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Reading Room

DNS Issues

Featuring 16 Papers as of April 3, 2014


  • Implementation and use of DNS RPZ in malware and phishing defence by Alex Lomas - April 3, 2014 

    Many organisations, large and small, have a need for outbound content filtering.

  • Detecting DNS Tunneling Masters
    by Greg Farnham - March 19, 2013 

    Web browsing and email use the important protocol, the Domain Name System (DNS), which allows applications to function using names, such as example.com, instead of hard-to-remember IP addresses.

  • DNS Sinkhole by Guy Bruneau - November 9, 2010 

    Why use a DNS sinkhole? The Domain Name Service is a core service used to access the Internet, so control of DNS equates to at least partial control of Internet traffic. By intercepting outbound DNS requests attempting to access known malicious domains, such as botnets, spyware, and fake antivirus, an organization can control the response and prevent organization computers from connecting to these domains. This activity prevents unwanted communications and is capable of mitigating known and unknown threats hosted on known malicious or unwanted domains.

  • Visualizing the Hosting Patterns of Modern Cybercriminals by Andrew Hunt - September 21, 2010 

    The Domain Name Service (DNS) is critically important to translating human readable domain names into Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Take Google, for example. Without DNS, users would find it extremely difficult to connect to one of the hundreds of IP addresses providing Google's services. Resolving 'google.com' via DNS provides the user almost instantaneous access to Google content from the closest four of its thousands of servers. This speed of association and resiliency has been the backbone of the Internet's success. This holds true for those serving legitimate content and services, and for those meaning to do harm. This paper will demonstrate how historical DNS resolution data can be used to identify patterns of malicious domain registrations. It will also show how to identify weak points, assisting security analysts in the defense of their networks.

  • CURRENT ISSUES IN DNS Masters
    by Craig Wright - December 30, 2008 

    This paper will look at the issues facing DNS as well as conduct an analysis of the existing DNS infrastructure to assess its state and weaknesses.

  • DNS Spoofing by The Man In The Middle by Ian Green - May 5, 2005 

    This paper is based on a vulnerability in the Windows XP DNS resolver. While other parties have recently published this vulnerability, the vulnerability was independently discovered during research for this paper.

  • The Evolving Threats to the Availability and Security of the Domain Name Service by John Holmblad - December 13, 2003 

    This paper provides an overview of the role of the Domain Name Server (DNS) system among the essential components that comprise the Internet and the World Wide Web as we know it today, examines the security related aspects of its operation, along with some of the key exploits that have been mounted in the last several years against the system and the services that it provides.

  • Installation of a Red Hat 9.0 server with DNS services, emphasising security by Mark Chandler - September 8, 2003 

    This paper seeks to provide an edited account of the work done by the author to create a minimal-install, primary DNS server based on a Linux platform including some discussion as to why certain decisions were made and the reasons for the method used to build the system.

  • Security Issues with DNS by Florent Carli - June 2, 2003 

    This document first reviews some basics about how DNS works, then goes into explaining the different ways a hacker can attack the DNS protocol implementation to use it to his own advantage.

  • DNS, DNSSEC and the Future by David Hinshelwood - May 30, 2003 

    The aim is to mitigate the risks of mis-configuration and attack so down time is kept to a minimum or compensated for by reducing the single point of failure.

  • How Secure are the Root DNS Servers? by Susan Baranowski - May 6, 2003 

    This paper addresses the current state of the root name server system and its operation.

  • Why is securing DNS zone transfer necessary ? by Steve Lau - March 31, 2003 

    This paper will focus on the reason for securing DNS zone transfers between DNS Name Servers, concentrating on the use of allow-transfer statement in Berkley Internet Name Domain (BIND) DNS to accomplish the goal of preventing DNS poisoning or spoofing.

  • Defense in Depth for DNS by Cheng Teoh - February 13, 2003 

    This paper will focus on security for the most widely used DNS server on the Internet, namely the Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND).

  • Current Issues in DNS Security: ICANN's November 2001 Annual Meeting by James Sweetman - November 28, 2001 

    After a brief, policy-level introduction to DNS and ICANN, this paper summarizes the results of a 4-day meeting held during November 2001, on DNS security issues addressing: existing DNS security measures, security risks in the DNS and number management, and the responses by ICANN and the community.

  • DNS Security Considerations and the Alternatives to BIND by Lim Chor - October 2, 2001 

    This paper discusses important considerations regarding DNS Security.

  • The Achilles Heal of DNS by Christopher Irving - August 2, 2001 

    This paper will attempt to illustrate consequences of protocols associated with Routing and DNS attacks which either completely lacks or has very poor methods of authentication.

Most of the computer security white papers in the Reading Room have been written by students seeking GIAC certification to fulfill part of their certification requirements and are provided by SANS as a resource to benefit the security community at large. SANS attempts to ensure the accuracy of information, but papers are published "as is". Errors or inconsistencies may exist or may be introduced over time as material becomes dated. If you suspect a serious error, please contact webmaster@sans.org.

All papers are copyrighted. No re-posting or distribution of papers is permitted.

Masters - This paper was created by a SANS Technology Institute student as part of their Master's curriculum.