169.254.0.0 Address Causes Confusion

I got a very intriguing email yesterday. It read:

Mr Baker,

I wonder if you can throw any light on the fact that my virus killer has warned me that there is a new internet connection on my router.

The IP address is 169.254.0.0

As you are a computer programmer I would like you to explain to me how you came to get a web address through my router when it is securely firewalled and why you would wish to do so?.

On selecting the address I was sent to the Bluebones.net website.

Your IP address should not be anywher near my computer system and I wish to know from you why it is before making any further judgements or decisions on what to do about it. I should be glad if you would proffer an explanation as urgent.

For a moment I thought I must have some horrible virus that was using my machine to go out and infect others. Then I thought about it for a minute and I realised what must have happened.

169.254.0.0 is not a valid IP address. It is part of a block reserved by IANA for showing errors in getting DHCP addresses.

So the browser of my “victim” must have tried to visit 169.254.0.0, failed to find a machine on that address and automatically taken him to the top search result for “169.254.0.0” which must have just happened to be my post, ‘Network Client Assigned 169.154 Address

Mystery solved. Probably.

8 Replies to “169.254.0.0 Address Causes Confusion”

  1. my a/v caught this. this supposedly happens when windows 2000 tries to register the dns reverse lookup… why is it attempting to enter my xp?

  2. Some ISP’s have a “transparent proxy” that leads most DNS errors to their default search page. Sometimes the even send you to the top result if the match is close enough (like the “I’m feeling lucky” button on Google). Could it be something like that causing the confusion?

  3. It was a bit of a forthright letter he sent you – A bit like saying “Now look I know you’ve been up to no good, now tell me why I shouldnt call the police” – er cuz it werent me guvnar You should’ve toasted him with a 90 foot wall of flame

  4. People use their credit cards on their machines. I think his letter was crisp, to the point, and born of fear. Nonetheless, that doesn’t make you responsible for one iota of reasoning on his behalf. Simply tell him that he is grotesquely mistaken, and perhaps suggest that he obtain the advice of a degreed technician.

  5. In the second last paragraph, the link titled “Network Client Assigned 169.154 Address” leads to “Idiot’s Guide to Unit Testing”, which appears to have nothing to do with IP addressing.

  6. Thanks Brolin – my .htacess redirects from the old style URLs to the new style were a bit broken 🙂

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