Attacks/Breaches

7/27/2015
04:30 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Phishing Attacks Drive Spike In DNS Threat

Nearly 75% jump in phishing helped propel DNS abuse in the second quarter of this year.

The domain name service (DNS) continues to be a favorite tool of cyber criminals: the DNS threat index jumped nearly 60% in the second quarter of this year.

The Infoblox DNS Threat Index is measured by Infoblox and IID, which today published their newest data on malicious activity abusing the Internet's DNS, showing a threat index of 133, up from 122 in the first quarter of 2015, and an average of 100 in 2013 and 2014.

Phishing was up by 74% in Q2, according to the report. "In the second quarter, we saw a lot of phishing domains put up," says Rod Rasmussen, CTO at IID, of the 2Q 2015 activity. "Phishing is old news, but it's successful news" for cybercrime, he says.

No one attack campaign is behind the spike in malicious domains, but popular and pervasive exploit kits such as Angler are a big piece of the puzzle, he says. "The backend stuff is being done by domains," he says.

DNS, which converts domain names into machine-readable IP addresses, has become a popular vehicle for the bad guys to use in the distribution of their malware, the theft of information, and distributed denial-of-service attacks.

The DNS Threat Index has been on the rise for three quarters straight. "This could indicate cybercriminals are expanding the infrastructure to leverage targeted attacks for spreadkign malware and/or exfiltrating data," the Infoblox report said.

Internet pioneer and DNS expert Paul Vixie says there are ways to slow and possibly trip up DNS abuse. He has proposed a "cooling-off period" for DNS providers to activate new domains, an approach that would help minimize domain abuse. A new generation of inexpensive and quick startup domain names has made it easier for bad guys to set up shop in the DNS infrastructure, according to Vixie.

Domain names are as inexpensive as $10 apiece, and can be set up and running in less than 30 seconds, a pace that plays right into the hands of bad guys setting up shop online. Vixie says putting new domains in a temporary hold--for a few minutes or hours--would give the good guys time to vet them, he says.

Meanwhile, DNS is basically "an underappreciated threat vector," notes Arya Barirani, vice president of product marketing at Infoblox.

DNS security also tends to fall through the cracks in organizations. DNS servers often are under the purview of the server operations team, which isn't in charge of security, notes Craig Sanderson, senior director of security products at Infoblox.

"It's really about visibility: there's a significant blind spot in DNS" resources, he says.

It's unclear whether the DNS abuse will continue to climb, but the Hacking Team breach could lead to more malicious domain traffic, IID's Rasmussen says. "We've seen boatloads of infrastructure set up to take advantage of the [dumped] Hacking Team" malware, he says. "We're probably going to see it go up."

 

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Cybersecurity's 'Broken' Hiring Process
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  10/11/2017
Ransomware Grabs Headlines but BEC May Be a Bigger Threat
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  10/12/2017
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Search Cybersecuruty and you will get unicorn.
Current Issue
Security Vulnerabilities: The Next Wave
Just when you thought it was safe, researchers have unveiled a new round of IT security flaws. Is your enterprise ready?
Flash Poll
The State of Ransomware
The State of Ransomware
Ransomware has become one of the most prevalent new cybersecurity threats faced by today's enterprises. This new report from Dark Reading includes feedback from IT and IT security professionals about their organization's ransomware experiences, defense plans, and malware challenges. Find out what they had to say!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.