DNS Spoofing - Prevention and Mitigation

Prevention and Mitigation

Many cache poisoning attacks can be prevented on DNS servers by being less trusting of the information passed to them by other DNS servers, and ignoring any DNS records passed back which are not directly relevant to the query. For example, versions of BIND 9.5.0-P1 and above perform these checks. As stated above, source port randomization for DNS requests, combined with the use of cryptographically-secure random numbers for selecting both the source port and the 16-bit cryptographic nonce, can greatly reduce the probability of successful DNS race attacks.

However routers, firewalls, proxies, and other gateway devices that perform network address translation (NAT), or more specifically, port address translation (PAT), often rewrite source ports in order to track connection state. When modifying source ports, PAT devices typically remove source port randomness implemented by nameservers and stub resolvers.

Secure DNS (DNSSEC) uses cryptographic electronic signatures signed with a trusted public key certificate to determine the authenticity of data. DNSSEC can counter cache poisoning attacks, but as of 2008 was not yet widely deployed. In 2010 DNSSEC was implemented in the Internet root zone servers.Although, some security experts claim with DNSSEC itself, without application-level cryptography, the attacker still can provide fake data.

This kind of attack may also be mitigated at the transport layer or application layer by performing end-to-end validation once a connection is established. A common example of this is the use of Transport Layer Security and digital signatures. For example, by using HTTPS (the secure version of HTTP), users may check whether the server's digital certificate is valid and belongs to a website's expected owner. Similarly, the secure shell remote login program checks digital certificates at endpoints (if known) before proceeding with the session. For applications that download updates automatically, the application can embed a copy of the signing certificate locally and validate the signature stored in the software update against the embedded certificate.

Intelligent Anycast Cache Appliancees from Dell and TCPWave have watchdogs, which ensure that the DNS processes do not get a cache poison by predefining the roots in the watchdogs. Source port randomization via BIND backed up by a non-BIND DNS server software with intelligence blended into the BGP routing protocol mitigates the DNS Anycast cache poisoning attacks from malicious users.

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