Risk
11/10/2010
11:49 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Kaminsky To Release 'Phreebird' For Easy DNSSEC

Free toolkit lets organizations, developers test-drive new DNS security protocol

Renowned researcher Dan Kaminsky tomorrow at Black Hat Abu Dhabi will release a free toolkit that lets organizations test-drive DNSSEC deployment and also demonstrates his claims that the protocol is simple to implement.

"I've been making a lot of claims and promises about what DNSSEC is capable of and why the security industry should care. This is the argument I've been putting forth, in code form. This is for real," says Kaminsky, who will make the Phreebird Suite 1.0 kit available tomorrow on the Black Hat website. Kaminsky gave a sneak peek demonstration of Phreebird at Black Hat USA in July.

Phreebird Suite 1.0 is a real-time DNSSEC proxy that sits in front of a DNS server and digitally signs its responses. "This is a collection of technologies [that show how] DNSSEC can be very easily deployed on the server side and trivially on client side," he says. The code is not for operational use, he says, but for testing out the technology.

"This code is cool. It makes DNSSEC easy to achieve," Kaminsky says. "It makes it easy to take your existing DNS deployment and supplement it with DNSSEC services."

The goal is to show how DNSSEC could be used to "bootstrap" trust -- a.k.a. authentication -- across organizations, he says, authenticating clients, business partners, customers, contractors, and other groups with one another. DNSSEC has been in the works for nearly two decades: It was finally fully deployed in the root this summer and so far has been implemented in the .gov, .net, .edu, and .org. domains. The .com domain will be signed by DNSSEC in March. The protocol is considered the key to preventing attacks exploiting the now-infamous cache-poisoning vulnerability Kaminsky revealed at Black Hat USA in 2008.

Kaminsky hopes to dispel concerns that DNSSEC will be complex, disruptive, and expensive to deploy in organizations. "Application developers don't want to be cryptography experts," Kaminsky says. "They just want the key ... and to move on."

Phreebird automatically generates keys and provides real-time signing. There is "zero configuration" on the server side with the tool. "There is enough context in the DNS reply to figure out all of the necessary settings for how to sign it. You don't have to have a huge amount of preconfiguration. This is a revolution here," Kaminsky says.

The tool requires using GoDaddy for creating a test .org domain, and in the end it takes about 30 seconds to get valid, signed records via the Internet, according to Kaminsky.

On the client side, Phreebird includes Phreeload, a tool that adds DNSSEC support to OpenSSL applications and sits at the authentication layer. DNSSEC can be used in lieu of of X.509 certificates: Phreebird's Phreeload tool basically provides authentication without certificates, using DNSSEC instead. "At present, it's surprisingly difficult and expensive to validate key material via X509 and CAs [certificate authorities]. I'm demonstrating how to make it easy and inexpensive to validate the same material using DNSSEC," Kaminsky says.

Kaminsky is also working on a Phreebird tool that lets email systems use DNSSEC for authenticating correspondents. "When my mom receives an email from the bank, she should know it's from the bank," he says.

Suresh Krishnaswamy, a research scientist at SPARTA who spoke at OWASP DC today about validating applications with DNSSEC, says DNSSEC wasn't meant to replace X.509. "There are ways they can coexist," he says.

Meanwhile, Kaminsky is urging fellow researchers to hack at Phreebird to look for vulnerabilities. He's hoping to get up-front input on any major vulnerabilities.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

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
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-5316
Published: 2014-09-21
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Dotclear before 2.6.4 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted page.

CVE-2014-5320
Published: 2014-09-21
The Bump application for Android does not properly handle implicit intents, which allows attackers to obtain sensitive owner-name information via a crafted application.

CVE-2014-5321
Published: 2014-09-21
FileMaker Pro before 13 and Pro Advanced before 13 does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate. NOTE: this vulnerability exists because of an incorrect fix for CVE-2013-2319...

CVE-2014-5322
Published: 2014-09-21
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Instant Web Publish function in FileMaker Pro before 13 and Pro Advanced before 13 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors. NOTE: this vulnerability exists because of an incorrect fix for CVE-2013-3640.

CVE-2014-6602
Published: 2014-09-21
Microsoft Asha OS on the Microsoft Mobile Nokia Asha 501 phone 14.0.4 allows physically proximate attackers to bypass the lock-screen protection mechanism, and read or modify contact information or dial arbitrary telephone numbers, by tapping the SOS Option and then tapping the Green Call Option.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio