I use Basecamp for managing projects. Clients can upload files for me, leave messages and other things, and I can download from there when I’m ready. Basecamp provides:
… tools tailored to improve the communication between people working together on a project.
It’s been working well, until last week when suddenly I was unable to download. Instead my web browser would take me off to some weird web page, instead of Amazon’s S3, which is where Basecamp files are presumably stored.
I also use Amazon’s S3 service for quick backups and was unable to reach the service via S3 Browser.
An email to the Basecamp Helpdesk brought an interesting, and surprising response: apparently my ISP was suffering from DNS Poisoning. There was nothing Basecamp could do.
I’d never heard of this before, but in essence it seems a bad guy forces a DNS server to send people to the wrong website:
DNS cache poisoning is a technique that tricks a Domain Name Server (DNS server) into believing it has received authentic information when, in reality, it has not.
This technique can be used to replace arbitrary content for a set of victims with content of an attacker’s choosing. … These files could contain malicious content, such as a worm or a virus. A user whose computer has referenced the poisoned DNS server would be tricked into thinking that the content comes from the target server and unknowingly download malicious content.
Luckily, the problem has sorted itself out and normal service is now restored. I just hadn’t had time or energy to get around to contacting my ISP to get it fixed.
By the way: The Amazon S3 service is great for backups. Don McAllister did an excellent screencast about it back in SCO0084 – Amazon S3 Storage (affiliate link).