Nominum's Software Update Protects Networks From New DNS Security Vulnerability

    Cache poisoning vulnerability requires immediate action to deter Internet

    REDWOOD CITY, Calif., July 9 /CNW/ -- Nominum, the leading provider of
network naming and addressing technologies, announced that latest versions of
it's Caching Name Server and Vantio Base Server software meet and exceed the
tightened DNS security measures required to address a new DNS security threat
announced by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT)
Vulnerability notice number 800113 on July 8th, 2008.
    Nominum's expertise with DNS and its vantage point in more than 100
carrier networks offers unique insights into security threats.  Nominum
understands the seriousness of these threats and, prior to the vulnerability,
had already developed advanced capabilities that deter them.  A software
upgrade has already been released that exceeds the measures defined by the
IETF and the joint ad hoc group.
    The new vulnerability described in the US-CERT advisory is an enhanced
cache poisoning attack that allows an attacker to insert false records into
unprotected DNS servers, and hijack users to counterfeit sites.  From there an
attacker can steal passwords or potentially gather other sensitive and
valuable information from a completely unsuspecting victim.  This kind of
phishing attack is especially dangerous because the user believes they are at
a familiar site.  If Internet users start to believe that they cannot trust
the basic infrastructure of the Internet the impact on ecommerce and other
Internet transactions is potentially massive.
    "The seriousness of this threat mandates immediate action," said Dr. Paul
Mockapetris, Nominum's Chief Scientist and inventor of the DNS technology.
"Cache poisoning allows an attacker to selectively control destination web
sites for users accessing a compromised DNS.  Nominum and other selected DNS
vendors worked closely with security researchers to define the unique problems
created by this new vulnerability and each vendor developed new software
implementations to proactively address potential exploits," he continued.
    The multi-vendor group rapidly implemented UDP Source Port Randomization
defined by IETF draft "Measures for making DNS more resilient against forged
answers" (draft-ietf-dnext-forgery-resilience-05.txt) as the solution.
Randomizing the UDP port used for DNS queries greatly increases resilience to
exploits that take advantage of the new vulnerability.  It was implemented
quickly and Nominum took steps to proactively get customer networks protected
well in advance of the public disclosure.
    "Nominum's focus and commitment is on improving the Internet, and
security is a key part of our mission," said Tom Tovar, CEO of Nominum.  "We
have a responsibility to every customer and to the 150 million+ users that
query our installed base of DNS products every day.  Our goal in responding to
this vulnerability is to ensure the Internet stays a trusted communication
medium for the global online community."
    Nominum's software implementation uses a more aggressive port
randomization approach to fortify CNS and Vantio defenses.  Additionally,
Nominum invested heavily in advanced capabilities that provide a level of
resilience to these security threats that is unmatched in the industry.
    Starting with the industry's only commercial grade DNS caching engine,
Nominum has built intelligence into the query path that introduces additional
layers of protection from cache poisoning.  Support for UDP Source Port
Randomization, as part of the effort to deter this latest threat, improves
upon the resilience to cache poisoning threats already available in Nominum's
implementations.  The advanced design of Nominum's caching engine ensures high
performance even with security features turned on and under attack.
    For more information regarding the new software releases and required
action, refer to Nominum's home page:
    About Nominum
    Nominum's network naming and addressing solutions power the world's
largest always-on networks. Nominum is a global provider of ENUM-based
IP-Application Routing Directory, DNS and DHCP solutions that enable
communication providers to deliver high quality always-on broadband internet
and innovative services to their customers, including VoIP, push to talk,
fixed-mobile convergence, IPTV and triple-play. For further information, visit

     Nominum Contact:
     Bruce Van Nice


For further information:

For further information: Bruce Van Nice of Nominum, +1-650-381-6308, Web Site:

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