DNS pioneer Paul Vixie's DNS security firm has modernized its Domain Name Service intelligence platform to simplify searches for malicious domains with a new application programming interface for the 10-year-old platform.
Vixie, co-founder and CEO of Farsight Security, describes the new DNSDB 2.0 service as a fresh foundation for "cool new stuff" for the platform. "In a sense, we lifted the house up and put a different foundation under it so we could add on a third story. That third story, in my opinion, is the real meat," he says.
Organizations use the tool to unearth previously unknown DNS threats, such as lookalike or disparaging domains that leverage or threaten the reputation of a legitimate domain, and domains used for phishing, ransomware, botnets, and other nefarious activity.
DNSDB 2.0 now offers a feature called Flexible Search that eliminates the previous requirement of having to have some knowledge of the malicious domain name you were searching. Queries had to be exact matches, or wild-card matches such as *.example.com or example.* The original version "is very good at providing highly accurate answers to specific questions. If you know what you're looking for, we probably have it and what we're telling you is scientific, quality data," Vixie says.
But often you don't know exactly what domain information you need to know for search, he says. The updated version lets you ask or guess more in queries as well as search for domains created by a domain-generating algorithm (DGA), a technique often used by cybercriminals to set up domains on the fly in order to remain under the radar.
In one example provided by Farsight, a drug crime investigator could search more simply for domains that include oxycon, perco, or hydroco, for instance. DNSDB 2.0 uses both regular expression and so-called "globbing" wild-card-style search functions.
The new version is available to DNSDB API users, and the Flexible Search feature will be generally available via subscription on Oct. 20, 2020.