Attacks/Breaches

8/30/2013
06:52 PM
Ehsan Foroughi
Ehsan Foroughi
Commentary
50%
50%

Thwart DNS Hijackers: 5 Tips

Domain name system attacks hit The New York Times and Twitter hard last month. Here are five ways to make your DNS records harder to hack and easier to recover if they're compromised.

The Syrian Electronic Army: 9 Things We Know
(click image for larger view)
The Syrian Electronic Army: 9 Things We Know
In light of the recent domain name system (DNS) hijacking attacks on The New York Times, Twitter and Huffington Post, it's important for CIOs to take a closer look at their DNS security strategy -- and to be able to respond quickly if their company is attacked.

DNS records are basically sets of instructions that help connect your website to the outside world. The following five practices make these records harder to hijack and easier to recover if they are compromised, thereby reducing the damage attackers can cause. When DNS records are hijacked, a company must be able to get them back as quickly as possible because once the malicious records hit the caching servers, it becomes much harder to undo the damage.

1. Use best practices for credentials that allow changes to be made to DNS records.

Your whole service is only as secure as the security of the password to your DNS registrant account. Ensure that access to accounts used to update DNS records is limited to as few people in your organization as possible. Make sure to use hard-to-guess passwords, and avoid reusing passwords at all costs.

[ Here's why you shouldn't buy Android apps from off-brand sites. Read Hack 99% Of Android Devices: Big Vulnerability. ]

2. Revisit the choice of DNS provider regularly as you grow.

Many companies, particularly start-ups, frequently choose DNS registrants and DNS service providers based on a combination of their pricing and the ease of setup and use. Sometimes that means the DNS provider doesn't have much information about the owner other than a username and password used to identify the account. In cases of social engineering attacks or compromised passwords, it might be hard to reclaim the domain.

As companies grow, they should revisit their choice of provider every few months to make sure that it's capable of handling the level of security the company needs. Popular and high-profile services might be targeted by hackers with agendas -- and not every provider is capable of handling the heat that comes with popularity.

3. Make use of SSL certificates.

DNS hijacking can effectively be used to perform man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. In a MITM attack, the attacker diverts the user to a malicious server he controls. The malicious server then sends the user's request to the original server and sends the server's response back to the user. This setup allows the attacker to steal the information being passed back and forth, inject malicious content into responses before sending them back to the user, or both.

This is one of the highest risks associated with DNS hijacking and can cause a lot of damage in the form of stolen credentials and injection of malicious content.

To arm yourself, enforce validation of SSL/TLS certificates and use certificate pinning in mobile apps and rich clients. Certificate validation means the attacker must get a certificate tied to the stolen domain before being able to carry out the MITM attack. Pinning certificates in mobile and rich clients will take this restriction even further by ensuring the attacker will need access to the pinned certificate's private keys before being able to carry out the attack. This will reduce the risk of a MITM attack, which means the DNS hijack will do much less prolonged damage.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Higher Education: 15 Books to Help Cybersecurity Pros Be Better
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  12/12/2018
Worst Password Blunders of 2018 Hit Organizations East and West
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  12/12/2018
2019 Attacker Playbook
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading,  12/14/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
10 Best Practices That Could Reshape Your IT Security Department
This Dark Reading Tech Digest, explores ten best practices that could reshape IT security departments.
Flash Poll
[Sponsored Content] The State of Encryption and How to Improve It
[Sponsored Content] The State of Encryption and How to Improve It
Encryption and access controls are considered to be the ultimate safeguards to ensure the security and confidentiality of data, which is why they're mandated in so many compliance and regulatory standards. While the cybersecurity market boasts a wide variety of encryption technologies, many data breaches reveal that sensitive and personal data has often been left unencrypted and, therefore, vulnerable.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-20201
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-18
There is a stack-based buffer over-read in the jsfNameFromString function of jsflash.c in Espruino 2V00, leading to a denial of service or possibly unspecified other impact via a crafted js file.
CVE-2018-20194
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-18
There is a stack-based buffer underflow in the third instance of the calculate_gain function in libfaad/sbr_hfadj.c in Freeware Advanced Audio Decoder 2 (FAAD2) 2.8.8. A crafted input will lead to a denial of service or possibly unspecified other impact because limiting the additional noise energy l...
CVE-2018-20195
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-18
A NULL pointer dereference was discovered in ic_predict of libfaad/ic_predict.c in Freeware Advanced Audio Decoder 2 (FAAD2) 2.8.8. The vulnerability causes a segmentation fault and application crash, which leads to denial of service.
CVE-2018-20196
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-18
There is a stack-based buffer overflow in the third instance of the calculate_gain function in libfaad/sbr_hfadj.c in Freeware Advanced Audio Decoder 2 (FAAD2) 2.8.8. A crafted input will lead to a denial of service or possibly unspecified other impact because the S_M array is mishandled.
CVE-2018-20197
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-18
There is a stack-based buffer underflow in the third instance of the calculate_gain function in libfaad/sbr_hfadj.c in Freeware Advanced Audio Decoder 2 (FAAD2) 2.8.8. A crafted input will lead to a denial of service or possibly unspecified other impact because limiting the additional noise energy l...