Data at the space, 6GB an hour


(Ryan Mitchell) #1

DISCLAIMER:
To my knowledge, the spaces wifi connection does NOT store data regarding which device is using what data (if it does I do not have access to it, nor have I accessed it), and the ONLY info I have here is roughly how much data is used on any given day, along with rough usage times. NOTHING ELSE.
ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING ELSE POSTED BELOW IS AN UNINFORMED ASSUMPTION, SIMPLY MY BEST GUESS. I AM NOT REFERING TO ANY INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS, NOR DO I EVEN HAVE ANY IDEA WHO THEY COULD BE. MAYBE MY OWN PHONE GOT STUCK DOWNLOADING AN UPDATE OVER AND OVER, WHO KNOWS?
I DON’T.
The following details what I suspect is a fault in the MHV infrastructure, not any fault, malicious, intentional or otherwise, of any member of MHV, nor is it intended to imply so.

Hi all, I was going through the list of chores today and ended up looking at our mobile data, as I was going to top it up.
I’ve heard a number of people say that they feel like they put, say $50 on, and then it’s gone near instantly.
I checked the usage history, and can confirm that this is happening.
Now, $50 of credit with our current provider will buy us 10GB of data.
Well, the most recent Tuesday we had data, over 6GB was used in less than an hour and a half.
Historically, this appears to be a common occurrence on Tuesday nights (6GB being the most I’ve seen, but 1-3GB being rather common).
In addition to that, one Tuesday at ~7:30, 693.67MB was downloaded, another Tuesday at the same time, 693.86MB, less than 200KB of difference.
You can probably guess what’s causing the second downloads, something in the space is updating itself every Tuesday morning at 7:30.
Now something something “Patch Tuesday’s a meme” or whatever, but I suspect we have something in our space pulling updates. That still doesn’t explain the 6GB download in an hour and a half.

That said, I’m guessing it’s much the same. Devices updating.

For that, I’m guessing someone, or multiple people, are coming in with the Tuesday night group, turning on their laptops, and their laptops are pulling a windows update.
No fault here, we’ve all done it, but we do need to work out a way to stop it.

I, personally, have disabled all update mechanisms on all my devices years back (Probs shouldn’t be telling you all this, plz no rootkit I’ll buy you beer instead ( •́દ•̩̥̀ )), because trying to convince my laptops which devices were mobile hotspots and which were safe to update on was like a dangerous game of knifey-fingers but with Steve Ballmer holding a gun to my phone’s head and asking “Do you feel lucky punk?”, and even though my macbook seems to nicely acknowledge that my Xiaomi is a portable hotspot, and it is not to be used for updating, I can’t say the same for any windows devices.

So we can probably do the nice thing, flag our access points as mobile data, cross our fingers, and hope windows doesn’t decide it needs to download a full installer of itself just to do some patches, OR, OR, we can point the relevant microsoft URL’s to a null address and hope the laptops can’t work out how to get through.

Another option is to put a update server in the space, one which caches windows updates, but that would rely on a fully updated device entering the space, sharing its update to the server, then the server distributing it. If not, and the server downloads the updates itself, then we’re at square one.

I’d say implementing all these measures is preferable. black hole-ing any MS update addresses, configuring our AP’s to request devices don’t perform updates on them, and a local MS Update server just for good measure (I mean, I don’t think there’s anyone here who’s using the space as a means to update their devices, but if they are, it’s costing us $30 per update. Let’s share it around a bit at least)


(Ben Paton) #2

Does Debian auto update? If some one came in and set something up to print it would make sense that the 3d printer computer would auto update during that time.


(Amr Tawfik) #3

If that’s doable we should definitely do it. Our phones constantly update apps and such. My biggest culprit is Google Photos. If I take a photo or videos at the space it auto uploads to the cloud. I turn it off if I’m doing a lot but it’d help to not have to. Would also help with heaps of stuff.


(Max Bainrot) #4

Problem is that windows no longer respects that flag, “”critical”” updates will ignore the mobile data flagging and there is a small pile of domains that windows update and defender use, and probably some that aren’t even in the Microsoft namespace.

It’d definitely work with other devices but with windows 10, short of either banning windows 10 devices from the network or blocking “.microsoft.” (which isn’t perfect) there isn’t much one can do about the insatiable appetite that bloatdoze 10 has for data other than getting members to move away from windows or get better internet package or do something even more draconian and setup some ubiquity access points to monitor which devices are using excessive amounts data and/or limiting all guest connections to a few hundred mb per day/week.

As draconian as it would be, a captive portal would actually be useful for reminding people that we are on 3/4G and data aught to be used sparingly.


(Ben Paton) #5

One thought I had and actioned for myself was to turn off automatically join network. I think the big thing for me in this is that my phone won’t join and start doing stuff if it is idle and connected to the space network but I can still connect if I need to.


(Jamie Reid) #6

What would Ubiquity cost? (As a side thing, it could be worth upgrade our AP to a Ubiquity device.)


(Max Bainrot) #7

Mine set me back about $125 w/ poe injector

I got a ubiquiti uap-ac-lite


(Ryan Mitchell) #8

So, to sum things up, we’ve got:

  • Windows blatantly ignoring mobile data flags (I’m reminded of the old phrase “If they don’t recognise our rights, we won’t recognise theirs”), and needs total blocking (I’m sure I can find a list of all the update domains and ip’s if I look far enough)
  • Android probably needs the boot as well, both play store and cloud sync (If you wanna download apps use your mobile data, or ask someone nicely to share theirs (I’m always willing to let people use mine))
  • While we’re at it, maybe hit iCloud as well? I’d hope apple devices would respect mobile data flags, however
  • And someone needs to check the print machine to see what it’s doing (I don’t think debian auto-updates, but I’ve never used it with a GUI)

(Ryan Mitchell) #9

Additionally, and this is stepping into “How dare you even mention that, you go and stay go” territory, but some sort of usage monitoring would be very much appreciated.
Either or both, per MAC address, checking the operating system, total per operating systems, and (Danger) keeping track of how much data is going to what sites (however globally, not tracking which MAC’s are using which sites).
I’d think, given the circumstances, this should be alright, and if anyone’s unhappy with this they can freely SSH tunnel all their traffic.
I might set up an alternative AP using these rules, I might even try bandwidth limiting (100mb per day or whatever, so the user runs out of data, not the space), additionally I’ll try and see if I can set up a link to that fon wifi hotspot. That should be tomorrow’s task.


(Max Bainrot) #10

I’m kinda curious whether the usuage is during our opening hours or if someone is freeloading off our data when the space isn’t open.

This’d be fine if we had unlimited data, but given we’re on finite amounts of 4G data not so much.

I personally only tether off my phone due to the mobile broadband situation.


(Stephen Hocking) #11

It might be time to change the password for the access point.


(Ryan Mitchell) #12

Data usage is nearly entirely for a few minutes at 7:30 AM each Tuesday, then again for an hour and a half each Tuesday night
I’d say Tuesday morning’s something updating, and Tuesday night’s well, the tuesday night crew.