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Bug Forces Android Devices Off Princeton Campus Network

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the your-computer-is-broadcasting-an-ip-address dept.

Android 309

pmdubs writes "A major bug in the Android DHCP implementation has forced network administrators to (effectively) ban the use of such devices on the Princeton campus. In the last few months, Princeton has had to kick more than 400 Android devices off the campus network for using IP addresses well beyond the allotted DHCP lease (to the detriment of other users), sending invalid DHCPREQUEST messages after lease expiration, and a variety of other wacky behaviors. The link provides a clearly documented explanation of the buggy behavior, as does this largely neglected bug report. Without doubt, this buggy behavior is affecting other, less vigilant networks, and disrupting Wi-Fi traffic for Android and non-Android devices alike."

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309 comments

WTF? (5, Insightful)

killmenow (184444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866460)

Why in the name of all that is GNU would Android re-implement a DHCP client when every Linux system since forever has had good DHCP client support already there?

Did Google decide to implement their own IP layer entirely?

Re:WTF? (4, Interesting)

klingens (147173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866556)

If they didn't, It'd be harder to pull stunts like closing the Honeycomb source.

Android uses the Linux kernel, nothing more that is GPLed. Even their libc is developed inhouse. Tho, dhcp-client by ISC has a very permissive license. Little bit of advertising, that's all. Closing the source is allowed.

Re:WTF? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866568)

Even their libc is developed inhouse

I thought it was the netbsd libc.

Re:WTF? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866628)

I thought it was the netbsd libc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bionic_(software)

Re:WTF? (1)

alex67500 (1609333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866820)

Even their libc is developed inhouse

I thought it was the netbsd libc.

Nothing prevents BSD-licensed code to be closed. Ask Apple!

Re:WTF? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866846)

Even their libc is developed inhouse

I thought it was the netbsd libc.

Nothing prevents BSD-licensed code to be closed. Ask Apple!

Sure but that doesn't mean their libc is developed inhouse.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866964)

It's forked from the netbsd libc, with a bunch of changes developed in-house.

You can call that whatever you'd like.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866866)

Even better: ask the BSD people!

And yes, they are OK with closing it up. Apparently they find freedom is not telling other people what to do.

Re:WTF? (3, Interesting)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866712)

If they didn't, It'd be harder to pull stunts like closing the Honeycomb source.

They haven't closed the source, they're delaying the source because they're worried about the user experience when it inevitably gets ported to a phone. At the moment, honeycomb is designed to work on 1280x800 screen res devices, and that's it. They''ll release the source when it's ready.

Re:WTF? (3, Insightful)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866734)

They haven't closed the source, they're delaying the source because they're worried about the user experience when it inevitably gets ported to a phone.

So they've closed the source then?

When it has been released THEN it will be open. Until then it's closed.

Re:WTF? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35867070)

They've closed the source of Honeycomb (I think this is where the GP misread him) but to date not Android. Remember that Honeycomb is a tablet-only fork. Real Android devices haven't been affected by the closure... and hopefully will stay that way (2.4 at least should be open).

Funny link! (2)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866482)

The first link in this article causes NoScript to complain about a script attempting to access local LAN resources.

# Prevent Internet sites from requesting LAN resources. Site LOCAL Accept from LOCAL Deny

Anyone care to comment on what that is all about?

Re:Funny link! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866600)

Well, didn't complain at all for me, and looking through the completely static and scriptless page source, I think it's about you having a virus. Have fun with that.

Re:Funny link! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866618)

I didn't see anything.

You probably have malicious software running on your machine that is hooked into your browser. Lemme guess, you run Windows?

Re:Funny link! (1, Interesting)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866930)

I didn't see anything.

You probably have malicious software running on your machine that is hooked into your browser. Lemme guess, you run Windows?

<Tsingi hands the AC some soap> No, I don't run Windows.

I have no problems on this, my dev box, other than no script complaining about that link.

nslookup on the error IP gives me:

214.97.20.172.in-addr.arpa name = websense214.corp.<our company network>.

So there it is my companies IM filter box, webnonsense (apparently there are at least 214 of them) being an ass yet again.

apologies to anyone who might require it, and for being (as it turns out) entirely off-topic.

Re:Funny link! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866752)

I couldn't comment as it seems that Websense has it blocked under the category "Proxy Avoidance".

Odd page indeed.

