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Attacks/Breaches

Kaminsky to Give More Info on Super-Secret DNS Flaw

Webinar on Thursday sets stage for comment on Halvar Flake's 'guess' on Web-wide vulnerability

Famed reverse-engineering expert Halvar Flake has taken an educated guess about the super-secret, Web-wide security vulnerability that researcher Dan Kaminsky reported earlier this month. (See Vendors Issue Massive Simultaneous Patch for Common Internet Flaw.)

In his blog yesterday, Halvar Flake -- whose real identity is Thomas Dullien, CEO and head of research for German security firm Zynamics -- offered a hypothesis on the Domain Name Server flaw, which spurred an unprecedented multivendor patch.

In just a few paragraphs, Flake suggests a method of spoofing that could allow an attacker to "poison" DNS lookups. Several experts have said they believe the guess is right, and Kaminsky has been quoted as saying that Flake is "close."

Kaminsky has stated that he will not reveal details on the flaw until his Black Hat conference presentation in Las Vegas on Aug. 6. However, Kaminsky will be conducting a preview webinar about the presentation on Thursday, and he will now almost certainly be forced to respond to Flake's speculation, which has spread like wildfire across the Internet.

Kaminsky had asked researchers not to speculate about the vulnerability, citing the need for vendors and users to get their patches into place. But Flake broke the silence yesterday, suggesting that a sufficiently motivated attacker would likely have reverse engineered the problem within about four days.

"We are not buying anybody time," Flake says in his blog. "We are buying people a warm and fuzzy feeling."

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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