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Quick Summary: What's New?

OK, let me repeat.

Throwing arbitrary data in DNS — NOT a big deal.

Even doing network tunneling over DNS — ALSO not that big a deal; NSTX has been doing this for a while. (That being said — SSH over DNS adds strong cryptography and major cross platform compatibility that didn’t exist before.)

DNS radio is new. By segmenting audio into small chunks, we actually get universal caching of the streaming signal — a functionality we’ve never really had before. Generally, audio broadcast over the Internet falls apart after a few thousand users. Based on this ring-buffer-into-BIND architecture, combined with the utterly minimal bandwidth load of Speex, we should be able to host audio for a much greater number of listeners.

The entire suite of incoming attacks to firewalls are also new. DNS trusts the hierarchy to tell it the next hop to its target name; since I can acquire second level domains in the hierarchy for minimal cost, it’s trivial for me to insert arbitrary destinations along the DNS route path. In technical terms, whenever a recursing resolver comes to my name server to resolve a name, rather than providing an answer, I can redirect that request to another, supposedly authoritative server. That server can be at any address — even one I cannot IP route to — but if the resolver communicating with me can route to that address (say 10.0.1.11) my communication will reach that host. If there’s an SSH over DNS daemon running on 10.0.1.11, I’ve now achieved incoming connectivity to the network of my choice, completely bypassing firewalls and a trojan’s need to poll.

Recursion on dual hosted interfaces is not even necessary. There are large numbers of applications that, upon receiving untrusted traffic, execute DNS name lookups. Most commonly, they are reverse PTR lookups, but occasionally there are other types (MX from mail servers, most notably) that can be easily induced. When they are induced, the hierarchy is followed. When the hierarchy is followed, the attacks previously discussed start working. In practice, this means an IDS triggers the DNS server to start proxying traffic between an external attacker host and an internal trojaned machine. Nasty.

There’s some other stuff — check out the slides and the code — but long story short, there’s some new stuff out 🙂

Categories: Security
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