If you are a developer using a BSNL broadband connection, this is relevant to you. This will hopefully save you time and some head scratching.
In response to the recent malware attack on BSNL modems, they have blocked a list of ports that was open previously.
I have been having quite an interesting day.
I started my day by continuing what I was doing last evening. Working on a client site on my localhost. When it was time to upload files, I fired up Filezilla and tried to connect to my client server.
I had connected to the same server last night and everything was fine and dandy.
Only this time, my connection timed out.
I tried again, no luck again.
The Debug Process
I tried my browser, everything was fine.
I tried connecting to my own server. Connection timed out.
I tried WinSCP, same thing.
Connection timed out on Putty as well.
I had restarted my machine last night, something that I rarely do. I remember disabling few startup services last week. So I enabled them, restarted my laptop and very hopefully tried again.
Nope, this wasn’t going to be that easy.
I tried connecting to a server over FTP on Filezilla. That worked!
So HTTP works, FTP works, SFTP fails. Weird!
I tried another machine and SFTP still got connection timed out.
It was time to check things with the network. Tried using a USB internet dongle with BSNL 3G. No issues there.
Changed my router and modem and tried my backup modem. Connection timed out.
So it had to be something with BSNL, my ISP.
I knew I had to call BSNL. I had no idea how to explain this to the folks that I usually talk to at BSNL.
I called someone higher up and he connected me to their Ernakulam office.
Here is what I was told. Paraphrasing of course.
In response to the malware attacks, BSNL has blocked ports that were previously open. While this doesn’t affect normal users, many developers have complained about having trouble accessing servers. They have forwarded these complaints to their commercial office.
No solution is available right now, so you have to wait it out for a couple of days and see what happens.This was done to prevent the spread of the malware. As of now over 60,000 modems are infected.
What This Means To You
HTTP works, so the bulk of the users wouldn’t notice a difference. Browsing will happen as usual.
If you are a developer, you will not be able to access a remote server over SFTP. If you are connecting over FTP, it should work.
I am working on it myself. Using a VPN if you have it should help.
I might get myself a data recharge.
To report the same or similar issue with BSNL, or to know more, you can call their office at this number: +91 484 237 8033
Update: I just got a call from their office. Ports are finally open and things are back to normal at my end.