Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Poisoned web poses risk to security

Filed under

COMPUTER criminals are coming up with ever stealthier ways to make money. Rather than attack PCs or email inboxes, their latest trick is to subvert the very infrastructure of the internet, the domain name system (DNS) that routes all net traffic.

In doing so, they redirect internet users to bogus websites, where visitors could have their passwords and credit details stolen, be forced to download malicious software, or be directed to links to pay-per-click adverts.

This kind of attack is called DNS cache poisoning or polluting. It was first done by pranksters in the early years of the internet, but it had limited impact and security patches eliminated the problem.

Now new loopholes have opened and poisoning appears to be back. This time experts can't be sure how much damage it might do. "We see the combination of DNS poisoning with other hostile actions as having a serious impact," says Swa Frantzen, a Belgium-based volunteer member of the SANS Internet Storm Center. "I think it's going to slowly die out," says Joe Stewart of net security company Lurhq in Chicago.

Internet poisoning returned to the fore in early March, when DNS software provided by antivirus firm Symantec was found to have a bug that made poisoning possible. Weeks later, the SANS centre uncovered a second spate of poisonings, but this time it was due to a security loophole.

Companies can protect themselves by switching to BIND 9, which will not accept or pass on poisoned information. But Gerhard Eschelbeck of the internet security company Qualys in Redwood Shores, California, says the problem may not be over. "I would not rule anything out. There are other creative ways that attackers can find to poison the DNS," he says. And poisoning is a much bigger deal than it was in the early days, because hackers can now use the technique to introduce "malware" onto servers and PCs, says Frantzen.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

EU-Fossa project submits results of code audits

The European Commission’s ‘EU Free and Open Source Software Auditing’ project (EU-Fossa) has sent its code review results to the developers of Apache HTTP server target and KeePass. The audit results are not yet made public, however, no critical vulnerabilities were found. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Docker: Making the Internet Programmable
    Docker, and containers in general, are hot technologies that have been getting quite a bit of attention over the past few years. Even Solomon Hykes, Founder, CTO, and Chief Product Officer at Docker started his keynote with the assumption that people attending LinuxCon Europe know that Docker does containers, so instead of focusing on what Docker does, Hykes used his time to talk about Docker’s purpose saying, “It really boils down to one small sentence. We're trying to make the Internet programmable.” Hykes described this idea of making the Internet programmable with three key points. First, they are focused on building “tools of mass innovation” designed to allow people to create and innovate on a very large scale. Second, applications and cloud services are allowing the idea of the Internet as a programmable platform to be realized, and they want to make this accessible to more people. Third, they are accomplishing all of this by building the Docker stack with open standards, open infrastructure, and a development platform with commercial products on top of the stack.
  • How to benchmark your Linux system
    The Software Center list will also include individual tests. These can be fine to use, but they can be tedious to open and configure manually. Keep your eye out for an entry called Phoronix Test Suite, or PTS for short. The Phoronix Test Suite is a powerful program that can run a single test, or an entire battery. PTS offers some built-in suites (collection of tests), or you can design your own suite. When tests are completed, you can choose to upload the test results to, where other users can see your results and even run the exact same tests on their PC.
  • Wunderlist Electron App for Linux
    Missing Wunderlist on Linux? You don’t need to thanks to Wunderlistux, an Electron-based desktop app. It doesn’t claim to be anything more than a wrapper around the official Wunderlist web app (which, yes, you could just open in a new browser tab).
  • Enter the Wasteland: Mad Max now available for Mac and Linux
  • What a lovely day! Mad Max releases for Mac and Linux
  • Mad Max Comes to Linux and Mac
  • GNOME at Linux Install Fest
    It’s an event organized in order to help first year students install a Linux distro on their laptops (here at our uni, we work almost entirely on Linux, so we need to help those that have never used it and set up their distros

today's howtos

Red Hat News