Cyberattack

Cyberattack / Featured Blogs

Survey Results Expose Widespread DNS Vulnerabilities

The Measurement Factory and Infoblox have announced results of a survey of more than 1.3 million Internet-connected, authoritative domain name system (DNS) servers around the globe. The results of the survey indicate that as many as 84 percent of Internet name servers could be vulnerable to pharming attacks, and that many exhibit other security and deployment-related vulnerabilities. The surveys consisted of several queries directed at each of a large set of external DNS servers to estimate the number of systems deployed today and determine specific configuration details. more

Should the Government Prepare a Preemptive Cyber-Attack?

The House Committee on Science recently held a hearing to "examine the extent of U.S. vulnerability to cyber attacks on critical infrastructure such as utility systems, and what the federal government and private sector are doing, and should be doing, to prevent and prepare for such attacks." Specific issues addressed at the hearing included whether: 1) the U.S. is able to detect, respond to, and recover from cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure; and 2) is there a clear line of responsibility within the federal government to deal with cybersecurity... more

Time to Play Offense

The United States is under cyber-attack. An article in Time magazine titled "The Invasion of the Chinese Cyberspies" discusses a computer-network security official for Sandia National Laboratories who had been "tirelessly pursuing a group of suspected Chinese cyberspies all over the world." The article notes that the cyberespionage ring, known to US investigators as Titan Rain, has been "penetrating secure computer networks at the country's most sensitive military bases, defense contractors and aerospace companies." more

So You Think You’re Safe from DNS Cache Poisoning?

Everyone is probably well aware of the Kashpureff-style DNS cache- poisoning exploit (I'll call this "classic cache poisoning"). For reference, see the original US-CERT advisory prompted by this exploit. Vendors patched their code to appropriately scrub (validate) responses so that caches could not be poisoned. For the next 7-8 years, we didn't hear much about cache poisoning. However, there was still a vulnerability lurking in the code, directly related to cache poisoning. ...On April 7, 2005, the SANS ISC (not to be confused with Internet Systems Consortium) posted an update detailing how Microsoft Windows DNS servers were still being poisoned, even though the "Secure cache against pollution" option was set. The SANS ISC found that Windows DNS servers using BIND4 and BIND8 servers as forwarders were being poisoned. But how could this be? more

Mozilla Implements TLD Whitelist for Firefox in Response to IDN Homographs Spoofing

Mozilla Foundation has announced changes to Firefox concerning Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) to deal with homograph spoofing attacks. According to the organization, "Mozilla Foundation products now only display IDNs in a whitelist of TLDs, which have policies stating what characters are permitted, and procedures for making sure that no homographic domains are registered to two different entities." Following is a statement explaining the current status of the Mozilla changes to Firefox regarding IDN... more

New Study Revealing Behind the Scenes of Phishing Attacks

The following is an overview of the recent Honeynet Project and Research Alliance study called 'Know your Enemy:Phishing' aimed at discovering practical information on the practice of phishing. This study focuses on real world incidents based on data captured and analyzed from the UK and German Honeynet Project revealing how attackers build and use their infrastructure for Phishing based attacks. "This data has helped us to understand how phishers typically behave and some of the methods they employ to lure and trick their victims. We have learned that phishing attacks can occur very rapidly, with only limited elapsed time between the initial system intrusion and a phishing web site going online..." more

Port 25 Blocking, or Fix SMTP and Leave Port 25 Alone for the Sake of Spam?

Larry Seltzer wrote an interesting article for eWeek, on port 25 blocking, the reasons why it was being advocated, and how it would stop spam. This quoted an excellent paper by Joe St.Sauver, that raised several technically valid and true corollaries that have to be kept in mind when blocking port 25 -- "cough syrup for lung cancer" would be a key phrase... Now, George Ou has just posted an article on ZDNET that disagrees with Larry's article, makes several points that are commonly cited when criticizing port 25 blocking, but then puts forward the astonishing, and completely wrong, suggestion, that worldwide SPF records are going to be a cure all for this problem. Here is my reply to him... more

Protecting the Internet: Certified Attachments and Reverse Firewalls?

In many respects the internet is going to hell in a hand basket. Spam, phishing, DNS poisoning, DDoS attacks, viruses, worms, and the like make the net a sick place. It is bad enough that bad folks are doing this. But it is worse that just about every user computer on the net offers a nice fertile place for such ill behavior to be secretly planted and operated as a zombie under the control of a distant and unknown zombie farmer. ...Some of us are coming to the converse point of view that the net is being endangered by the masses of ill-protected machines operated by users. more

What is ‘Pharming’ and Should You Be Worried?

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! ...or is it? What is this thing called "pharming"? Put simply, it's redirection of web traffic, so that the server you think you're talking to actually belongs to a criminal. For example: you think you're talking to www.examplebank.com because it says so in the browser's address bar, but actually you're connected to www.mafia-R-us.ru. This can happen in three main ways: 1. DNS Hijack: a social engineering attack on the Internet infrastructure... more

CENTR Statement on IDN Homograph Attacks

Recently a proof of concept attack was announced on the Internet that demonstrated how a web address could be constructed that looked in some web browsers identical to that of a well known website. This technique could be used to trick a user into going to a website that they did not plan on visiting, and possibly provide sensitive information to a third party. As a result of this demonstration, there has been a number of voices calling for web browsers to disable or remove support for IDNs by default. ...CENTR, a group of many of the world's domain registries - representing over 98% of domain registrations worldwide - believes such strong reactions are heavily detrimental... more