Home / Industry

Digging Deep Into DNS Data Discloses Damaging Domains

A Terabyte stream of anonymized DNS data collected every day from around the world reveals lots of interesting things. Nominum researchers have developed algorithms to sort through trillions of transactions and find what is usually a tiny fraction that aren't legitimate. Some are queries for controlling malware, some are to send spam, and most recently lots more queries are for DDoS.

Anatomy of a DNS-Based DDoS Attack – Is your network flooded by DDoS Amplification Attacks?A recent trend we're seeing is attackers sending carefully crafted queries targeting a small set of domains each day. By carefully changing subdomain labels they can force resolvers and authoritative servers to do more work. Traffic for the target domains goes from modest to spikes to hundreds of millions of queries per day over a couple of days. Just like DNS amplification these attacks are also designed to use open DNS proxies in home gateways, an issue we have covered extensively. There are still more than 20 million of them across the Internet, and amazingly data shows new ones appearing in some networks.

Initially the domains used for these attacks were for lightly trafficked gaming sites in China. Most are modest ventures, so their authoritative servers are easily overwhelmed. This effectively took the sites offline. More popular sites (Alexa 1000, including some in the Top Ten) are also attacked. A couple of popular pro-democracy news sites have been taken down.

Remediation tactics have to change when popular web sites are involved. Even though the overwhelming majority of queries are malicious it is not acceptable to block good traffic. Coarse grained filters that block all the traffic for a domain just won't work. Too much collateral damage. A robust policy framework, dynamic threat lists to block malicious traffic, and whitelists to protect good traffic are all needed.

After months of watching this activity one thing that's unclear is motive. Who has gained by creating massive amounts of DNS traffic to take down what have mostly been small web sites? What generates concern is what's next? Is someone methodically assessing the DNS infrastructure in preparation for a much larger scale attack? Given the presence of open DNS proxies scaling attacks is simple. Changing target domains to more popular web destinations is trivial. So what's next? Probably prudent to prioritize protection. Learn more

Nominum

About Nominum – Nominum is the innovation leader in DNS software and Internet Activity Applications. The company's Vantio™ CacheServe software powers the Internet for the world's largest CSPs in 40 countries. Vantio™ ThreatAvert software arms CSP's with the power to stop the spread of inside threats such as botnets and DNS-based DDoS amplification attacks that could impact network availability and reputation. Nominum's N2 applications enable CSP's marketing and customer care teams to leverage subscribers' Internet Activity to better engage, build brand loyalty, improve marketing ROI, and open up new business models. Nominum is a global organization headquartered in Redwood City, CA. Learn More

Related topics: Cybersecurity, DDoS, DNS, Malware

 
   

Don't miss a thing – get the Weekly Wrap delivered to your inbox.

Related Blogs

Related News

Explore Topics

Dig Deeper

Mobile Internet

Sponsored by Afilias Mobile & Web Services

DNS Security

Sponsored by Afilias

Cybersecurity

Sponsored by Verisign

IP Addressing

Sponsored by Avenue4 LLC

Promoted Posts

Buying or Selling IPv4 Addresses?

ACCELR/8 is a transformative IPv4 market solution developed by industry veterans Marc Lindsey and Janine Goodman that enables organizations buying or selling blocks as small as /20s to keep pace with the evolving demands of the market by applying processes that have delivered value for many of the largest market participants. more»

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Verisign Named to the Online Trust Alliance's 2017 Audit and Honor Roll

Attacks Decrease by 23 Precent in 1st Quarter While Peak Attack Sizes Increase: DDoS Trends Report

Leading Internet Associations Strengthen Cooperation

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 329.3 Million, 2.3 Million Growth in Last Quarter of 2016

Verisign Releases Q4 2016 DDoS Trends Report: 167% Increase in Average Peak Attack from 2015 to 2016

Neustar to be Acquired by Private Investment Group Led by Golden Gate Capital

Verisign Q3 2016 DDoS Trends Report: User Datagram Protocol (UDP) Flood Attacks Continue to Dominate

2016 U.S. Election: An Internet Forecast

Government Guidance for Email Authentication Has Arrived in USA and UK

ValiMail Raises $12M for Its Email Authentication Service

Don't Gamble With Your DNS

Defending Against Layer 7 DDoS Attacks

Understanding the Risks of the Dark Web

New TLD? Make Sure It's Secure

Verisign Releases Q2 2016 DDoS Trends Report - Layer 7 DDoS Attacks a Growing Trend

How Savvy DDoS Attackers Are Using DNSSEC Against Us

Radix Adds Dyn as a DNS Service Provider

Facilitating a Trusted Web Space for Financial Service Professionals

MarkMonitor Partners with CYREN to Deepen Visibility into Global Phishing Attacks

Verisign Named to the Online Trust Alliance's 2016 Honor Roll