeff Dray

As far as the story goes it is complete, I leave this to your imagination.

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