[dns-operations] Slow Drip DDOS Attack Research

Renee Burton rburton at infoblox.com
Wed Nov 7 11:13:41 UTC 2018


Thank you for the comment. The paper is an analysis of a specific actor and their trademarks (TTP), not a review or suggestion for mitigation strategies either at intermediate resolvers or authoritative name servers. There are any number of papers out there discussing  identification of attacks and mitigation; our purpose was to provide details of a specific actor and characteristics of that actor that likely were surprising: not a consumer botnet, the single source of most global-scale slowdrip traffic etc.

The DNSSEC validated cache would help intermediate resolvers in the event that the zone was signed. In reality, I think you’ll find that ExploderBot did not use domains in signed zones.  It’s also defeated through a variety of well-known mechanisms by a clever player.

Thanks for reading. Renée

From: Warren Kumari <warren at kumari.net>
Date: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 8:55 PM
To: Renee Burton <rburton at infoblox.com>
Cc: "dns-operations at lists.dns-oarc.net" <dns-operations at lists.dns-oarc.net>
Subject: Re: [dns-operations] Slow Drip DDOS Attack Research

I'm somewhat surprised that this document makes no mention of DNSSEC /  RFC8198 "Aggressive Use of DNSSEC-Validated Cache".

As an example, see Petr's presentation @ RIPE76:
DNSSEC aggressive cache(RFC 8198)
Protection from random subdomain attacks


On Fri, Nov 2, 2018 at 10:39 PM Renee Burton <rburton at infoblox.com<mailto:rburton at infoblox.com>> wrote:


I’m a longtime lurker of the mailing list and appreciate the wisdom and occasional debates in these exchanges. I wanted to share with the group a paper a colleague and I released some months ago on Slow Drip DDOS attacks.  I had been waiting for the paper to be hung off of the National Security Agency website, but that hasn’t yet happened, so I’ve decided to just go ahead and send to the mailing list.

This paper shares the findings of a slow drip attack system we called ExploderBot, which is the largest and longest running such system, and a single actor. At this point, it might be OBE as the actor has been quiet since May 18, 2018, but they might yet pop up again.  I wanted to share this because:

· We heavily leveraged the mailing list archives and learnt a great deal from the DNS operating community during this research – thank you

· We do provide packet signatures that provide over 40 bits of check (over 60 if fully done) so that network operators who can do packet filtering could drop and thwart this actor.

There remain a lot of open questions for this actor, but we can leverage what we learnt here to identify and protect against other systems.

Here’s the link to ExploderBot: A Slow Drip System


Renée Burton
 Sr. Staff Threat Researcher, Cyber Intelligence
rburton at infoblox.com<mailto:rburton at infoblox.com> | www.infoblox.com<http://www.infoblox.com>

DNS is like Othello: “five minutes to learn, a lifetime to master.”

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I don't think the execution is relevant when it was obviously a bad idea in the first place.
This is like putting rabid weasels in your pants, and later expressing regret at having chosen those particular rabid weasels and that pair of pants.
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