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US News researchers warn of dependencies on DNS providers

10:05  01 december  2020
10:05  01 december  2020 Source:   zdnet.de

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The campaign features DNS hijacking in which the attackers illicitly modify DNS name records to point users DNS is a foundational technology supporting the internet, the researchers said. The second target group includes DNS registrars, telecommunication companies and internet service providers .

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Netzwerk-Switch (Bild: Shutterstock) © DEFAULT_CREDIT network switch (Image: Shutterstock) 84.8 percent of the top 100,000 websites are dependent on a single external DNS provider. Even among the top 100 websites, many do without redundancy. According to the study, the hacker attack on the DNS provider Dyn four years ago was not a wake-up call.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University conducted an extensive study to determine how much website operators rely on certain DNS providers . The background to this is the hacker attack on the DNS provider Dyn in 2016, which paralyzed the websites of numerous customers of the company.

Four years later, the researchers found that 89.2 percent of the 100,000 top websites on the Internet work with external DNS providers instead of maintaining their own DNS servers. 84.8 percent of the analyzed pages are dependent on a single provider and do not have a redundant solution that can serve as a backup in the event of a malfunction or attack.

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The study also shows that the lower the Alexa rank of a website, the worse the problem. Among the top 100 sites, 48.8 percent of websites outsource their DNS services to external providers - and only 27.9 percent rely on a single provider. Among the top 1,000 websites, these proportions have already risen to 78.3 and 66.7 percent.


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In addition, the researchers assume that website operators have not learned any lessons from the attack on Dyn. Compared to four years ago, the number of websites with a “critical” DNS dependency increased by 4.7 percent. In addition, the previously observed consolidation of the market for DNS providers continued during the period: many website operators relied on a well-known provider.

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This trend, in turn, is reflected particularly strongly among the top 100 websites. More than half of them depend on just four different DNS providers. Among the top 100,000 pages in the Alexa ranking, the three largest providers Cloudflare, AWS and GoDaddy have a combined market share of 38 percent. In addition, many smaller providers have indirect dependencies on Cloudflare, AWS and GoDaddy.

A similar picture emerged for the researchers when using content delivery networks from third-party providers. In this area, 97.7 percent of the leading 100,000 websites are dependent on just one provider.

Their study with the title “Analysis of third-party dependencies of modern web services: Have we learned from the Mirai-Dyn incident?” The researchers carried out in October. They also present the results in an video .

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