Prepping Alert: Time to Update Direct Web Addresses

As everyone is (or should be) aware, there will be more “demonstrations” and “protests” this weekend on the pretext of the George Floyd death.  Unfortunately, subversive and anti-American organizations of all political extremes will likely use the genuine expression of “peaceably assemble” and “free speech” as a justification for riots and further insurrection attempts.

We believe because of this, that we’re in a time of elevated risk to the Internet.

Here’s how the internet operates:  When you put in a website name (like “UrbanSurvival.com”) your request is routed to a DNS (Domain Name Service) server.  This performs a “reverse look-up” to find the  numerical address you’re trying to access.  You’re then forwarded to the IP address.

The main DNS addressing system is called IPv4.  According to Wikipedia, here’s its background:

“Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is the fourth version of the Internet Protocol (IP). It is one of the core protocols of standards-based internetworking methods in the Internet and other packet-switched networks. IPv4 was the first version deployed for production in the ARPANET in 1983. It still routes most Internet traffic today,[1] despite the ongoing deployment of a successor protocol, IPv6. IPv4 is described in IETF publication RFC 791 (September 1981), replacing an earlier definition (RFC 760, January 1980).

IPv4 uses a 32-bit address space which provides 4,294,967,296 (232) unique addresses, but large blocks are reserved for special networking methods.”

We anticipate that in the event of large-scale public uprising (riots and insurrection) the federal government would implement a partial internet shutdown. Even with highly robust services, like Cisco’s Open DNS, the nameservers are still a target.

Another thing to consider is internal sabotage and such dissidents at your ISP.

That’s why we recommend you periodically update the best DNS server for your location.  Yeah – it varies with where you are.

The reason to do this is you want many DNS servers lined up in advance.  An article here (On the HowToGeek) site describes the process of updating your DNS nameservers.

However, you may discover – as many people do – that certain routers are not open to additional DNS listings.  This may “lock you in” to a router-based DNS.

Is There a Kill Switch?

Again, referring to Wikipedia, this is often referred to as the “Internet Kill Switch” and both its existence and potential use are hotly debated, it is virtually unarguable that the Internet is a kind of “digital war munition.”

Since we have a president who (perhaps correctly) believes social media dangerous (especially in light of Twitters increasing censorship [on questionable ground – they seem to have an agenda, too]) a knee-jerk reaction for the president might be to direct the military to shut down certain portions of the internet.

There are several ways this might be achieved, but one would certainly be to disrupt DNS traffic.

One way to avoid this is to jot down a dozen, or so, of your most-used websites and see if you can find a stable IP (Internet Protocol address) for them.

This MAY be difficult since in modern IT departments, the most popular method of networking is called “Dynamic Host Control Protocol” [DHCP] which basically generates a numerical address on the fly.

This is much less work (and cheaper) than setting up a specific “Static IP.”

Our Static IPs

You may have gotten some odd messages Friday as our static IPs and SSL data changed.  It’s all OK…just isn’t “instant.”

Friday morning, I directed our Internet Service Provider, a damn fine company called EMWD.com, to obtain and assign stable IPv4 addresses for two of our two main sites. Within an hour, or so, they sent me this:

“Your dedicated IP addresses have been set up and are now active. I have sent you an invoice and that invoice contains the IP addresses. Here they are for your convenience:

45.33.29.40 urbansurvival.com
74.207.225.31 peoplenomics.com

Please let me know if you need further assistance.

Thank you for your business. We appreciate our clients.
Brian Carpenter
EMWD.com”

We do not “practice giving IT advice” however, for the small sum ($96/year) it costs for both sites, we think it’s a worthwhile investment.

WWW-Something Addresses

Another possible way to manage the web would be to ONLY allow DNS look-ups of certain kinds of verbose addressed.

Most sites have what’s called “dual addressing.”  For example, you type in www.urbansurvival.com and it will redirect and force a secure connection to https://urbansurvival.com.

What most people don’t know is that additional web address prefixes are also supported, such as www2. and www3.

For example, while www.drudgereport.com will bring up an unencrypted www-prefix version of The Drudge Report, use of the www2 prefix errors out.

On the other hand, when you put in www2.cnn.com, you’ll be upgraded to a secure connection to https://www.cnn.com/.   We believe this is the best operating practice.  It’s what our sites should be doing.

Key Takeaways

Here’s a personal workplan to follow if you think the Internet will ever be at risk.  In our view, the web is the biggest clay foot America has.

Check your bank.

