WTF ... IS WTF!?
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Weird goings on at time.nist.gov: WTF?

Jung

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#1
justin@Atreides # telnet time.nist.gov 79
Trying 192.43.244.18...
Connected to time.nist.gov.
Escape character is '^]'.
Hello
G: G: My name is Gina: and my husband's name is George:
We come from Germany: and we sell Gerbils::
379-142-711-264-786-997-737

$ 0 1624 3000 8 1 0 0
Connection closed by foreign host.


I get the same thing if I telnet to port 78. What the fuck is that? I know 79 is finger, but I have no clue what 78 is, nor what could be. I get similar results each time I telnet.

Edit: http://time.nist.gov:78/
 

bnccoder

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A: A: My name is Anna: and my husband's name is Art:
We come from Albany: and we sell Apples::
240-347-431-267-075-904-520
$ 0 2593 3000 8 1 0 0
 

Jung

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#5
Darklight said:
yay fer hackers...
Nobody's hacking. I was writing a web app to pull the atomic time from there and discovered this. I think it's obvious that anyone would be curious as to what the messages mean.
 

Jung

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#6
Well, looks like the explanation is rather boring. Not that I expected much, but I would've liked to have figured it out on my own.

Let me explain what you are seeing.
1. The first text is a pseudo-random text designed to confuse
automated search engines (note the strategic colons). There are
16 poems and they are sent in a random sequence. The
text is derived from a jump-rope game and has no special meaning.
2. The remaining digits provide internal information on the operation
of the server and are used for automated remote monitoring. All
NIST servers do this. (I did find a PDF about their customized finger daemon, so that makes sense.)
3. Most of the digits relate to complicated internal parameters.
However, the first 3 values after the $ sign are easy to expolain
the first is the overall state of the server (0=ok,>0=various failures)
the second is the time since the server was last calibrated (in sec),
and the third is the nominal interval between c alibrations (in sec)
the remaining parameters have to do with the internal clock control
of the system. (This had me fooled, I was certain it was microtime.)


Judah Levine
Time and Frequency Divison
NIST Boulder


Comment by Judah Levine — 4/5/2005 @ 10:56 am
 

bnccoder

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#7
junglizm said:
Well, looks like the explanation is rather boring. Not that I expected much, but I would've liked to have figured it out on my own.
Still it's nice to know what it means.
 

Darklight

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#8
I would of preferred to think it was evil hackers...