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Critical Security Patch - Did you miss this? Update your DNS servers immediately.

By Andrew Pollack on 07/14/2008 at 03:51 PM EDT

Several days ago a major announcement was made about a fundamental flaw in the DNS protocol -- one of the most important underlying bits of infrastructure that makes the internet possible. This is not a flaw in the implementation by any specific vendor. This is a fundamental flaw in the protocol itself so:

Nearly every single operating system and appliance that provides name service caching is susceptible

This Network World article has details, as does this CNET "D3F3NS3 1N D3PTH" feature. You'll find a lot about this if you do a search.

The announcement was made several days ago in time with a patch release by a very large number of vendors so that everyone could get updated quickly. The nature of the exploit is apparently such that the patches do not necessarily provide enough information to reverse engineer the exploit. As such, exploits of the security hole are so far not known to be taking place.

Dan Kaminsky from IOActive Inc. discovered the flaw and worked with vendors to get the patches in place before he releases all the details of the flaw. He plans to do that the week of August 2nd at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas.

Once the full details are out there, if you haven't patched your DNS server yet you're going to be in tough shape.


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re: Critical Security Patch - Did you miss this? Update your DNS servers immediately.By Philip Storry on 07/14/2008 at 05:10 PM EDT
"This is not a flaw in the implementation by any specific vendor. This is a
fundamental flaw in the protocol itself..."

As I understand it, that's not so. The djbdns server software hasn't needed to
be patched, because its implementation isn't vulnerable.

Everything I've read about it indicates that this *is* an implementation issue
with the protocol - the protocol doesn't specify security measures that djbdns
uses, and (pretty much) only djbdns uses. Everyone else is now having to
implement those measures.

However, the delay in releasing details seems to have allowed people to rather
confuse the issue.
Well, we seem to read different things. By Andrew Pollack on 07/15/2008 at 12:19 PM EDT
Take a look at this link (shortened) http://bit.ly/3ZNjmM for more information.

This looks like a network level UDP port attack of some kind. It will be
interesting to see what it ends up being.


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