Re:Funny link! (0)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866962)

I couldn't comment as it seems that Websense has it blocked under the category "Proxy Avoidance".

Odd page indeed.

As I have discovered, I'll know next time, thanks.

Re:Funny link! (4, Interesting)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866924)

iPrism (my company's nanny of choice), blocks the site as an annonymiser. And what the hell kinda URL *is* net.princeton.edu.nyud.net anyway?

Here's the link to Princeton's web site: http://www.net.princeton.edu/android/android-stops-renewing-lease-keeps-using-IP-address-11236.html [princeton.edu]

And it appears the iPad has a similar problem: http://www.lockergnome.com/blade/2010/04/16/princeton-explains-network-issues-for-ipad-users-and-has-banned-the-devices/ [lockergnome.com]

Odd that they're both doing something so similar. Wonder if they use the same base DHCP code.

Re:Funny link! (0)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867062)

Odd that they're both doing something so similar. Wonder if they use the same base DHCP code.

LOL!

Right, that was my problem, Web(non)sense, MY companies nanny. If Princeton keeps tweaking things, they may block everyone, which should have the effect of freeing up some of those blocked IP's. :)

Re:Funny link! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866934)

You have a web content filter at work? One of the ads was trying to get to a forbidden site and NS saw that the page was now trying to get to http://YOUR_DOMAIN_NAME/blocked/blocked.html or something

It's not a bug... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866488)

You weren't holding it right.

Does no one quality test anymore ? (1)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866494)

From ipod antennas to this?

Re:Does no one quality test anymore ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866764)

Since you clearly work in testing, and know that it's possible to catch 100% of bugs during a simple round of testing, you should urgently visit http://www.google.com/jobs [google.com] and make lots of money fixing Google's testing problems.

Re:Does no one quality test anymore ? (0)

MouseR (3264) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867068)

iPods dont have antennas, but nice trolling.

My Garmin-Asus Android phone, which sucks balls, also has the same death grip issue that iPhones have. Like every effin phone if you cover the antenna with your palm.

Never got that phone to work with Wi-Fi either.

At least it does GPS right.

Interesting problem (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866498)

From the description in the bug report, it sounds like certain services (dhcp client I should think) are halted or disabled. It seems to restart when web browsing activity is initiated. This seems to indicate that it was halted when the machine was initially locked -- my guess would be to save battery. After all, DHCPing all the time would burn battery.

I wonder what the best solution would be? When locking to release the DHCP lease before suspending the DHCP client? I wonder if my Vibrant has the same issue?

Re:Interesting problem (3, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866616)

No, the restart sequence should check a timer to determine if the initial lease has expired, and renegotiate a new IP from the server if necessary. Assuming that when you wake up that the lease still exists without checking would certainly cause problems. It's not a case that would normally get tested as it requires a large down time to accomplish, and yuo won't encounter that with normal sleep-to-wake test cycles.

Re:Interesting problem (1)

Maow (620678) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866664)

It seems, off the top of my head, that upon awakening, Wifi's DHCP client ought to check to see if the DHCP lease has expired. If so, get a new one, release old one.

I may have to test my setup and see if I'm getting the same problem from my Android.

I cannot fathom how an Android device can ignore the fact that it's lease has expired, never mind respond to 2 (or more) different IP addresses at once.

Now, if only a patch could be issued, then pushed out by the carriers.

Anyone know: Will the ROM modders (I'm liking Fresh Zodiac Fruit) be able to issue a fix within their custom ROMs?

Re:Interesting problem (1)

samjam (256347) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866826)

The bug details help you know how - it's to do with measurement of time - the timer used for the lease management happens to be a timer which stops when the android is sleeping.

Re:Interesting problem (4, Informative)

Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866878)

From the description in the bug report, it sounds like certain services (dhcp client I should think) are halted or disabled. It seems to restart when web browsing activity is initiated. This seems to indicate that it was halted when the machine was initially locked -- my guess would be to save battery. After all, DHCPing all the time would burn battery.

I wonder what the best solution would be? When locking to release the DHCP lease before suspending the DHCP client? I wonder if my Vibrant has the same issue?

Actually, the report specifically states that this bug should not be classified as a problem with DHCP when sleeping. The Princeton guy did extensive testing and found that even with active use, the device fails to renew the lease and continues using the IP after the lease has expired.

GOOD GOOGLE BLOWS !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866502)

So crap is crap is king !!

