Going Wild: Large-Scale Classification of Open DNS Resolvers
Marc Kührer, Thomas Hupperich, Jonas Bushart, Christian Rossow, Thorsten Holz
15th ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC), Tokyo, Japan, October 2015
Since several years, millions of recursive DNS resolvers are-deliberately or not-open to the public. This, however, is counter-intuitive, since the operation of such openly accessible DNS resolvers is necessary in rare cases only. Furthermore, open resolvers enable both amplification DDoS and cache snooping attacks, and can be abused by attackers in multiple other ways. We thus find open recursive DNS resolvers to remain one critical phenomenon on the Internet.
In this paper, we illuminate this phenomenon by analyzing it from two different angles. On the one hand, we study the landscape of DNS resolvers based on empirical data we collected for over a year. We analyze the changes over time and classify the resolvers according to device type and software version. On the other hand, we take the viewpoint of a client and measure the response authenticity of these resolvers. Besides legitimate redirections (e.g., to captive portals or router login pages), we find millions of resolvers to deliberately manipulate DNS resolutions (i.e., return bogus IP address information). To understand this threat in more detail, we systematically analyze non-legitimate DNS responses and reveal open DNS resolvers that manipulate DNS resolutions to censor communication channels, inject advertisements, serve malicious files, perform phishing, or redirect to other kinds of suspicious or malicious activities.[PDF]