Details of DNS Flaw Leaked

Details of DNS Flaw Leaked; Exploit Expected by End of Today By Kim Zetter July 22, 2008

Despite Dan Kaminsky's efforts to keep a lid on the details of the critical DNS vulnerability he found, someone at the security firm Matasano leaked the information on its blog yesterday, then quickly pulled the post down. But not before others had grabbed the information and reposted it elsewhere, leading Kaminsky to post an urgent 0-day message on his blog reading, "Patch. Today. Now. Yes, stay late."

Hackers are furiously working on an exploit to attack the vulnerability. HD Moore, creator of the Metasploit tool, says one should be available by the end of the day.

Earlier this month, Kaminsky, a penetration tester with IOActive, went public with information about a serious and fundamental security vulnerability in the Domain Name System that would allow attackers to easily impersonate any website -- banking sites, Google, Gmail and other web mail websites -- to attack unsuspecting users.

Kaminsky announced the vulnerability after working quietly for months with a number of vendors that make DNS software to create a fix for the flaw and patch their software. On July 8, Kaminsky held a press conference announcing a massive multivendor patch among those vendors, and urged everyone who owns a DNS server to update their software.

But Kaminsky broke one of the fundamental rules of disclosure in announcing the bug. He failed to provide details about the flaw so system administrators could understand what it was and determine if it was serious enough to warrant an upgrade to their systems.

Kaminsky promised to reveal those details next month in a presentation he plans to give at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. But he said he wanted to give administrators a 30-day head start to get their systems patched before he provided details that could allow hackers to create an exploit to attack the systems.

Kaminsky asked researchers not to speculate about the bug details in the meantime and to trust that it was a serious issue. Some did as he asked. But many security researchers took his coyness as a challenge to uncover the details Kaminsky was holding back.


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Monty Solomon
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