Hurray OpenSource! (0, Troll)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866504)

This should be fixed by this afternoon and everyone should be updated by tomorrow, right? Not like the closed iOS which would have taken months to fix.

Re:Hurray OpenSource! (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866570)

All Android bug reports are neglected. And if you try and escalate you get stupid responses saying stuff like "Don't worry about it".

Re:Hurray OpenSource! (2)

e70838 (976799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866768)

The last time I have reported a Google bug on slashdot, it has been corrected very quickly.
This may be the new procedure: report a bug to google and if it is not corrected quickly enough, advertise on slashdot.

Re:Hurray OpenSource! (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866982)

The last time I have reported a Google bug on slashdot, it has been corrected very quickly.

I've found the quickest way to get something fixed is to grumble about it to a Google employee at the pub, preferably just after I've bought them a drink.

(This has now become a long-running joke with the couple of Google employees I know.)

Re:Hurray OpenSource! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866592)

Not exactly. Alot of handset producers have locked down their phones & won't be offering an update. Infact, due to this, you might NEVER get the fix. Do'h.

Re:Hurray OpenSource! (2)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866594)

Yeah because we all know how good that Android OEMs are about releasing timely updates.

Re:Hurray OpenSource! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866644)

Not only that, but they need OK'd by the carriers before they get rolled out. This is not a fast process.

Ouch (0)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866988)

Can't take a taste of your own medicine? There's nothing but bitching about Apple's walled garden and Android is the next greatest thing ever. But bring up the fact that some OEMs are stuck on VERY old roms and will never be updating and you like to ignore it.

Me too (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866510)

I have a Samsung Captivate, and I also experience this problem. Oddly enough, I experience similar problems with an Asus EEE netbook running Ubuntu 10.10, though maybe that isn't related, and the symptoms are just similar..

I hope this fix this ASAP. Maybe if everyone 'stars' the bug?

Re:Me too (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866832)

Maybe if everyone 'stars' the bug?

I thought one 'plusones' in the Googleverse?

and it will never be fixed (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866514)

oh, google will fix it. But there will be carriers who will never roll those fixes out to their users.

Wut? (1, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866516)

The last link points to a separate bug in iPhone's WiFi implementation, rather than an Android issue. Which kind of makes the rest of the summary look either very ill informed, or a poorly disguised attempt at trolling.

Re:Wut? (0)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866648)

No the orginial Iphone had similar issues. it was fixed with a bug release a couple of months later.

it deals with DCHP and the quick sleep features of mobile devices.

However because android has ZERO central bug authority for patching random issues like this, and ALL patches have to either be approved or hacked onto your phone It literally can take a year or more if ever for small bugs to actually get fixed.

Unlike Apple which automatically support their hardware for 2-3 years with both minor and major updates, Andoird users get maybe a year unless it is one of the handful of popular models, which might get decent support from the android official support channel.It is a channel because 2-3 companies have to hold the patches in their hands before they let you use it, unless you hack your phone.

Re:Wut? (2)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866824)

Agreed. I wonder how many serious security bugs users of the original direct-from-Google ADP are exposed to, because Google refuses to release updates for a phone they sold retail not much more than a year ago (right up until the release of the N1 I believe, which is only a little over a year old).

People bash other vendors for not supporting android hardware but tend to favor Google since they have supported the N1 with all of their updates quickly, but they forget that the N1 is not first android phone that Google sold. Google stopped releasing security updates for the ADP as soon as they released the N1 - the last update of any kind for the ADP was Android 1.6, which came out the summer before they stopped selling the phone.

I'll take android over Apple any day - but only if I can root the phone, and use a mostly-open-source distribution. For all of its issues at least Apple supports their hardware, and even they pale in comparison to Microsoft which still provides security updates Windows XP.

Not releasing security patches for an always-connected device for at least the full 2-3 year upgrade cycle after the last unit is sold is just irresponsible behavior. They don't need to release the latest and greatest features necessarily, but they should at least back-port serious bugfixes. If they are concerned about supporting all those sub-versions of android then they can either do releases more slowly, or at least migrate all phones to LTS releases of some kind.

Re:Wut? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867050)

For all of its issues at least Apple supports their hardware, and even they pale in comparison to Microsoft which still provides security updates Windows XP.

Well then, the conclusion is obvious - you should be running Windows XP on your phone.