A number of them (again following what we view as good practice), such as Bank of America, support www2 addressing which forces a redirect and secure connection at https://www.bankofamerica.com.

Likely, Major Banks will have an IPv4 address that would be circulated after-the-fact of any attack or soft web down.  Or, they will simply require WWW2 addressing,  Or, they will be shut down  until the crisis passes.

Do Lots of Web Housekeeping

We may be the only people crazy-enough to do regular backups of key data and to worry about such things.  But, do you trust “the cloud” to be around  forever?”

Frankly, we don’t.

There are several small USB drives around here.  That’s on top of a 4 TB NAS storage box.

Do you have all your photos, videos, e-books, projects, and writings (including spreadsheets and .Project files all backed-up?

Have you  downloaded an .mp3 or other transportable file system to local drives off the cloud?

I’m not trying to “make work for you.”

I am talking about prepping of the sort that [potentially] matters greatly.

Off to make sure when my “digital life fails” if will fall  my way.

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

20 thoughts on “Prepping Alert: Time to Update Direct Web Addresses”

  1. I keep a folder of back-up static IP addresses is my browser. When saving a static IP address, first test the static IP address in your browser. For most sites, you will see the static IP address turn into the DNS address on your address bar. Save the address to your back-up folder. Then right click on the address, and look at the properties. You will see the DNS address in the Location field, not the static IP field for most websites. Paste the static IP address over the DNS address, so what you see in the field is numbers separated by periods (for an IPv4 address). Save, and test the shortcut. Done.
    My back-up IP address folder has gotten lean in recent years. I am proud to add two new static IP addresses this morning. It also doesn’t hurt to keep a list of addresses on a post-it in your wallet for quick reference.

  2. George, if you are going to use a static IP as a dns workaround, make sure all of the coding in the individual pages refers to the ip and not a .com page.
    This page, on the static ip is https://urbansurvival.com/prepping-alert-time-to-update-direct-web-addresses/
    If the DNS is down, you won’t be able to see this page because it has urbansurvival.com rather than https://45.33.29.40/prepping-alert……it will need a dns reply for the ip numbers.
    You don’t have to publish this, but you may want to consider a recode.

      • This is not absolutely necessary for those readers astute enough to modify the domain name to the current IP in the failed request and then load that from the address bar in a browser. It may not be obvious to the non-tech types though.

        Just another point on the current changes with the ISP. It seems that CenturyStink has started caching again as of yesterday. If I go to this site from anywhere, other than a direct reload, it pulls up a cached version. It updates on the first reload. It’s annoying but tolerable for me. Many other readers will probably just assume that the site has nothing new, and that’s bad.

      • I’ve been having the caching issue the last couple days, with Comcast… ‘Makes me wonder if somebody did a blanket software update on the backbone routers or switches, to “encourage” them to “seek cloud first.” With Comcast, I have to do a manual reload on each page, or comments don’t update, either.

      • Try the old cmd line ipconfig /flush dns

        And then ipconfig /renew *(may take a minute to renew)

        That should flush away old dns crap and speed things up

      • There. I said it. I took the name of the 20,000 year old Egyptian Prophacy about the chosen one. All the prophets names started with the letter Y. It is the original masculine symbol of Divinity. Even Jesus name started with the letter Y. I’m not even remotely as big of deal as Him. I’m just a pour
        Child from Alaksa. Half the time I forget im even an adult. Lol

        I didnt know till just now, that my birth name had all this in it. I just want some money and to go naked wheeling with a honey. Do some fishin after.

        I didnt want to be immortal. Ugh. Hope the Highest God doesnt slap me upside the head.

        YNDANDY

        It was in my name all along. If words are things. I must be this.

        Y being the chromosome that makes a man a man. This is all sooo weird. A is the symbol of the Capstone and the All seeing Eye. I hope I dont mess this up. Ugh. I dont wanna be this person. If the Highest of Gods wills it? So be it.

      • Uhem YDNANDY. Lol

        Weird…… how could I not know that until now. I’m another where’s Waldo on the bus. I dont know why I can do all I can do… I just dont think limitation is really a thing. I guess. I’m gonna go hide in my room for the rest of the day and talk to God.

        Y being the original symbol of the Crusifix. one each side and the Capstone in the middle. Trippy. The thief who repented on one side and the one who didnt and Jesus in between. Huh. Lol. I dont know what all that means.
        Maybe, it means I get some money and a big booty girlfriend who comes with a remote control that has a mute button when she starts nagging about how messy the garage is? Or maybe I win a Goat and a wheel barrel behind door number two or a New car behind door number 3. Lmao!

