[aprssig] Badly Behaved Satellite Gate

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Sun Oct 21 00:37:17 EDT 2018

Just an FYI for all the infrastructure folks...

There is an IGate, KE6BLR-40, that a week or so ago began advertising his web site on ARISS packets he IGated. He did it by adding the URL to the end of the IGated packet payload. This of course meant the dup checking failed, so most of the packets were duplicates, and the ariss.net page was overrun with dozens of copies of his url. I wrote a nice, long, and detailed message on how it was wrong to mess with payloads and to advertise on the APRS IS, and added a findU filter to trash any packet containing the URL. I got no answer. I know I had his email address right because a week before he had emailed me asking to advertise on ariss.net; I had said no. 

After my email he was off the air until today and I thought maybe I'd gotten through - but no. For most of the passes today he sent the same (now filtered) URL tacked onto other people's packets, to the tune of 160+ packets. On the last west coast pass he changed it to a new URL (which serves the same web page) though it was a low ocean pass and only one packet was IGated. This one packet was an RS0ISS beacon though, so it looks like the ISS itself is endorsing his web site. Last week before I acted dozens of people appeared to endorse it!

His new URL is now filtered from findU as well. If he tries something else his callsign will be the next findU filter; a total callsign ban is something I've never had to do before.

Hopefully this is his own software and not some new 'feature' someone released to the wider world. Everyone involved with the infrastructure of APRS needs to watch for this and consider taking their own actions. Messing with the payloads of packets is antisocial (we learned the danger of this last century when we tried to deal with Mic-E packets on the APRS-IS by converting them); to add your own web site onto other ham's packets is especially heinous!

Steve K4HG

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