Re:Wut? (1)

samjam (256347) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866856)

"However because android has ZERO central bug authority for patching random issues like this, and ALL patches have to either be approved or hacked onto your phone It literally can take a year or more if ever for small bugs to actually get fixed."

Just like Ubuntu.
And Oracle.
And Microsoft.

Re:Wut? (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866998)

Looking for a non-anonymised link to the Android story (Seriously why would you put an anonymising proxy into your submission link for a public website?) I found this [lockergnome.com] which indicates iPad had the issue around a year ago too (Princeton apparently figured that one out too, those guys are on the ball). I assume Apple much have fixed pretty quick.

First Post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866524)

Take that other cowards!

Finally! (1)

oh-dark-thirty (1648133) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866528)

This problem has existed for a long time, I'm surprised it's taken this long for someone to start paying attention. I banned Android devices from my company's network months ago due to these issues.

A plea from a user to all you developers. (1, Insightful)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866530)

Please fix defects.. especially fix ones that affect other people. And fix them now. Ta.
- You do realise that what you call 'bugs' are in fact 'defects'? dont you? and when you allow defects to exist in your code you are essentially saying 'I'm a low quality shit who cant be bothered to do it right'
- And yes, I suppose I could learn how to program and then do and learn the DHCP code stuff and fix it myself, it would take some years but I could do it.. but that is a straw man; my dentist does not tell me to fix my own teeth.. nor does my hairdresser tell me to learn to cut my own hair.
- But apparently programmers are a special type of person where quality is for low LOC loosers..

Re:A plea from a user to all you developers. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866598)

You pay your dentist don't you? You pay your hairdresser don't you? When was the last time you paid me?

I'm honestly considering looking into if my android phone is affected by this and fixing it. THe community has helped me by creating software so I don't mind pitching in. Your name calling of programmers is inappropriate, uncalled for, and unproductive. My biggest problem with programming is I am a prefectionist and people don't want perfect software especially when they have to pay for it; they want something that works good enough.

Re:A plea from a user to all you developers. (-1, Troll)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866638)

I purchased my Android handset....
So I did pay you, or someone like you, and you did not deliver...
- Can I have a refund? ta?
- If not, is there a professional organisation I can report you to so you lose your licence to program?

Re:A plea from a user to all you developers. (1)

I'm not really here (1304615) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866788)

Blame AT&T, Verizon, Samsung, or someone who you paid money to. You did not pay money to Google. You did not pay money to the Android open source community. You did not pay money to any of the supporting open source projects that make Android possible. Stop blaming those that do work for free and instead blame those that take that work and sell it to you without performing proper UAT to confirm that the FOR PROFIT application meets the needs of the client base and is ready for sale as a product.

Re:A plea from a user to all you developers. (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866854)

You paid google with your eyeballs (every time you use Google search or one of their other clever resources that builds their gold mine of user data and helps them shovel ads.) You also paid your carrier to pay google (every year google makes $10 per active handset from the carrier.)

So yeah, google kind of does get paid, by ME, for the privilege of using Android.

Re:A plea from a user to all you developers. (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866798)

I'm intrigued, what is your profession? I mean, you seem to actually believe absolute zero defect software development is always feasible, so I'm intrigued to know what your background is because obviously it's a profession that takes years to master and can be quite complex, yet, you've apparently mastered it to such an extent that you would never ever miss a problem or do it wrong.

I mean, what is this truly masterful trade of yours? Hamburger flipping perchance?

Re:A plea from a user to all you developers. (1)

daid303 (843777) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866814)

Cheap, Feature-rich, Bug-free.

Choose 2. Guess what, you choose Feature-rich and Cheap. Just like 90% of the rest of the population.

Why do you think a Car is expensive? Because it's bug-free. Same for planes, medical equipment, and just about anything dealing with safety. But phones, nooooo, you want cheap cheap cheap and features features features.

A plea from a citizen to all your world leaders. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866728)

Please resolve all wars, solve all poverty, and give everyone a magic flying pony. And do it now. Ta.
- You do realise that what you call events are in fact problems? dont you? and when you allow problems to exist in the world you are essentially saying "I'm a low quality shit who cant be bothered to do it right'
- And yes, I suppose I could become president of the world and then do and learn the political stuff and fix the whole world myself, it would take some years but I could do it.. but that is a straw man; my dentist does not tell me to fix my own teeth.. nor does my hairdresser tell me to learn to cut my own hair.
- But apparently politicians are a special type of person where quality is for low LOC loosers..

