Using the Domain Name System for System Break-ins

Bellovin, Steven Michael

The DARPA Internet uses the Domain Name System (DNS), a distributed database, to map host names to network addresses, and vice-versa. Using a vulnerability first noticed by P.V. Mockapetris, we demonstrate how the DNS can be abused to subvert system security. We also show what tools are useful to the attacker. Possible defenses against this attack, including one implemented by Berkeley in response to our reports of this problem, are discussed, and the limitations on their applicability are demonstrated.



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Academic Units
Computer Science
Published Here
June 24, 2010


Proceedings of the fifth USENIX UNIX Security Symposium: June 5-7, 1995, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA (Berkeley, CA: USENIX Association, 1995), pp. 199-208.