After the Heartbleed bug that exposed half of the Internet vulnerable to hackers thereby marking as one of the largest Internet vulnerability in recent history, the critical flaw in the implementation of the DNS protocol could also represent a serious menace to the Internet security.
A Serious security vulnerability has been discovered in the algorithms of DNS software – BIND by the two Israeli students 'Roee Hay' and 'Jonathan Kalechstein', who are working under a project out at the Laboratory of Computer Communication & Networking in the Faculty of Computer Science at the Technion, which was led by Dr. Gabi Nakibly from Rafael (Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.).
Although, Technion students have not provided any detail explanation about the vulnerability, but indicated that by exploiting the DNS protocol flaw an attacker could redirect the users who are trying to visit a legitimate website to a fake and bogus website which the attacker controls. The fake website could reflect the same name and look completely identical to the original one.
VULNERABILITY IN DNS PROTOCOL
The students have found a way to compel DNS servers to connect with a specific server controlled by the attacker that could respond with a false IP address. “This type of cyber attack gives hackers an advantage, by causing computers to ‘talk’ with network stations that they alone control without being able to detect the occurrence of the fraud,” explains Dr. Gabi Nakibly.
The Domain Name System (DNS) is an essential component of the functionality of the Internet and the most common internet protocol which is responsible for navigating between global servers based on website addresses. It translates easily memorized domain names to the numerical IP addresses needed for the purpose of locating computer services and devices worldwide.
“The DNS protocol has been around for several years and has been investigated by researchers from all over the world. We knew in advance that the chances of finding a loophole in the software would be very small, but we like challenges,” Roee Hay stated.
Since DNS is the leading protocol that is responsible to take users to the site they wanted to see, any weakness in its implementation could lead users to a bogus site controlled by the attackers or steal users’ credentials by a classic phishing schema.
PATCHED VERSION COMING SOON
Fortunately the weakness discovered in the protocol is the result of a research conducted by the Students at Technion and till now security experts haven’t noticed any such attacks exploiting the flaw. But, the impact of the vulnerability could be more terrific if exploited by the cyber criminals.
“We were very surprised to find a loophole in the protocol,” said Kalechstein. “We reported it to the authorities responsible for its implementation, they responded that they were unaware of this problem, and added that they will replace the algorithms in the next software version release.”
The discovery of the critical flaw has been reported to the authorities responsible for its implementation and they responded by saying that they were totally unaware of this loophole and that the algorithms will be replaced in the next software version release.