The Rise of a malicious resolution authority
Date: Tuesday May 13 2008, @08:34PM
Topic: Security

Jart writes "With an interest in Internet Security the recent research paper recently by David Dagon, Niels Provos, et al., suggests we take an acute interest in ICANN[:]

291,528 hosts on the Internet performing either incorrect or malicious DNS service. With DNS resolution behavior so trivially changed, numerous malware instances in the wild, we urge the security community to consider the corruption of the resolution path as an important problem. [See (]http://www.citi.umich.edu/u/provos/papers/ndss08_d ns.pdf[).]

If you connect this to what now is the "auto" generation and registration of new malware and rogues domains via certain registrars. [See (]http://hostexploit.com[).]

As an emerging problem must [this] be a top priority for ICANN? However, I have not seen any particular reference, perhaps I am missing this? Or rather all of us should be paying much more attention to the who, what, and actions of ICANN?"

[tbyfield adds: Indeed. Dagon, Provos, et al. state in the paper's abstract:

We study and document an important development in how attackers are using Internet resources: the creation of malicious DNS resolution paths. In this growing form of attack, victims are forced to use rogue DNS servers for all resolution. To document the rise of this "second secret authority" on the Internet, we studied instances of aberrant DNS resolution on a university campus. We found dozens of viruses that corrupt resolution paths, and noted that hundreds of URLs discovered per week performed drive-by alterations of host DNS settings. We used the rogue servers discovered in this analysis to document numerous live incidents on the university network. To measure this problem on the larger Internet, we generated DNS requests to most of IPv4, using a unique label query for each request. We found 17 million hosts responding, and further tracked the resolution path they used to reach our NS. Unable to find plausible harmless explanations for such a large number of open recursive hosts, we queried 600,000 of these open resolvers for "phishable" domains, such as banks and anti-virus companies. We found that 2.4% of this subsample would reply with incorrect answers, which extrapolates to 291,528 hosts on the Internet performing either incorrect or malicious DNS service. With DNS resolution behavior so trivially changed, numerous malware instances in the wild, and so many other hosts providing incorrect and misleading answers, we urge the security community to consider the corruption of the resolution path as an important problem.
If ICANN had taken a very different path than its post-9/11 "security theater"—which unfortunately involved Bruce Schneier, a strong advocate, if not coiner, of that phrase—they'd be in a better position to encourage responses to this kind of problem. But even if they'd done a stellar job, an unwieldy organization with a problematic relationship to consensus would never be able to keep pace with the systematic 'molecular' probing of network weaknesses. For an overview of how ICANN views its relationship to security—and what "security" entails—try this:
icann.org > [top menu bar] Site Index > "S" > Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC)
Compare Dagon, Provos, et al.:
We study and measure a growing threat against this service whereby individual infected computers are directed to use "rogue" DNS services instead of those provided by their network. This trend differs from traditional DNS attacks, such as poisoning, since it targets individual users instead of servers.
Not pretty.]

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Commentary on Loopholes
by Fergie on Tuesday May 13 2008, @10:10PM (#16987)
User #4118 Info | http://fergdawg.blogspot.com/
In this same vein, it is important to understand that the entire Domain Registry process is being exploited utterly and completely by criminals.

There is no question on this issue,

The latest, interesting commentary on this is provided by "RBN Exploit" -- a blog dedicated to ferreting out the Russian & Ukrainian criminals that are (among other things) exploiting the entire Internet ecosystem for illicit financial gain.

http://rbnexploit.blogspot.com/2008/05/rbn-partner s-official-sponsors-of-icann.html

Enjoy.

- ferg

[ Reply to This | Parent ]
The more things change
by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Wednesday May 14 2008, @10:16PM (#16988)
User #2810 Info
As it happens, Paul Twomey is the subject of a CircleID news [circleid.com] article today regarding internet security. The main threat recognized by ICANN since before its inception apparently remains Intellectual Property theft. He should get out more. -g
[ Reply to This | Parent ]




This article comes from ICANNWatch
http://www.icannwatch.org/

The URL for this story is:
http://www.icannwatch.org/article.pl?sid=08/05/14/053230