Feeds

Shocker DNS spoofing vuln discovered three years ago by a student

The mad woman in the attic

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A flaw in how the internet's addressing system works that sparked a patching frenzy on Tuesday night may has first been uncovered by a student as long as three years ago.

Shortcomings in how the Domain Name System protocol is implemented by multiple vendors facilitate DNS cache poisoning attacks, security clearing house US CERT warned on Tuesday. Successful exploitation of these security shortcomings creates a means for hackers to spoof DNS replies, allowing for the redirection of network traffic or to mount man-in-the-middle attacks.

Security researcher Dan Kaminsky deserves a lot of credit for realising the seriousness of the flaw and working behind the scenes with multiple vendors over recent months leading up to co-ordinate this week's patching activities. But Kaminsky may not have been the first to discover the flaw, only the first with enough clout to mobilise action.

Three years ago Ian Green, then studying for his GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC), submitted a paper that details the same DNS spoofing vulnerability, the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre notes.

In order to spoof a DNS request it's necessary to "guess" both the Query ID and the source port. The query ID is 16 bits long, and the UDP source port also has over 60,000 potential option. But as Green noted back in January 2005, DNS transactions are incremented by one for each subsequent query while the UDP source port remains the same during a session.

Although the weaknesses of the DNS protocol have been known for some time, Kaminsky's upcoming presentation at Black Hat next month is sure to put what has been a peripheral, forgotten issue (something like the mad woman in the attic) into the full view of the public. Details of new tools designed to exploit the vulnerability or exploits already in the wild are likely to emerge. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
US government fines Intel's Wind River over crypto exports
New emphasis on encryption as a weapon?
To Russia With Love: Snowden's pole-dancer girlfriend is living with him in Moscow
While the NSA is tapping your PC, he's tapping ... nevermind
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
Slap for SnapChat web app in SNAP mishap: '200,000' snaps sapped
This is what happens if you hand your username and password to a 3rd-party
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.