[dns-operations] Another whitepaper on DDOS

Edward Lewis ed.lewis at neustar.biz
Wed Feb 27 07:08:02 UTC 2013

On Feb 22, 2013, at 23:18, David Conrad wrote:
> Has there been any documented attack that would have been prevented by DNSSEC that one can point to?

Well, prevented...no, nothing can ever "prevent" an attack.

But I realized yesterday I should answer yes to the question of whether DNSSEC would have stemmed a cache poisoning attack - with a public reference.  


Here's the weird thing.  I wrote the above article.  I wasn't aware it was publicly visible until about a month ago.  I found it via a web search engine myself.

Second, the quick story behind this is that this indeed is a cache poisoning attack, but not as described by Dan Kaminsky.  That it was an attack nonetheless didn't occur to me until just this week.

Third - when I was presented with the problem and I learned a few crucial facts, the thought "gee, I wish there was DNSSEC here' did cross my mind.  Not that the validation was needed, but had the data been signed I would have known where it was coming from.  (You'd have to read the article to understand the context.)

So, yes, finally I can say I've seen a case that's publicly documented - up to the point of providing anonymity to the victims involved.  (I'm still waiting for the first full disclosure case, but this is what I can offer for now.)

PS - As many of you know, I do not adhere to "name and shame" policy and take strides to protect identities when I present any sort of case study.  So, the anonymity I hope to be supplying here (I think I've left no breadcrumbs) is not only because it involves a customer but the data being poisoned is not mine nor is the cache being poisoned mine.  I just happened to look into the problem and turned the results over to the others.  Because of this, I realize, it's not possible to "very my claims" and that's a regret I'll take.  So - take this as you will.  And finally - the event happened last summer and was ongoing when I wrote the blog entry in the fall.  I don't know if it is still ongoing, I don't expect to hear back from anyone nor is it really my business to know.

Edward Lewis             
NeuStar                    You can leave a voice message at +1-571-434-5468

There are no answers - just tradeoffs, decisions, and responses.

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