        The symbol Y is the original symbol on the first dynasty of Egypts crown. Before the snake and bird emblem. It is the symbol of Divinity in Spirit or Higher or non material and Divinity of material, or lower or flesh. It is the Higher and lower of Solomons keys. Which rule them all. Hmmmmm

        Could be all bull crap too. I guess we will see. Maybe someone is messing with me?

        YdnAndY

        Hmmmmm.. pass the popcorn. Looks like I will be chain smoking today. Hahah

      • What is happening to me old dude? I got all this really weird stuff going on… if you are in the Know? Spill the beans. I know ya know more than ya let on about. Lol

        I keep seeing wedding stuff every where I go. And I was in mediation and that chick i almost married showed up and said she still loves me. I have no plans of getting married and the whole world is running around wearing veils. Lmao! This must be some super prank by God. He is always crackin jokes. Lol

      • ipconfig

        I do, periodically.

        Speaking of DOSish (COMMAND or CMD…)

        See my post in the next batch…

      • what is going on? george, have you wandered into the beyond?i would take answers from anyone… pat

  3. G,

    Good post. I like the idea.

    Generally, the “Reset” is here. When the country goes over the falls, any moment now but surely by the end of the year.

    The new, digital way will be unveiled. (UBI/global health/etcs…)

    We wont be using IPv4. IPv4 doesn’t work with IoT. “They” will probably shutdown most of the then “old” IPV4 Internet and not turn it back on.

    IPv4 will be legacy and no longer supported and quickly forgotten for IPv6.

    It’ll be the “New Order of the World”.

    • Today when I ping Urban I get, 45.33.29.40

      When I ping Google I get an IPv6.

      When I ping ZH I get IPV4.

      When I ping Microsoft I get IPv6.

      My belief is when the switch gets thrown, most of the old Internet won’t be in the new.

      “History” can be “changed” this way too. Information will be controlled.

  4. Many (most?) internet failures one will have will more often be local, due to power failure to your home. Bad weather is obviously the most frequent cause.

    UPSs last awhile, and those with solar-electric homes are less vulnerable.

    Naturally, the computer itself will have on-board battery “legs” for a few hours as a stand-alone device.

    Whattya do if it’s a Big Power Failure, and you’ll be out for a week or more?

    As a ham radio guy, I have a 12-volt high-capacity (400 amp-hours) pile of batteries in the garage, with four, one-hundred watt class solar panels and controllers. So, my 12volt bus is pretty robust for radios and a few lights. I deliberately don’t try to do more. (Refrigerators, air conditioners — other heavy loads.)

    My laptop can run off a “12-volt car power supply” easy enough, but the data modem is a different fish kettle.

    I have DSL (please, don’t laugh — it meets my modest data needs).

    The damnfool DSL modem wants 19 volts AC. AC! It has a handy wall wart that provides the silly and oddball voltage need.

    But when the plugs are out in a power failure, where will THAT oddball voltage come from? I could use an inverter, but that’s lossy and has other problems. (RFI and bad waveform for the cheap ones.)

    There is an answer. MOST (your mileage may vary) of these modems WILL work off 12 volts DC directly.

    Why?

    The 19 volts AC simply means the device itself won’t need an internal power transformer. Which avoids some expense, and some admin complications with the UL (Underwriter’s Labs) approvals needed for any plug-in device. The external “Class-2″ wall wart is an automatic easy approval path for them.

    But, happily, as it turns out, most chips need either plus and minus five volts DC, and / or twelve volts DC. The devices have an internal modest power supply that ” rectifies and regulates” down from the 19 VAC to the twelve and five if both are needed.

    The “raw” 19VAC is first rectified into DC with one or more diodes, and then filtered with capacitors and regulated down to the lower DC volts the chips need.

    The difference between the 19 and the 12 (or 5) is merely extra “headroom” so that in brown-outs there will be enough to still reach the low voltage needs.

    BUT! Rectifier-capacitor-regulator circuits CAN work with much less, and CAN work with a DC input instead of the AC it says it needs.

    Bottom Line:
    You can plug 12 volts DC directly into the so-called 19VAC power input — and the device will work just fine.

    Mine have all run slightly cooler — and I’ve done this for years with a number of different DSL modems — and it works just fine.

    The diodes will pass the DC just fine, the other elements in the filtering and regulating circuits will all work with the 12 VDC and never even notice.

