Cyberattack

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Most Abusive Domain Registrations are Preventable

As the WHOIS debate rages and the Top-Level Domain (TLD) space prepares to scale up the problem of rogue domain registration persists. These are set to be topics of discussion in Costa Rica. While the ICANN contract requires verification, in practice this has been dismissed as impossible. However, in reviewing nearly one million spammed domain registrations from 2011 KnujOn has found upwards of 90% of the purely abusive registrations could have been blocked. more

The Case Against DNSSEC

I was talking to my good friend Verner Entwhistle the other day when he suddenly turned to me and said "I don't think we need DNSSEC". Sharp intake of breath. Transpired after a long and involved discussion his case boiled down to four points: 1. SSL provides known and trusted security, DNSSEC is superfluous, 2. DNSSEC is complex and potentially prone to errors, 3. DNSSEC makes DoS attacks worse, 4. DNSSEC does not solve the last mile problem. Let's take them one at a time... more

Security by Obscurity?

Ah yes, 'Security by obscurity': "Many people believe that 'security through obscurity' is flawed because... secrets are hard to keep." I'm glad the guys guarding the A Root Servers are up on the latest security trends. Of course, you could hide the A Root Servers at the heart of the Minotaur's maze, but they're still going to be "right over there" in cyberspace, at 198.41.0.29 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

ICANN Fails Consumers (Again)

In its bid to be free of U.S. government oversight ICANN is leaning on the global multistakeholder community as proof positive that its policy-making comes from the ground up. ICANN's recent response to three U.S. senators invokes the input of "end users from all over the world" as a way of explaining how the organization is driven. Regardless of the invocation of the end user (and it must be instinct) ICANN cannot seem to help reaching back and slapping that end user across the face. more

Blacklists Down from Fear of DDoS

Yet another DNS blacklist has been taken down out of fear of the DDoS attacks that took down Osirusoft, Monkeys.com, and the OpenRBL. Blackholes.compu.net suffered a Joe-Job (A Joe-Job is essentially spam designed to look like it's coming from someone else.) earlier this week. Apparently the Joe-Jobing was enough to convince some extremely ignorant mail administrators that Compu.net is spamming and blocked mail from compu.net. Compu.net has also seen the effects of DDoS attacks on other DNS blacklist maintainers. They've decided that the risk to their actual business is too great and they are pulling the plug on their DNS blacklist before they come under the gun by spammers. more

On the Time Value of Security Features in DNS

There are some real problems in DNS, related to the general absence of Source Address Validation (SAV) on many networks connected to the Internet. The core of the Internet is aware of destinations but blind to sources. If an attacker on ISP A wants to forge the source IP address of someone at University B when transmitting a packet toward Company C, that packet is likely be delivered complete and intact, including its forged IP source address. Many otherwise sensible people spend a lot of time and airline miles trying to improve this situation... The problems created for the Domain Name System (DNS) by the general lack of SAV are simply hellish. more

Humming an Open Internet Demise in London?

In mid-March, the group dubbed by Wired Magazine 20 years ago as Crypto-Rebels and Anarchists - the IETF - is meeting in London. With what is likely some loud humming, the activists will likely seek to rain mayhem upon the world of network and societal security using extreme end-to-end encryption, and collaterally diminish some remaining vestiges of an "open internet." Ironically, the IETF uses what has become known as the "NRA defence": extreme encryption doesn't cause harm, criminals and terrorists do. more

Cyber Crime: An Economic Problem

During ISOI 4 (hosted by Yahoo! in Sunnyvale, California) whenever someone made mention of RBN (the notoriously malicious and illegal bulletproof hosting operation, the Russian Business Network) folks would immediately point out that an operation just as bad was just "next door" (40 miles down the road?), working undisturbed for years. They spoke of Atrivo (also known as Intercage). The American RBN, if you like... more

An Attack on DNS is an Attack on the Internet

On Saturday Aug 7th, DNS provider DNS Made Easy was the target of a very large denial of service attack. As far as can be determined the total traffic volume exceeded 40 Gigabit/second, enough to saturate 1 million dialup Internet lines. Several of DNS Made Easy's upstream providers had saturated backbone links themselves. There are indications that not only DNS Made Easy suffered from this attack, but the Internet as a whole. more

Preventing Future Attacks: Alternatives In DNS Security Management - Part II

In Part I of this article I set the stage for our discussion and overviewed the October 21st DDoS attacks on the Internet's 13 root name servers. In particular, I highlighted that the attacks were different this time, both in size and scope, because the root servers were attacked at the same time. I also highlighted some of the problems associated with the Domain Name System and the vulnerabilities inherent in BIND. Part II of this article takes our discussion to another level by critically looking at alternatives and best practices that can help solve the security problems we've raised. more

Kidnapping, Theft and Rape Are Not "Cyber" Crimes

Kidnap. Rape. There are no lesser words that can be used to describe what happened to the daughter of an anti-spam investigator in Russia. His daughter was recently released, according to Joseph Menn's recent article on Boing Boin, after having been kidnapped from her home five years ago, fed drugs, and made to service men, as a warning to ward off further investigations. The criminals behind these vicious acts were also responsible for large spamming organization associated with Russian Mob activity. more

IBM Launches Quad9, a DNS-based Privacy and Security Service to Protect Users from Malicious Sites

The new DNS service, called Quad9, is aimed at protecting users from accessing malicious websites known to steal personal information, infect users with ransomware and malware, or conduct fraudulent activity. more

The Internet of Stupid Things

In those circles where Internet prognostications abound and policy makers flock to hear grand visions of the future, we often hear about the boundless future represented by "The Internet of Things". This phrase encompasses some decades of the computing industry's transition from computers as esoteric piece of engineering affordable only by nations, to mainframes, desktops, laptops, handhelds, and now wrist computers. Where next? more

Attack Seriously Slows Two Internet Root Servers

Online attackers have briefly disrupted service on at least two of the 13 "root" servers that are used to direct traffic on the Internet.

The attack, which began Tuesday at about 5:30 a.m. Eastern time, was the most significant attack against the root servers since an October 2002 distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack, said Ben Petro, senior vice president of services with Internet service provider Neustar Inc. more