It's a bona fide crisis… Norway is down!

Norway’s largest telco and ISP Telenor has been down country-wide since 1 pm today, effectively shutting off Internet customers — as well as 2G and 3G networks — i.e. me. There are 2 tele-networks in Norway: Telenor and Netcom. The rest of the phone service providers just rent traffic volume from the two, meaning that with few exceptions, the entire country is affected.

Here I’m sitting in my office, and I found out this information when my new Nexus S phone refused to send an SMS to a friend of mine, asking whether he wants to come bowling Saturday. Luckily, we’ve got a dedicated line going to the building, so if our contract’s worth anything it will have priority. But that doesn’t help when the people you’re trying to reach are on the shut-off net. I can’t even get in touch with the bowling hall any longer..

I’m cut off from the world, alone in the office, listening to streaming audio for as long as the internet lasts. I fear this is the start of the zombie apocalypse, and unless you receive further news I wish you good luck in the post-apocalyptic world of survival horror.. Time to get drunk!

Here’s some scary background music Slanted Voices (mp3) by morgantj. I’m arming myself with old metal hard disk enclosures and office furniture..

The Rapture Continues, Politicians Agree to call it "A Crisis"
It’s now 10 p.m. and most phones in Norway are still displaying NO SERVICE while the rain makes things difficult. In the meanwhile the Norwegian government is having a crisis meeting to deal with the flooding in the south combined with the lack of communication. Not sure if you get how serious this is, but our frail civilization is dependent on wireless phoning and text messages.

Politicians agree: It's serious! (Picture by NRK)
See that? That’s a serious politician.

Politicians agree to call it a Crisis. And if the phone situation wasn’t enough, that’s a lot of water.

I was at the gym after work when this girl was struggling with the Quick Locker™. It wouldn’t open, she had her car keys inside and her dog in the car. She can’t leave the gym because she won’t get the car open, and she won’t get back in again. She can’t stay because of the dog. Since it’s Friday after 4 there’s no one at work. There’s an emergency number, but it’s to a Telenor cellphone, so even when I ask a guy on Netcom (the rival network) to phone it it’s dead. The only thing I could do was to send a couple of angry e-mails to the gym, hoping someone would read it and send a guy down there who knows the reset combination. Otherwise she’ll have to wait until 11 o’clock only to find her dog dead from digesting the dashboard… Shit’s serious.

While I was at the gym Lady C kept track of the press conferences, and what they were saying quite literally was that: "We don’t know shit, we just know it’s a server somewhere, we don’t really know where, what server or why, but it has stopped working or maybe it is working and it’s doing something it’s not supposed to, but we wouldn’t know, we’re just not sure at this hour."

It only affects cellphone and 2G/3G cellular network. I bet it’s someone DDoS’ing the cellphone servers. Apparently most ISPs run voice and data on the same servers as SMS. So in theory you have 3 services go down if you bruteforce SMS, which is rather trivial. But they should have been able to locate the source by now… So that’s additional points to the ‘zombie apocalypse theory’.

Another point in fact: No one knows where the mysterious mr. S is or what he is doing. He could be safely at home watching DVDs or somewhere else entirely. And there’s just no knowing. I wouldn’t worry too much though, the mysterious mr. S knows Kung-Fu. The rest of my peeps are either on Pidgin or tweeting in their misery.. It’s Friday after all.

Thank God for the Internet though. I’ll leave this message here on the front page, and if you scroll to the top of the message, you can read it over again. Thus, it serves as a shining beacon of light to the hope of mankind (in the Oslo/Norway area). Now, who said it was a bad idea to stockpile beer in the basement? Cheers!

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