DNS server attacks begin using BIND software flaw

Analysts predicted attackers would quickly figure out how to take advantage of the flaw

Attackers have started exploiting a flaw in the most widely used software for the DNS (Domain Name System), which translates domain names into IP addresses.

Last week, a patch was issued for the denial-of-service flaw, which affects all versions of BIND 9, open-source software originally developed by the University of California at Berkeley in the 1980s.

The flaw can be exploited with a single packet, crashing both authoritative and recursive DNS servers. Security analysts predicted that attackers would quickly figure out how to exploit the flaw, which has now happened.

"We can confirm that the attacks have begun," wrote Daniel Cid, CTO and founder of the security company Sucuri. "DNS is one of the most critical parts of the Internet infrastructure, so having your DNS go down, it also means your email, HTTP and all other services will be unavailable."

There's no workaround for the flaw, so administrators need to patch to stop attacks. Major Linux distributions including Red Hat, CentOS and Ubuntu have issued patches, but it is still up to admins to apply it and restart their BIND servers.

A successful attack will leave a trace in server logs, Cid wrote. The command "ANY TKEY" should appear as long as admins have querylog enabled.

The patch and advisory from the Internet Systems Consortium is available here.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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Tags securitySucuriExploits / vulnerabilitiesUniversity of California at Berkeley

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