Some of internet's largest firms involved in the internet have moved
quickly to fix what is described as a fundamental flaw within the DNS.
The flaw, discovered by internet security expert Dan Kaminsky earlier this year, was hurriedly addressed by Microsoft and Cisco, among others. When the flaw was discovered by Kaminsky, he gathered the affected parties together to discuss the problem and work out a fix rather than publicise it to give hackers a chance to exploit it. The severity of the flaw, he says, "is shown by the number of people who've gotten onboard with this patch."
Virtually every domain name server that resolves IP addresses on the
Internet is vulnerable to the flaw and needs to be patched against it
as quickly as possible to avoid potentially serious problems, such as
companies having all of their network traffic rerouted to malicious Web
sites or having employee emails captured by attackers, according to
Kaminsky reported Computerworld.
The flaw works, reports IDG, "by sending certain types of queries to DNS servers, the attacker could then redirect victims away from a legitimate website to a malicious website without the victim realising it. This type of attack, known as DNS cache poisoning, doesn't affect only the Web. It could be used to redirect all Internet traffic to the hacker's servers." The bug could be exploited "like a phishing attack without sending you e-mail," said Wolfgang Kandek, chief technical officer with security company Qualys.
However the flaw may have been discovered as much as three years ago by a student reports The Register. "Three years ago Ian Green, then studying for his GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC), submitted a paper that details the same DNS spoofing vulnerability, the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre notes."
A list of media reports for more indformation is below:
Computer hackers: Internet flaw sparks biggest security fix in web history
The glitch explained
Tech giants unite to thwart web hijack risk
Patch domain name servers now, says DNS inventor
An Astonishing Collaboration by Dan Kaminsky
Massive, coordinated DNS patch released
DNS hole prompts synchronized patching effort by IT vendors
Leading vendors team up to squash DNS bug [IDG]
Shocker DNS spoofing vuln discovered three years ago by a student