DNS flaw causes security scramble

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The DNS cache poisoning, has got security firms scrambling to provide protection.

The well-publicised vulnerability in the DNS system, which can lead to DNS cache poisoning, has got security firms scrambling to provide protection.

Security service provider Integralis introduced a three-point system this week which it claims provides an immediate fix to eliminate the security risks and provide long-term protection.

The vulnerability allows a hacker to reroute information sent across the internet in such a way that existing security software and appliances may not detect a problem.

Once the routing has been changed the hackers can then extract any information transmitted. This can enable identity theft and major criminal activity on a personal and business basis.

DNS cache poisoning allows an attacker to introduce 'fake' DNS information into a caching name server.

Once 'poisoned' the DNS routing is changed to take legitimate URL requests and send them to a 'rogue' server which looks and acts like the actual server.

"Email and browser-based 'in the cloud' applications play a major part in day-to-day business transactions, so a security breach of this kind could have catastrophic business and personal implications," said Graham Jones, UK managing director at Integralis.

"Identity theft and business espionage are immediate threats, and stolen competitive information could be sold to the highest bidder."

Integralis explained that the quickest way to stop the security breach is to install a product that will use the root DNS servers and only trust authoritative name servers, thereby addressing the vulnerability for all email and internet traffic.

The second step is to work directly with security vendors to supply details of software patches available to close the security vulnerability.

Finally, an assessment of current security protection should be performed to help an organisation gain a good understanding of the information security issues it may have.
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