DNS flaw discoverer says more permanent fixes will be needed

IT managers should expect more security fixes over the coming months.

Dialing down the squabbles

Kaminsky today downplayed some of the early skepticism expressed by some researchers about the seriousness of the issue. He stressed that contrary to what some might believe, the vulnerability he discovered is indeed new -- and unprecedented in its seriousness.

"It's a new flaw, it changes the rules," Kaminsky warned today. "We have known for years that we have been in trouble with this transaction ID size. Why we are in trouble is going to become apparent very soon. This is absolutely something new and very scary," he said, while reiterating earlier pleas for IT managers to immediately patch their name servers.

He added that some of the skepticism stems from the fact that people are being asked to believe that the flaw is very serious without being given any proof of that till now. "I know that's very unusual. But if this thing isn't off the charts, I would have caused a huge amount of press for nothing," he added.

Echoing Kaminsky's caution was Cricket Liu, a DNS expert and vice president of architecture at Infoblox, a provider of domain name resolution, IP address assignment and other services. Speaking with Computerworld after today's press conference, Liu said the current round of patches buys some time, but more permanent fixes are needed down the road.

He noted that this is not the first time that DNS vulnerability issues have come to the fore. The first cache-poisoning attack in fact was demonstrated as far back as 1997 and took advantage of an implementation flaw in the widely used Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) implementation of DNS. More recently, a similar cache-poisoning flaw was discovered in Open BSD's Pseudo-Random Number Generator (PRNG) function. Each time patches were issued for the problems and "we thought we were in better shape then," Liu said. "And then Dan (Kaminsky) came out with his bug," he said.

He reiterated Kaminksy's call for companies to immediately patch their DNS servers to avoid the risk of their Internet traffic and emails being hijacked and added that the kind of attacks that are possible as a result of the flaw are easier to mount that many might assume.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?