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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

There are several newly discovered "serious vulnerabilities" in BIND, the internet's dominant domain name system server that hypothetically could be exploited to bring the internet to a grinding halt if not widely patched.

Internet Security Systems Inc, which discovered the flaws, and the Internet Software Consortium, which maintains BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain), warned yesterday that all versions of BIND 4 and 8 up to 4.9.10 and 8.3.3 are affected by multiple vulnerabilities and that administrators should upgrade to unaffected versions.

"The vulnerabilities... affect nearly all currently deployed recursive DNS servers on the internet," ISS said in an advisory. Recursive DNS servers are those used by ISP subscribers and companies to find out the correct IP address for a domain without having to go to that domain's authoritative name server every time.

ISS said there are no known exploits, but added: "If exploits for these vulnerabilities are developed and made public, they may lead to compromise and DoS [denial of service] attacks... an internet worm may be developed to propagate by exploiting the flaws in BIND. Widespread attacks against the DNS system may lead to general instability and inaccuracy of DNS data."

The three vulnerabilities outlined by ISS are a buffer overflow that could allow hackers to take over the name server if recursion is enabled, a DoS flaw in the way non-existent subdomains are handled, and another DoS flaw in the way BIND caches domain lookup information and sets the time-to-live.

© ComputerWire

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