IP theft doesn’t always involve intellectual property.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

This pilot fish gets a request for a new server, and after being satisfied with all his post-install checks, he turns it over to the customers. But they say the server is experiencing intermittent network connectivity.

So fish has the network team check the port, network switch and cable. All seems fine: constant link status and no dropped packets. But the problem persists. Fish calls vendor for help and sends it the diag report from the lights-out interface. But the hardware looks fine.

New day, new strategy. Fish tries “watch nmap” from his workstation; no issues. He tries it from the Kickstart server. And this is interesting: The server is working one run, but no response the next. On a hunch, fish adds ARP check in the watch. Now he’s getting somewhere: ARP is alternating between two MAC address from the same IP, one of which fish doesn’t recognize.

The network team then does its magic to lead fish to an empty desk and its bewildered neighbor, who can only watch while fish and crew check the walls for the suspected network drop. Tech verifies that the device on the unoccupied desk is using the IP assigned to the server built last week.

Fish asks the user to kindly inform the owner of the rogue device that IP addresses must be assigned by the network team after opening a ticket.

“Otherwise, it’ll cause a lot of problems for a lot of people.”

And that “lot of people” march off to deal with the next issue.

Calling all pilot fish! Sharky needs your true tales of IT life. Send them to me at You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.


Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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