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Security watchers are warning that a security flaw affecting Domain Name System servers running Unix could prove difficult to fix.

A buffer overflow vulnerability in DNS Resolver Library represents a serious risk to many Unix system using the BIND or BSD resolver libraries, CERT warned last week.

It warned that a remote attacker who is able to send malicious DNS responses could potentially exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service on a vulnerable systems.

As explained in greater detail in CERT's advisory here, multiple implementations of DNS resolver libraries are affected by the problem and users are been encouraged to update to versions BIND 9.0.x or BIND 9.1.x, which are immune to the fault.

Unfortunately the problems don't stop there.

The resolver library performs such a central role in networking, that manufacturers may need to make substantial changes to OS binaries.

Security integrators Integralis warn that IT departments will have a mammoth task in administering these upgrades and protecting themselves in the event
of their network becoming compromised.

Historically firms are often slow to react to problems involving DNS servers.

A recent survey by DNS specialists Men & Mice found that at least 14 per cent of Fortune 1000 companies have DNS servers with BIND versions that contain known flaws, making the companies vulnerable to Internet attacks. The survey was carried out of week after a previous vulnerability with BIND 9 came to light. ®

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