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A Question of DNS Protocols

One of the most prominent denial of service attacks in recent months was one that occurred in March 2013 between Cloudflare and Spamhaus... How did the attackers generate such massive volumes of attack traffic? The answer lies in the Domain Name System (DNS). The attackers asked about domain names, and the DNS system answered. Something we all do all of the time of the Internet. So how can a conventional activity of translating a domain name into an IP address be turned into a massive attack? more

SiteFinder vs. Engineers: Our Mistake Is Ignorance

We, as the Internet engineering community, have made a great mistake. Actually, it wasn't even one large mistake, but a series of small ones. Engineers are busy people, and most of us work under the constraints of the organizational entities we serve (be it ISPs, non-internet corporates, or even non-profits). Few of us have time for politics; even fewer have the desire and motivation for politics, and those of us who do try usually end up facing a brick wall of stubbornness, lack of understanding of the underlying technical issues, or just a deaf ear. more

DNS Firewalls In Action - RPZ vs. Spam

In general, a network firewall is just a traffic filter... Filtering rules can be anything from "allow my web server to hear and answer web requests but not other kinds of requests" to "let my users Ping the outside world but do not let outsiders Ping anything on my network." The Internet industry has used firewalls since the mid-1980's and there are now many kinds, from packet layer firewalls to web firewalls to e-mail firewalls. Recently the DNS industry has explored the firewall idea and the results have been quite compelling. In this article I'm going to demonstrate a DNS firewall built using RPZ (Response Policy Zones) and show its potential impact on e-mail "spam". more

What Will Be the Outcome of the Internet Governance Forum Meeting in Athens?

Since the Tunis WSIS mandate was given to the UN Secretary General to convene the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), interest on the new emerging entity and its possible effects on the IG debate has been allegedly high. But as time is approaching when the IGF inaugural meeting will start its activities in Athens, Greece, now, almost 10 days before its first -- ever meeting, participation of all stakeholders and key actors in the meeting has proved to be even more than expected in the first place. more

Paul Vixie on Fort N.O.C.'s

I wish to correct several misstatements made by Brock Meeks in his article, "Fort N.O.C.'s", published January 20. I am speaking as an operator of the "F" root name server which was mentioned several times in this story. ..."A" root is not special in any way. Our "F" root server receives updates from an unrelated server called SRS which is operated under contract from the US Department of Commerce and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). These updates are received by all 13 root name servers, with "A" root a peer of the other 12, having no special capability or importance. If any one of these 13 servers (including "A" root) were temporarily unavailable due to a failure or disaster, there would be no noticeable impact on the Internet as a whole. more

Addressing the Future Internet

What economic and social factors are shaping our future needs and expectations for communications systems? This question was the theme of a joint National Science Foundation (NSF) and Organisation for Economic Co Operation and Development (OECD) workshop, held on the 31st January of this year. The approach taken for this workshop was to assemble a group of technologists, economists, industry, regulatory and political actors and ask each of them to consider a small set of specific questions related to a future Internet. Thankfully, this exercise was not just another search for the next "Killer App", nor a design exercise for IP version 7. It was a valuable opportunity to pause and reflect on some of the sins of omission in today's Internet and ask why, and reflect on some of the unintended consequences of the Internet and ask if they were truly unavoidable consequences... more

The Problem With HTTPS SSL Runs Deeper Than MD5

The recent research highlighting the alarming practice of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate Authority (CA) vendors using the MD5 hashing algorithm (which was known to be broken since 2005) has shown a major crack in the foundation of the Web. While the latest research has shown that fake SSL certificates with MD5 hashes can be forged to perfection when the CA (such as VeriSign's RapidSSL) uses predictable certificate fields, the bigger problem is that the web has fundamentally botched secure authentication. more

Email Address Forgery

In my roles as postmaster at CAUCE (the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail) and abuse.net, I get a lot of baffled and outraged mail from people who have discovered that someone is sending out spam, often pornographic spam, with their return address on the From: line. "How can they do that? How do I make them stop?'' The short answers are "easily'' and "it's nearly impossible.'' more

How Did IPv6 Come About, Anyway?

This is a special two-part series article providing a distinct and critical perspective on Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) and the underlying realities of its deployment. The first part gives a closer look at how IPv6 came about and the second part exposes the myths.

In January 1983, the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) experienced a "flag day," and the Network Control Protocol, NCP, was turned off, and TCP/IP was turned on. Although there are, no doubt, some who would like to see a similar flag day where the world turns off its use of IPv4 and switches over to IPv6, such a scenario is a wild-eyed fantasy. Obviously, the Internet is now way too big for coordinated flag days. The transition of IPv6 into a mainstream deployed technology for the global Internet will take some years, and for many there is still a lingering doubt that it will happen at all. more

Can TCP/IP Survive?