Really, you don't ask for much do you? I think the fact you think any coder who has a bug in their software is "low quality" demonstrates aptly that you don't have the first fucking clue of the level of complexity of software development. I think the fact you have such a low user ID and have hence been here a while and still haven't managed to grasp that fact suggests that no, you couldn't learn to program, because you're clearly just far too fucking dumb.

Ahem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866748)

- There is no such thing as software which is not defective, not open source or commercial. Humans are not perfect. There are plenty of "defects" in commercial software, for which the programmers have been notified, that have never been fixed.
- It seems like you're particularly peeved at OSS coders. Open source simply gives a larger quantity of people access to the code which allows for a larger possibility it will be fixed by someone who knows that part of the code. No one is asking you personally to fix it, but someone else is most likely bound to go ahead and do it anyways. That's how open source works. Ask MS to fix the style sheet remote exploits in IE, they simply won't do it, and they'll continue to not do it for years to come.
- Dentists and hairdressers make mistakes all the time, you just don't see their "defects" because you are also human. When that filling they put in seven years ago suddenly falls out while you're driving, you just head into the dentist and have it filled again. But, that filling was probably meant to last eight years and it wasn't packed tight enough. Let's not even address the fact that if dentists were perfect at their job, you would never need to go to the dentist again because they would cure your teeth entirely. But, face it, your continued patronage is their bread and butter. In fact years ago there was a drug that when applied to the mouth permanently cured gingivitis, however the cure could be spread by simply kissing so it was sequestered by the dental community as dangerous because it could not be controlled. Likewise, hair dressing is a subjective art, where people do not notice defects.

Re:A plea from a user to all you developers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866792)

Dear luser. Please try to remember that the defect affecting you might not be the only one, or the most important one on the project, and that the developers involved might be working on other projects. Also, high-impact fixes need to be tested carefully, lest the fixes introduce even worse problems up to and including complete loss of all functionality or data. This takes time, especially when the code involved runs on a great many disparate platforms. That's no excuse for Android developers letting this particular bug languish for so long, but your attack was phrased generally and so I have responded likewise.

Finally! (-1, Redundant)

oh-dark-thirty (1648133) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866538)

This problem has existed for a long time, I'm surprised it took this long for somebody to start paying attention. I dropped Android devices from my company's network months ago because of these issues.

Strange that it is the newer devices (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866542)

You usually have to try hard to get dhclient wrong. Just use the one from isc and you should be okay. I suppose most *nix distros do that. Maybe somebody did something clever in later android versions.

Nice flamebait article (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866562)

Apple fanboys can rant how iOs is supposedly better. Closed-source fans can decry the "horrible quality" of open source. And I'm sure some "Windows Mobile is the shit"-guys will chime in. All the while forcing Android and open source advocates to defend/counter-attack. There's something for everybody!

This should be fun to watch. Flamewar is a go!

Re:Nice flamebait article (4, Interesting)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866666)

Apple had a similar issue:

http://www.net.princeton.edu/announcements/ipad-iphoneos32-stops-renewing-lease-keeps-using-IP-address.html [princeton.edu]

At this point, one has to wonder what Princeton is doing on their network that they keep uncovering such bugs.

Re:Nice flamebait article (4, Interesting)

paulej72 (1177113) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866838)

At this point, one has to wonder what Princeton is doing on their network that they keep uncovering such bugs.

Princeton's network was for the longest time very old. We had shared 10mb over cat3 cable to most of the campus. To keep things working, the network was heavily monitored and anything that did not belong was promptly disconnected.

Fast forward to now. We have a modern network that can handle some problems, but the motioning form the dark days still continues. Because of this heavy monitoring IT can see problems with devices that probably no one on earth sees.

Yes the iPhone and iPod both had the same issues, but Apple fix them eventually. I hope the Google will do the same.

causing Wifi router issues at home too? (2)

Maow (620678) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866584)

I've had to reboot my WBR-2310 fairly often as my Android phone loses ability to see the router to connect to it.

I moved the DHCP server to my Linux box and it seemed to help, but have since had to reboot router occasionally.

I wonder if it's related.

Also, good work Princeton, this impressed me, from TFA:

Why Haven't Other Sites Reported This Particular Issue?

