[dns-operations] Why would an MTA issue an ANY query instead of an MX query?

sthaug at nethelp.no sthaug at nethelp.no
Sun Jun 10 16:47:22 UTC 2012

> > One word: qmail. Google "qmail dns any query".
> thinking about or acting against ANY is bad infosec economics. any
> investment along those lines is wasted, since ANY is merely the low
> hanging fruit, and an attacker need only switch over to TXT or RRSIG or
> NSEC to get a similar amplification effect from an authoritative name
> server, if ANY were widely nonresponsive.

Agreed. And along the same lines, limiting EDNS responses to 1460 bytes,
as suggested, will block quite a few legitimate replies (not just ANY

> to that end, vernon schryver and i have been exploring rate limiting in
> BIND 9. there's a patch available, which i've so far offered only to
> anyone whose server is currently getting abused. what i'm worried about
> is that our profile for goodput-vs-badput is wrong headed or too course
> grained. so far so good.
> config {
>     // ...
>         rate-limit {
>                 responses-per-second 5;
>                 window 5;
>         };
> };

I'm afraid we may need more control. If my clients are generating a DDoS
attack at 20 responses per second, and I limit this to 5 per second -
the C&C can get the same effect by mobilizing four times as many clients
to do the job. On my wishlist, in addition to rate limiting, is also:

- Some way of dynamically blackholing clients, based on one or more of
-- Rate limit exceeded
-- Asking the *same* question (with a large response) repeatedly
-- Asking a *specific* question (e.g. ANY isc.org|ripe.net)
-- Input from an external system, e.g. via rndc

Steinar Haug, Nethelp consulting, sthaug at nethelp.no

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