(Cross-posted from r/Army)
Ok, set the wayback machine to circa 2007. Then-newly-promoted Sgt Kytulu is going on his first ever deployment! This was slightly pre-surge (we got extended to 15 months at about month 10), and more importantly to this story, pre-Sniper Hill.
Back in the day, there was no Sniper Hill, no pre-wired internet connectivity on the larger FOBs. If you wanted internet access, there was two ways to do it: use the MWR computers, which usually entailed a wait, and a time limit once you were on the computer, or buy your own satellite internet service. IIRC, if you did the latter, the most that you could have on one account was 24 people, and even then is was expensive as fuck, like $70/month for the "fast" speed, which equated to being able to e-mail and chat, but video was choppy.
Since we were a 40 some odd man detachment, 20 of us decided to go in together on Hughesnet service, ordered the dish, packed it away in one of our containers, and set everything up once we got boots on ground on the FOB. It took a couple days to bury all the cat5 cable, and the Douchebag sysadmin, henceforth known as Sgt DB, volunteered to be the admin since he had done it on a prior deployment, which meant that the dish was on top of his CHU, the server and router was on a shelf in his CHU, and we ran cat5 cable from all of our CHUs to a hole in his CHU that we drilled with a doorknob bit. Everyone had their own assigned IP address to try and prevent someone from selling access to others at a cheaper rate by using a router in their room.
As the work schedule shook out, it came to be that maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of us were online at any given time, which should have worked out just fine.
Sadly, this was not the case.
At any given time, the internet would either be pretty damn fast, or so fucking slow that it would take 20 or 30 minutes to log into Yahoo Messenger. I'm talking get back to the room from your shift, boot up your laptop, sign in to YM, go have dinner, take a shower, and by the time you got back, you might be signed in by then. I had downloaded a free network monitor, and I could see that there was data going up, data coming down, but no idea where it was all going.
I was not the only one that noticed this. Several of us, including Sgt DB, tried to troubleshoot the issue. Calls to Hughesnet were placed. The dish was realigned. Cables were tested. On and on, and we never could figure it out. We all just lived with it for a couple of months.
Well, one day, I had borrowed a hard drive from Sgt DB to watch some movies. This was fairly rare, as this was back in the days of portable hard drives being the size of a brick and requiring wall power to run, so most Soldiers had their Big Book of DVDs. As I was in the middle of copying some movies, I happened to notice a .txt file that said "Passwords". I opened it up, and found a list of usernames and passwords for various websites, to include those particular sites on which women did things of questionable morality. I also happened to notice that a lot of the passwords, particularity for those websites, were all the same.
"Surely not" I thought to myself. Having nothing to lose, I typed in the old standby: 192.168.1.1, Admin, and typed in the Porn Password.
Sure enough, it worked. I now had access to the router settings. Care to guess what I found?
Yup, you guessed it! Sgt. DB had set the router to have 90% of the bandwidth allocated to his IP, with the other 10% split up for the rest of us to use. Now, most people would immediately set Sgt. DB's bandwidth to 0.05% and change the password. However, I am a little craftier than that. If I had done that, he would have figured it out, manually reset the router, and changed the password to something that I would never guess. So, all I did was reset the bandwidth to the normal settings and log out.
All of us had serviceable internet, for about a week. Then it went back to the old bullshit. So, I logged in again, saw that he had reset the bandwidth again, so I set it back to the way that I had it. For the rest of the deployment, anytime I was having connectivity issues, or one of the other Soldiers would complain about their internet, I would quietly log in and reset everything.
So far as I know, he thought that it was the router resetting itself periodically, and had no idea that I was the one unfucking everyone.
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