By Robert McMillan
APRIL 26, 2006
IDG NEWS SERVICE
A number of flaws in the software that is used to administer the
Internet's Domain Name System have been discovered by researchers at
Finland's University of Oulu.
The vulnerabilities could be exploited to "cause a variety of
outcomes," including crashing the DNS server or possibly providing
attackers with a way to run unauthorized software, according to an
advisory, posted today by the U.K.'s National Infrastructure Security
Oulu researchers have created a DNS test suite that can be used to
test for these vulnerabilities, and a number of DNS software
providers, including Juniper Networks Inc. and the Internet Software
Consortium, have confirmed that some of their products are vulnerable.
The bug found in the Internet Software Consortium's BIND (Berkeley
Internet Name Domain) software is "not considered high-risk," the
researchers said. Hitachi Ltd. and Wind River Systems Inc. have said
that their products are not affected.
Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc. are
testing their products and could not immediately say whether customers
would be affected.
Collectively the world's DNS servers manage the Internet's system for
converting easy-to-remember Web addresses, like Google.com, into the
unique IP addresses that are used by machines.
These servers have come under increasing scrutiny because recent
attacks have shown how the DNS system could potentially be compromised
to bring down a large number of Web sites.
Last month, VeriSign Inc. revealed that unknown attackers had used
compromised computers and DNS servers to launch a denial-of-service
attack against about 1,500 organizations.
Shortly after that attack was publicized, hackers attacked DNS servers
at Network Solutions Inc., and Joker.com, a domain-name registrar
based in Germany. Both of these events ended up disrupting service to
More information, including a list of vendor comments on these latest
vulnerabilities can be found on the U.K. National Infrastructure
Security Co-ordination Centre site .
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