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER!!
    The foregoing is dangerous and crazy, and could electrocute you and burn down your house and kill your children. Also, this method is known to the state of California to cause cancer–along with just about everything else in life.

    SO, DON’T DO IT !! AND IF YOU INSIST ON FOLLOWING THE DANGEROUS AND ILL-ADVISED PROCEDURE, YOUR WARENTY WILL BE VOID, AND YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO ARREST AND STIFF FINES.

    • See DC-DC converters at Mouser.com or buy a 12 V 100 watt to chg the l/t and the dsl but remember your co may bw down, so there goes that plan.

      • Kable goes down frequently. Sometimes for multiple days. My C.O. has never gone down for a second in the last five years, and back at my old QTH it was down three times in forty years — each time after Very Big Deal Storms. These were from four days to eleven days.

        Wires undergrounded for the most part — helps wonderfully.

        (‘Course, we all know Telco C.O.s aren’t what they used to be; and are now dominated by these stupid tin refrigerator-sized network boxes by the side of the road. And one’s “battery” and “service” originates and terminates in that dumb box with the weak batteries now. Not like it usta wuz….)

        Since I’m recently fully retired from emergency comms work, it matters much less to me personally now.

        73, Boss

  5. Fyi: George, ““Every thousand years, I test each life system in the Universe. I visit it with mysteries, earthquakes, unpredicted eclipses, strange craters in the wilderness… if these are taken as natural, I judge that system ignorant and harmless – I spare it. But if the Hand of Ming is recognized in these events, I judge that system dangerous to us. I call upon the great god Dyzan, and for his greater glory and for our mutual pleasure… I destroy it utterly.” Ming from the 1980 movie Flash Gorden.

    I sure hope they bring back the micro skirts and the boots made for walking. I must watched that movie and Barbarella 100 times when I was a 14 year old lad who took extended showers and used alot of shampoo. Hahhahahahahhah

    Ok ok ok. F-off, ROTFLMFAO! I get it.

    Later!

  6. {semi-tech-lecture}

    “PING,” “DNS,” “TRACERT” (Trace Route), “TIME,” and client functions like “MAIL,” “NEWS” (Usenet), and “IRC” (Internet relay chat) are built into all flavors of *NIX and in MSFT from DOS-6.2 (Windows 3.11) on, and are merely accessed by “Net Applications” and “Net Utilities,” which give one a pretty GUI to look at, instead of a boring DOS or COMMAND box.

    To access these directly without using a “Net Ap” open a Command window {Start/Run} then type CMD in the run box for any flavor of Windows from w2k and XP, on. This will give you a command prompt in a (synthesized) DOS box. Type ” PING urbansurvival.com ” (minus the quotes) at the command prompt (usually C:\) and you will get a display which looks like this:

    Pinging urbansurvival.com [45.33.29.40] with 32 bytes of data:
    Reply from 45.33.29.40: bytes=32 time=59ms TTL=45
    Reply from 45.33.29.40: bytes=32 time=58ms TTL=45
    Reply from 45.33.29.40: bytes=32 time=55ms TTL=45
    Reply from 45.33.29.40: bytes=32 time=55ms TTL=45

    Ping statistics for 45.33.29.40:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 55ms, Maximum = 59ms, Average = 56ms

    PING will tell you both the numerical addy of the site you’re pinging, and the amount of time it takes a small data packet to go from your computer, to the computer you’re pinging, and back.

    Note my “roundtrip” times? I’ll run between 7ms and 11ms after the kiddies shut their damn’ games down and go to bed.

    If yer playin’ along, try running either a PING or a TRACERT to urbansurvival.com now, to familiarize yourself with the process, and to see what the screendump tells you.

    “TIME” is limited to either your ISP’s, or Microsoft’s NTP Server, unless you have an NTP (Network Time Protocol) client, or know the address of another time server (like “time-a-g.nist.gov” or “129.6.15.28” which both go to NIST at Gaithersburg, Maryland.)

    “NEWS” CAN give you a DOSish Usenet dump, IF you know the name of the newsgroup you wish to peruse, and

    “IRC” CAN hook you into a relay chat, if you know the channel name of the chat you wish to join,

    but these, like TIME, are SO MUCH EASIER to do with either a dedicated client for each, or a generic client like most web-browsers, that this bit of knowledge should be filed in that part of your brain that’s labeled “open only in case of dire emergency, when everything else has failed…”

    • When you open CMD from the search fool in Win10, you may wish to right click “Run as Administrator” if your computer is pretty well locked down…

Comments are closed.