Some may wonder why only Princeton has reported this problem. Some may believe that because other sites are not reporting it, the problem must be due to a problem with Princeton's network.

Princeton detected this issue because we take a very pro-active stance to monitor for certain kinds of common network problems, including this one. Our network monitoring includes comparing actual IP address usage to DHCP server lease assignments on a daily basis. This allows us to detect some devices using IP addresses not assigned for their use. This is a degree of monitoring that many sites do not perform. We also monitor our DHCP servers very closely for any problems they detect, including when they see DHCP-leased IP addresses in-use when they should not be, or when a client tries to SELECT an offer that was not made to it, or when a client tries to renew or rebind an IP address after the client's lease on that IP address has already expired.

--
Salon Kill File: required for reading Salon.com Letters section:
http://salon.maow.net/ [maow.net]

Hoax? (-1, Troll)

the_Librarian (17089) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866590)

I suspect a hoax - this is described in TFA exactly the same way the iPad DHCP issue was back in September of last year, and the link to "Princeton" directs to "www.net.princeton.edu.nyud.net" - pretty sure Princeton can afford to register and use princeton.edu for their official communication, not some odd .net address.

Re:Hoax? (2)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866632)

The link is Coral Cache [coralcdn.org] d, presumably in an attempt to prevent a slashdotting.

Re:Hoax? (3, Insightful)

DavidRawling (864446) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866634)

They do own princeton.edu. You'd expect someone with a 5-digit /. ID to know that. And to be able to figure out from the hundreds of similar past links in articles, that nyud.net is a distributed caching service.

Re:Hoax? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866656)

1. PROTIP: Coral Cache [wikipedia.org]
2. FAIL!

Re:Hoax? (1)

robbak (775424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866682)

Do you really not know about the nyud.net free content aggregation service?
Educate yourself at www.nyud.net

Re:Hoax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866684)

Well, if you go to www.princeton.edu and search for android right off the main page you will find: (top link mind you) http://www.net.princeton.edu/android/

Geeze, how hard was that to verify?

Re:Hoax? (1)

varmittang (849469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866706)

Irwin does not hoax when it comes to his network at Princeton, he runs a tight ship. The submitter was just trying to use a cache instead of hitting up princeton's network with traffic, so just remove the nyud.net and you will get the direct link.

Re:Hoax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866754)

Re:Hoax? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866842)

I've been noticing alot lately that low UID users are actually noobs...

Oh, come on you Princeton pussies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866606)

Give the kids a 3-day dhcp lease!

Didn't they see the warnings in the scifi movies? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866650)

Didn't they see the warnings in the scifi movies? Give an android an inch and he'll take a mile.

space weapons hacked, unhacked, rehacked (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866652)

so there's still hope that woeful wednesday will be able to be renamed. real bugs are now in partial control of our destiny, due to abuse by those choosing ones to not pursue the best interests of all of us everywhere. the rehacking occurred when the unhacking was proceeding an earlier scheduled unproven makeunalive exercise, which caused the rehacking. as the weapons are disabled, possible uses for the high priced monkey mashers include to stop using them altogether, forever? whois code based enough to make those calls? rupert? hillary? all the rest of us at once? buggy? whacky? no kidding. disarm

Not just Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866654)

I used to see very similar behavior from my EeePC 701 using the Xandros install that came with it. It basically meant I couldn't connect to my work's network as the machine refused to give up the lease it had obtained on my home network (which was the same IP range). This persisted through reboots!

I wanted to move to Ubuntu anyway, so I never solved the problem - just installed a better distro!

Princeton has very short leases. (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866716)

I dont know why they have such short lease times as 1-3 hours but i do know it often creates problems, especially if the reason for the short leases are lack of addresses on the subnet in question. In that case you have to chose between address conflicts or lack of a sufficient pool of avaliable addresses.

One of the problems seems to be that the lease times are shorter than most phones are in sleep mode and the easiest remedy would be extending the lease time for the affected Android devices. Banning them are just a knee jerk reaction that puts the users in the unpleasant position of being a battering ram against Google.

Personally i have never seen this behavior from an Android device, perhaps it has a connection to a specific DHCP implemenation. If an AD is connected it could very well be related to the DNS service as well. We have tons of problems with our AD connected DHCP/DNS combo for all kinds of non-windows devices, not only Linux based. Said problems do not show up on other DHCP servers with the same clients.

