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Emergency work 15/02/2018

Our supplier has identified a potential issue with a fibre bearer which holds some backup links to our Huntingdon Data Centre. They are making a config change to correct this overnight.

As these are backup links it should not have a significant impact but there is some chance of packet loss as the link drops / returns as the network re-converges.

We will update this post as the work progresses

ADVISORY: security issues with some Netgear routers

Good morning.

Whilst we don’t supply Netgear routers, we know that a number of our customers use them, so wanted to ensure you were aware of potential vulnerabilities that need to be addressed via a firmware update.

The list of (so far) affected models is below. You or your IT specialist should ensure that you update as soon as possible to mitigate any risks.

List of NETGEAR Routers At Risk


The Five Vulnerabilities

TWSL2018-002: Password Recovery and File Access

Trustwave SpiderLabs Advisory

NETGEAR advisory

Some routers allow arbitrary file reading from the device provided that the path to file is known. Total of 17 products are affected.

TWSL2018-003: Finding 1: Post-Authentication Command Injection

Trustwave SpiderLabs Advisory

NETGEAR advisory

This one affects six products and reflects a root level OS command execution via the device_name parameter on the lan.cgi page, although the attack requires authentication.

TWSL2018-003: Finding 2: Authentication Bypass

NETGEAR advisory

This also affects large set of products (17) and is trivial to exploit. Authentication is bypassed if “&genie=1” is found within the query string.

TWSL2018-003: Chained Attack: Command Injection

NETGEAR advisory

This is a three-stage attack leveraging three separate issues: CSRF token recovery vulnerability and the two findings in TWSL2018-003. As a result, any user connected to the router can run OS commands as root on the device without providing any credentials.

TWSL2018-004: Command Injection Vulnerability on D7000, EX6200v2 and Some Routers

Trustwave SpiderLabs Advisory

NETGEAR advisory

Only 6 products are affected, this allows to run OS commands as root during short time window when WPS is activated.

PLANNED WORK: Core switch upgrades.

Following the rapid growth on the Merula network we have been planning a major upgrade to our core switching platform to Juniper devices.  These will allow us to dramatically increase the capacity between sites and add further stability to our network.  Over the coming week, work will take place to introduce them into our network.
This will in due course lead to some limited downtime as links are migrated. We will update here with specific slots for this but wanted to provide some initial details for this work.
Any initial questions, please email support via the normal means.


Further to the outage yesterday and the corrective work by the carrier we will attempt to bring the link that failed back into service this evening. If all works to plan there may be a brief network disruption while the network reconverges. If the link fails again we will remove it from the network and continue work with our supplier.

The link was brought on line approx 12:30am this morning – However the previous issue re-occurred. This has been raised to the supplier who believe this is resolved this correctly now, We will plan a further maintenance shortly to bring the link back into service. In the mean time there is no reduction to service – but there is a slight reduction in resilience to our Manchester PoP

OUTAGE: Network drop 31/1/18

During planned work deemed low risk by a supplier they managed to inject a loop into one of our links. This caused a significant level of packet loss into our network at approx 22:50 on 31st January.
The link was removed from use and service was resumed albeit with reduced resilience.  The issue has been reported to the carrier who have identified a potential problem and resolved this.

OUTAGES: connectivity & latency issues

RESOLVED: 13:14pm

We are not aware of any ongoing issues now and believe that the cause of this problem has been identified and remedial action taken. Once again, apologies to anyone affected this morning.


We have removed one of the backhaul lines from our network as this appears to be causing routing issues; we are seeing the majority of the affected lines coming back to their normal latency and response times.

We will continue to update here and apologise again for this affecting you at the start of the working week.

We are aware of an as yet unidentified issue affecting large numbers of our circuits leading to slow-downs, poor quality links and high latency. We are working on this now and will update here as soon as we have more information to share. We apologise that this is affecting you on a Monday morning.

REMINDER: Contact details

In the event that the phone system here (and the primary support number which routes via here) is unavailable for whatever reason as happened today as our VOIP system failed as part of the outage, there’s a second, fallback (geographical) number: 01480 411616, which rings directly at our support centre.  this should be used.

We also suggest that all customers subscribe to our mailing list ensuring that copies of these status messages and updates are delivered to you by email or alternatively if you prefer, to your favourite RSS reader.

If you have any questions please email

UPDATE: core router issues in London & network outages

UPDATE2: initial indications on further analysis are that the DDoD that was targeted at the network core which triggered one of our core routers to cease routing packets correctly. However, it did not shut-down the BGP protocols as part of this with the result that network traffic was black-holed for a large number of destinations for a period of around 30 minutes. Service was restored after the routing processes were re-started in sequence. We will continue to investigate further and update here but we believe that all services are now returning to normal. Some routers may have a stale session and will require a reboot to bring them back on-line.

UPDATE: we appear to have been the subject of a wide-spread DDoS attack (the source of which we’re currently still investigating). This caused two of our core routers to become unresponsive and this adversely affected DNS and routing outside our network.  We have mitigated the attack here and all of the network is coming back on-line now. Please accept our apologies for this outage — we are aware that it affected a large section of our user-base.

We are aware of an issue affecting large sections of our network centred in London. We are working urgently to fix this and will update here as work progresses.

Christmas & New Year arrangements 2017

Please note that the offices in Huntingdon will be closed between 5PM 22nd Dec and 9AM January 2nd 2018.

Over this period, urgent telephone support calls will still be answered when calling 0845 330 0666. Email support tickets will be handled intermittently, so if the need is urgent, please call the support line who will escalate if appropriate under the SLA.

Our supplier portals will also be “frozen” so we won’t be processing any new orders during this period.

We wish you all a restful & happy Christmas and New Year.

COMPLETED: possible ADSL/FTTC outages: THE maintenance 25/11/17

UPDATE: This work is completed

UPDATE: this should have read THE, apologies.

We are planning a UPS replacement in our data centre in THE following recent problems caused by it, as the rack appears to be at risk of a power loss whenever we work near it. We have a replacement and we plan to swap to that and then investigate at a later date the cause of the issue on the current UPS.

This will mean a brief downtime of some hardware in the rack.  Currently only ADSL/FTTC lines will be customer affecting there, which should just drop and then auto connect at another of our POPS. This will happen during the course of Saturday evening.

If after this work is completed and a router reboot, you’re still unable to connect, please contact support in the usual way.


The main support number is 0845 330 0666 (geographical 01480 355566)

There’s a second, fallback (geographical) number: 01480 411616. All numbers ring directly at our support centre, manned 24hrs x 365 days a year.

We'd also suggest that all customers subscribe to our mailing list (link above); status messages and updates will be delivered by email.