A new flaw to the internet’s architecture has been discovered, that allows hackers to make DNS attacks. As the specialists in matters of internet security revealed, the bug that was recently found, targets systems that turn the URLs to IP addresses. Thus, the hackers who find that, can take advantage of the address and make a denial of service attack to websites with the potential to put them out of order.
The British network BBC on one of its news articles reports that the normal internet users are not threatened by those kind of attacks.
The name of the DNS software that is used on majority of the internet servers around the world, is known as Bind. And the recently identified bug allows the attackers to crash the software, rendering the DNS service offline, and stopping URLs from working. The vulnerability affects a feature called TKEY, classified as expendable by security expert Robert Graham. The BIND system cannot handle malformed packets in order of the function. These packages can be created easily and can be sent remotely to vulnerable servers as a kind of denial-of-service attack and knock them down. In other words, the bug that has been discovered, allows to the attackers intervene in the software, thus making the DNS service go off.
We can relate this exploit to the reason why the UK users weren’t able to access AOL mail a couple of days before.
There has already been a fix for this certain bug, however most of the systems do not seem to have installed that update, which leaves vulnerable and open to attacks.
Internet Systems Consortium (ISC), a company that takes credits for the development of Bind, mentioned through a twit on Twitter that the vulnerability was “particularly critical” and “easily exploited”.
Daniel Cid, a networking expert at Sucuri has published a blog post on the vulnerability in which he explained that real exploits taking advantage of the flaw have already happened.
He told the BBC: “A few of our clients, in different industries, had their DNS servers crashed because of it.
“Based on our experience, server software, like Bind, Apache, OpenSSL and others, do not get patched as often as they should.”
Cybersecurity expert Brian Honan commented that a spike in exploits of the flaw was expected over the next few days.
However, he added that websites would often still be accessible via other routes and cached addresses on DNS servers around the world, even when certain key DNS servers have been made to crash.
“It’s not a doomsday scenario, it’s a question of making sure the DNS structure can continue to work while patches are rolled out,” he said.
The impact on general internet users is likely to be minimal, according to Mr Cid.
“Average internet users won’t feel much pain, besides a few sites and email servers down,” he said.
The story of how it was found remains unknown unfortunately, since it seems pretty interesting. Of course this is not the first bug on the internet that has been discovered. It is though the latest one. Stay tuned to find out whether hackers will figure out a way to bypass the update and answer with a more sophisticated attack.