The following article is an excerpt from the recently released Internet Analysis Report 2004 - Protocols and Governance. Full details of the argument for protocol reform can be found at 'Internet Mark 2 Project' website, where a copy of the Executive Summary can be downloaded free of charge. ..."In releasing this section for comment, I would like to point out that the report's conclusions are based on a cumulative examination of various protocols and systems. We are at a point of time where other protocols and systems are equally problematic -- the report points to some significant problems with DNS structure and scalability, and also points out that, to all intents and purposes, the basic email protocol, SMTP, is broken and needs immediate replacement." more

Internet Attacks Against Georgian Websites

In the last days, news and government web sites in Georgia suffered DDoS attacks. While these attacks seem to affect the Georgian Internet, it is still there... Up to the Estonian war, such attacks would be called "hacker enthusiast attacks" or "cyber terrorism" (of the weak sort). Nowadays any attack with a political nature seems to get the "information warfare" tag. When 300 Lithuanian web sites were defaced last month, "cyber war" was the buzzword. Running security for the Israeli government Internet operation and later the Israeli government CERT such attacks were routine... more

.COM and .NET: Thick Or Thin?

The fallout from the failure of RegisterFly has been largely addressed as an issue of regulation and enforcement. ...ICANN has not historically enforced the escrow obligation, and in any case, if a company has failed, who exactly is going to take responsibility for updating the escrowed data? It seems to me that the problems that have arisen as a result of RegisterFly's collapse have more to do with the design of the "shared registry system" for the .COM and .NET TLDs than they do with ICANN's failure to enforce the RAA. more

Could IP Addressing Benefit from the Introduction of Competitive Suppliers?

An article written by Paul Wilson, Director General of Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), and Geoff Huston, Senior Internet Research Scientist at APNIC. "In recent months proposals have been made for the introduction of competition into the system of allocation of IP addresses. In particular, calls have been made for new IP address registries to be established which would compete with the existing Regional Internet address Registries (RIRs). Specific proposals have been made by Houlin Zhao of the ITU-T and by Milton Mueller of the Internet Governance Project, both of which propose that the ITU itself could establish such a registry group, operating as a collection of national registries." ...It would appear that part of the rationale for these proposals lies in the expectation that the introduction of competition would naturally lead to outcomes of "better" or "more efficient" services the address distribution function. This article is a commentary on this expectation, looking at the relationship between a competitive supply framework and the role of address distribution, and offering some perspective on the potential outcomes that may be associated with such a scenario for IP addresses, or indeed for network addresses in general. more

AFNIC and DNS Server Redelegation

As an American, I could go for the ignorant stereotyping of the French. But being the good global citizen I try to be, I'll just see if someone can tell me if I'm missing something here, or if indeed AFNIC has lost its mind. I recently requested for one of my .FR domains to be delegated to new DNS servers. I got everything set up at my new DNS provider. But, AFNIC won't perform the transfer because of the following "fatal" reason... more

More Problems Crop Up With Universal Acceptance of Top Level Domains

I've often found truth in the famous George Santayana quote, "Those that cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it." That's an apt warning for what is currently happening - again - with the hundreds of new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) that are launching ... and failing to work as expected on the Internet. First, a quick refresher: As most CircleID readers know, in the early 2000s, seven new gTLDs were launched: .AERO, .BIZ, .COOP, .INFO, .MUSEUM, .NAME and .PRO. Aside from Country Code TLDs (ccTLDs), these were the first top-level changes to the DNS since the early days of the Internet. more

Industry Updates

How Domain Reputation API Can Help Detect HTTPS-Protected Phishing Sites

Reverse Domain Hijacking and the Use of WHOIS and Domain Brand Monitoring Tools

DNS Hijacking: The Iranian Cybersecurity Threat That May Be Overlooked

Addressing Cybersquatting Dangers Using Brand Alert API and WHOIS Lookup

Retrospective: Post-GDPR Compliance Rates for Domain Enforcement

Fake Airline Ticket Scams: Domain Spoofing and Other Red Flags

Reverse Domain Name Hijacking: What It Is and How to Avoid It through a Domain Availability Check

The Need for Email Address Verification in Light of Subpoena-Themed Phishing Attacks

Mobile Apps Take the Lead, Scammers Follow

The High Cost Of Privacy In A Post-GDPR World

How Threat Intelligence Software Can Help Prevent Breaches Caused by Server Misconfigurations

The Louisiana State Ransomware Attack: Enhancing Cyberdefense with Reverse IP Address Lookup

How Can Domain Intelligence Analysis Help in Vetting Third-Party Providers

Using Threat Intelligence Feeds to Prevent Orcus RAT Infections

Billtrust Breach: Can Threat Intelligence Platforms Help with Ransomware Prevention?