Re:Princeton has very short leases. (1)

blackchiney (556583) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866800)

A DHCP lease is like a real life contract. It's not like the phones weren't told the lease expires in an hour, it's part of the package. So the lease says this address is good for 3 hours and the phones ignore that, so who's at fault? Certainly not the DHCP server.

Re:Princeton has very short leases. (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866908)

My point is that no matter who is to blame its wrong to put the users of the network in the hot seat. Implement a workaround, notify Google and don't punish the owners of the devices unless absolutely necessary.

Im very familiar with how DHCP is supposed to work but kicking users out of a network just to prove a point would put me on line in the unemployment office in no time unless i had a very good reason and no usable workaround existed.

Re:Princeton has very short leases. (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867040)

Im very familiar with how DHCP is supposed to work but kicking users out of a network just to prove a point would put me on line in the unemployment office in no time unless i had a very good reason and no usable workaround existed.

The "very good reason" given at the end of the article is they don't have enough IPs to give everyone day+-long leases (they don't use NAT), and it causes problems when the Android device continues to use an IP address long after the lease has expired.

Re:Princeton has very short leases. (1)

Twon (46168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866850)

Yeah, that was my reaction as well. While they've done a good job documenting the bug (and it really does sound like Android's DHCP client is broken), they sound like they're missing the forest for the trees. Why does Princeton assign such short leases, you ask?

"Shorter leases allow us to recover unused IP addresses rapidly, in turn permitting us to assign globally-routable IP addresses to clients without requiring Princeton to impose a NAT between wireless clients and the Internet."

So my smartphone can have a globally-routable IP address! You know, for the servers I'm going to run on it.

Re:Princeton has very short leases. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866900)

So my smartphone can have a globally-routable IP address! You know, for the servers I'm going to run on it.

Funny you should ask. I am currently working on a fully secure P2P communication tool for android. Should be quite handy in parts of the world where governments clamp down on centralised systems like twitter.

Re:Princeton has very short leases. (1)

Twon (46168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867022)

Since you probably know more about this than I do, what are your assumptions about network topology for the nodes in your system? Ad-hoc? NAT? It seems like expecting address stability for a portable device is kind of a losing proposition.

Re:Princeton has very short leases. (1)

paulej72 (1177113) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867034)

Yeah, that was my reaction as well. While they've done a good job documenting the bug (and it really does sound like Android's DHCP client is broken), they sound like they're missing the forest for the trees. Why does Princeton assign such short leases, you ask?

"Shorter leases allow us to recover unused IP addresses rapidly, in turn permitting us to assign globally-routable IP addresses to clients without requiring Princeton to impose a NAT between wireless clients and the Internet."

So my smartphone can have a globally-routable IP address! You know, for the servers I'm going to run on it.

You do realize that devices other than phones use the wireless network. I would imagine that 90% of the wireless devices used on campus are laptops and other full computers.

Part of the problem is that Princeton has its entire wireless network as a single subnet so that roaming on campus is seamless. I think this makes it a bit harder to manage all of the devices that are connected to this segment.

I think I've run into this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866726)

I manage a network with a very small DHCP range that I can't expand for legacy reasons. In the past few months, it has run out of addresses more and more often. I don't have the monitoring that Princeton has, so I've been having trouble identifying the cause. In the time it has been getting worse, there have been more and more Android devices, but I never made the correlation. I'm going to have to look into this and see if a ban or a workaround might fix it.

OIT sucks (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866736)

Princeton may well be one of the leading academic institutions in the country, but I've taken it as axiomatic that the more prestigious an institution is the more backward its technology is going to be. For instance, at Firestone Library, the chief repository for literature-related material on campus, there is no electronic gate for entry and exit -- a desk guard checks your ID when you go in and searches your bag when you go out. Many projectors on campus max out at an anemic 800x600 resolution, a fact that has caused problems for me at two different presentations. Site licensing policy is weird and inconsistent (there are no fewer than three different kinds of Windows licenses you can get from the software repository).

