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Donnerstag, 9. August 2007


DNS rebinding at CCS'07
This year's ACM conference on Computer and Communication Security (CCS) features two excellent papers on DNS Rebinding (the attack formerly known as "anti-DNS-pinning").

Besides discussing DNS rebinding for firewall circumvention, Protecting Browsers from DNS Rebinding Attacks by Jackson et al. also covers DNS-rebinding-based IP-hijacking, which can be used to commit click-fraud (an malicious application of the attack I have not thought of before). Furthermore, the authors propose a couple of defensive strategies, of which two have especially caught my attention:

  • To protect a given intranet, they propose a firewall solution. This special firewall specifically filters DNS traffic and denies DNS resolution of external hostnames to internal IP addresses. A nice idea that is easy to deploy within a company network.
  • Furthermore, they suggest to alter the web browser's pinning strategy from strict IP-pinning to class C-pinning. This means DNS rebinding within the same /24 range is permitted. Such a policy would allow using DNS-Rebinding for load-balancing and failure recovery while preventing the discussed attacks. This is a better policy as we enforce in LocalRodeo - it prevents the intranet-targeted attacks as well as we do but also counters IP-hijacking. For allowing dynamic-DNS restricting the IP changes to class C is probably to strict though.
Dynamic Pharming Attacks and the Locked Same-Origin Policies for Web Browser by Karlof et al. shows how pharming attacks can employ DNS-rebinding to subvert strong authentication mechanisms like client-side SSL (another malicious application I had not thought of before). To counter this threat the propose a "locked same-origin policy" that does not only take domain, port, and protocol into consideration but also requires that the private keys of the web page's respective SSL-certs match (an approach that obviously only works for web pages served via https).

I think this solution is a pointer in the right direction. Making the security properties of a web application depended on something that is not directly controlled by the application itself (DNS) was a bad idea in the first place. In the future we should work replacing this policy by something more appropriate and fine-grained.

Update: Giorgio Maone announced that the next major version of NoScript will include the stanford paper's "same subnet" anti-rebinding policy (both in IPV4 and IPV6).

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