Risk
7/23/2008
01:58 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Red Alert! DNS Flaw Revealed

Security researchers warn users to patch immediately, as technical details to exploit a widespread DNS vulnerability were disclosed online.

"Patch. Today. Now. Yes, stay late."

That's the word from security researcher Dan Kaminsky, who recently presided over an unprecedented effort to coordinate a fix for a DNS vulnerability across more than 80 software and hardware vendors.

And now the danger flare has been fired to warn computer users everywhere that the risk is real. Technical details about how one might exploit the vulnerability have been disclosed.

The domain name system translates domain names, like "informationweek.com," into numeric IP addresses and vice versa. The DNS flaw, if exploited, allows what is known as DNS cache poisoning. This involves remapping domain names to different, potentially malicious servers.

US-CERT on Monday warned: "Technical details regarding this vulnerability have been posted to public Web sites. Attackers could use these details to construct exploit code. Users are encouraged to patch vulnerable systems immediately."

"This is a very serious situation, and can possibly lead to widespread and targeted attacks which hijack sensitive information by redirecting legitimate traffic to fraudulent Web sites, due to incorrect (fraudulent) information being injected into the vulnerable caching nameserver(s)," Trend Micro security researcher Paul Ferguson said in a blog post.

Kaminsky has been planning to present details about the DNS vulnerability at the Black Hat security conference in two weeks.

Security researchers just couldn't wait, however, and have been speculating about the nature of Kaminsky's findings.

On Monday, one such researcher, Halvar Flake, posted his guess about how the DNS vulnerability worked on his blog.

A researcher at Matasano Security then corrected some of the details in a blog post of his own, and the cat was out of the bag.

The post on the Matasano blog was promptly unpublished and replaced with an apology from Thomas Ptacek, a principal at the company.

"Earlier today, a security researcher posted their hypothesis regarding Dan Kaminsky's DNS finding," said Ptacek. "Shortly afterwards, when the story began getting traction, a post appeared on our blog about that hypothesis. It was posted in error. We regret that it ran. We removed it from the blog as soon as we saw it. Unfortunately, it takes only seconds for Internet publications to spread. We dropped the ball here."

Indeed, removing content from the Internet is easier said than done. The flaw is now known and, for those in the security community who missed it, the withdrawn post has been mirrored.

So all that's left for those using vulnerable versions of DNS software is to patch.

If they haven't already, the world's cybercriminals soon will be scanning for vulnerable sites, cloning them, adding malware, and then redirecting every would-be visitor to their trap. Or perhaps they'll just decide they'd like to receive all your e-mail.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-2595
Published: 2014-08-31
The device-initialization functionality in the MSM camera driver for the Linux kernel 2.6.x and 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, enables MSM_CAM_IOCTL_SET_MEM_MAP_INFO ioctl calls for an unrestricted mmap interface, which all...

CVE-2013-2597
Published: 2014-08-31
Stack-based buffer overflow in the acdb_ioctl function in audio_acdb.c in the acdb audio driver for the Linux kernel 2.6.x and 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, allows attackers to gain privileges via an application that lever...

CVE-2013-2598
Published: 2014-08-31
app/aboot/aboot.c in the Little Kernel (LK) bootloader, as distributed with Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, allows attackers to overwrite signature-verification code via crafted boot-image load-destination header values that specify memory ...

CVE-2013-2599
Published: 2014-08-31
A certain Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) patch to the NativeDaemonConnector class in services/java/com/android/server/NativeDaemonConnector.java in Code Aurora Forum (CAF) releases of Android 4.1.x through 4.3.x enables debug logging, which allows attackers to obtain sensitive disk-encryption pas...

CVE-2013-6124
Published: 2014-08-31
The Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) init scripts in Code Aurora Forum (CAF) releases of Android 4.1.x through 4.4.x allow local users to modify file metadata via a symlink attack on a file accessed by a (1) chown or (2) chmod command, as demonstrated by changing the permissions of an arbitrary fil...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
This episode of Dark Reading Radio looks at infosec security from the big enterprise POV with interviews featuring Ron Plesco, Cyber Investigations, Intelligence & Analytics at KPMG; and Chris Inglis & Chris Bell of Securonix.