I don't know if it's the archaic technology they're responsible for maintaining or some other cause, but the Office of Information Technology is full of power-hungry knee-biters who have made it their life's mission to sniff out every errant packet, every mistimed request, every misconfigured network adapter, and God help the poor sap whose device is unwittingly responsible for one of these infractions. The banhammer's wrath is terrible, its retribution swift. You never see it coming because OIT bans first and sends nastygrams later, or not at all, and when you call them to inquire why your Internet connection is suddenly nonexistent they give you this explanation of their rationale that somehow always ends up sounding like the narrative of a Carmen Sandiego investigation. Oh, and you play the part of the VILE agent. You're always knowingly guilty. Yeah, my wife installed VMware Fusion on her Mac to cause trouble for the netizens of Princeton. She was totally aware that VMnet was slightly misconfigured and was occasionally sending invalid packets to her subnet. It was all part of her nefarious plan to shut down the university network for some inadequately explored reason.

I'm posting this anonymously because for all I know some overzealous git at OIT (which is Princetonese for KGB) reads Slashdot and Lord knows their admins are happy to ban you from the network for any reason they can conjure up out of thin air. Better yet, if you get banned from the network enough times for seemingly innocuous misbehavior by your gadgets they can cite you for academic misconduct. Plagiarism? Bought an Android phone? Same difference.

It is possible to describe OIT's hypomanic "kill all DHCP miscreants" approach as "vigilant." It is also possible to describe it as "total overkill." I haven't yet heard of any major university or corporate network being blown up by sleeper cells (har har) of terroristic smartphones.

In short, Princeton OIT is like the Civil Protection of information technology outfits: they protect the network from its users. Small wonder that I sometimes feel like picking up a crowbar and causing some anarchy for them...

Oh Princeton... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866770)

Man, if they are blocking androids from their network, I'd hate to be the guy who has to monitor the DHCP server and administer Voigt-Kampff tests to every device sending a request...

Re:Oh Princeton... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866874)

I'll tell you about my mother...bang!

Haven't we seen this before? (1)

david.emery (127135) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866790)

Didn't Princeton have a similar problem with iPhones? Sure seems to me that Princeton should look at its own rules and infrastructure to see why it has to be so strict when so many others don't have this problem...

Re:Haven't we seen this before? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867046)

Many others probably do have the problem but haven't noticed due to lax monitoring. Their users just experience poor service (which they may have come to expect).

FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35866870)

Android is open, the users can download the source code and fix the bug themselves. This "problem" is blown completely out of proportion.

Re:FUD (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867056)

YOu have to root a a device to do that. network operators/phone creators block you from rooting the device.

And as sugar on the cake, the Priceton IT staff only block the wifi, they cannot block 3g because that is owned by ..... network operators.

Site offline? (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866928)

Apparently their server has been affected.  Clearly if they've banned the Android devices, the outage is caused by something else.

They may be solutions (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 3 years ago | (#35866980)

I'm experiencing none of these issues while running a non-stock setup:

Rooted HTC G2 running CyanogenMod 7 (Gingerbread 2.3.3). The DHCP server I tested against is a WRT54GS using Tomato 1.28 firmware.

With my setup the phone renews the DHCP lease when it reaches 50% of the expiration time if it is already connected. If it is not connected when the lease expires then it renews it correctly when the next connection is made.

ah yeah (1)

papasui (567265) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867028)

I manage an ISP network with over 500k clients requesting DHCP leases. One of the first things we learned was to set our scopes to ignore client declines or the result would be buggy dhcp from things like home gateway products chewing through thousands of leases in a few hours. BTW Princeton I'm available for consulting.

Ignored Bug (1)

WRX SKy (1118003) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867066)

This bug has been, and will continue to be, ignored by the Android team. I am consistently disappointed with how rarely they dig into the Issues site and resolve bugs / add developer requested enhancements. If it doesn't fit Google's current agenda (tablet, GPU, etc.) it's abandoned and ignored.

More evidence for the lawsuit! (1)

sglewis100 (916818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867072)

See, this is exactly what Apple was talking about. This is why Apple had to sue Samsung [telegraph.co.uk] ... these things are copying Apple [princeton.edu] !

not limited to android (1)

SafeMode (11547) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867078)

I've seen other phones do this too. This especially seems to happen when you reconnect to a network on one of these non-complying phones. They re-use their old dhcp lease without caring what the dhcp server says and so not only could they be using an ip beyond their lease but they may also easily start using an ip now used by someone else since the first phone left the network earlier.

Some of the crappier wifi routers will take a dump when this happens. (my old phone would reliably lock a local wifi hotspot if i "remembered network"). But if i had to manually re-associate each time it was fine.

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