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Prolexic Releases DNS Reflection Attack White Paper

March 2013 by Marc Jacob

Prolexic announced that it has released the first of several white papers about Distributed Reflection Denial of Service (DrDoS) attacks. DrDoS attacks, an attack method which has been used for more than a decade, have recently surged in popularity across a broad range of industries.

In this white paper, prepared by the Prolexic Security Engineering and Response Team (PLXsert) discusses and analyzes DNS Reflection attacks. The DNS Reflection DrDoS technique exploits security weaknesses in the Domain Name System (DNS) Internet protocol, an important Internet feature that allows the public to type in human-friendly domain names instead of numerical IP addresses to access websites.

In this type of attack, a cyberattacker leverages zombie computers in a botnet to send domain name requests to DNS servers in a way that causes DNS servers to send a flood of responses to a targeted domain. This kind of DrDoS attack can overwhelm and slow response times – or completely stop legitimate user access – and affects both the DNS servers and the targeted domain.

A DNS Reflection attack is relatively easy for cybercriminals to launch, and takes advantage of security loopholes in the DNS protocol, PLXsert warns. What’s more, it is difficult to pinpoint the source of a reflected DDoS attack, offering anonymity to the attacker.

“DNS Reflection DrDoS attacks are an overlooked but dangerous DDoS attack method,” said Stuart Scholly, Prolexic President. “Prolexic is releasing this white paper to help make DNS server administrators, IT administrators and business leaders aware of this potential security threat against their networks. In addition, the white paper can help victims understand the technical details of what took place, so they can more quickly mitigate these kinds of DDoS attacks in the future.”

The DNS Reflection Attack white paper explains DNS and how an attacker exploits the protocol to cause an outage. The white paper is available free of charge




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