Ransomware has changed a lot since it was introduced back in 1989 by Dr. Joseph Popp, where 20,000 floppy disks were distributed via snail mail. The malware hid files on a victim’s hard drive and encrypted only the file names, rather than the entire files themselves. As one might assume, the entire remediation process was manual, rather than digital. Popp’s program asked victims to print the ransom note and send $189 to a bank in Panama. When he was caught, he was determined unfit to stand trial. All the money he obtained was donated to AIDS research.
Congratulations to TalkTalk, who were just named the number one provider in the UK for Fibre Broadband response times by the SamKnows industry benchmark. How did they accomplish this? With the support of Nominum’s carrier-class DNS software solution, Vantio CacheServe, as announced earlier this year.
As has been widely reported, a new ransomware known as ‘petya’ (also being referred to as `notpetya` or `petwrap` in the research community) started circulating on the internet earlier this week. It appears the attacks started in Eastern Europe and caused widespread damage around the globe.
The term latency is used a lot in networking and most commonly refers to how long it takes a packet to reach a destination and come back again. The most common tools for measuring network latency are ping and traceroute, but there are more. When I speak to operators around Asia Pacific about DNS though, it’s interesting to hear that latency is not often used when benchmarking or measuring their DNS service quality.
In my last blog post, part 1 of this series, I discussed the important role DNS plays in protecting service provider networks from DNS amplification attacks, and the necessity of not only blocking malicious queries but also of not blocking good queries. In this post, I’ll look at Pseudo-Random Subdomain (PRSD) attacks and other malware (like phishing and ransomware), showing why DNS is perfectly suited to protect both networks and subscribers.
The importance of the DNS security protocol in general is widely understood, particularly in today’s overall security landscape. Anyone who currently manages (or has managed) caching/recursive or authoritative DNS servers knows the pain it causes when they go down. It’s bad. Without available DNS there is no internet, at least no usable internet. Generally, most, if not all applications today rely on DNS to locate resources somewhere on the internet to function. Additionally, said apps are becoming more and more reliant on the DNS.
The Domain Name System – the DNS – is the foundation of the internet. Beyond connecting IP addresses with web requests, DNS provides the basis for both the detection of and protection from global cyberthreats before they reach an organization’s corporate network resources —particularly given that more than 90% of malware uses DNS for command and control. This presents a tremendous opportunity for service providers to utilize their DNS infrastructure to provide security services to their business customers, which have a tremendous need for stronger, more proactive cyber protection.
With cyberattacks affecting SMBs at an alarming rate, business owners are challenged with putting strong enough security in place to protect them from the average $20,000 price tag per incident. Ransomware in particular has hit the SMB sector hard. As stated in a recent study by Arctic Wolf Networks, last year saw a 433% increase in ransomware attacks against SMBs1 – a number that is expected to grow.
By now you’ve most likely heard about the WannaCry (a.k.a. WannaCrypt) ransomware that began wreaking havoc in parts of the world this past Friday (May 12, 2017). Given Nominum’s broad, deep view into DNS data from our service provider customers around the world, we were able to gather insights into how WannaCry made its way onto subscriber networks around the globe (see the WannaCry: views from the DNS frontline in our Data Science blog for more thoughts). Reports show that the latest ransomware attack has infected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries.1 For now we are seeing the outbreak slow down, but some expect this is just the first of more similar attacks to come.2
Excerpted from Nominum Spring 2017 Security Report
In late April, we released the Nominum Spring 2017 Security Report, the latest report on our security research team’s DNS and HTTP analysis which provides a comprehensive view of the current cyberthreat landscape. In the report we take a look at “new core domains” and how they help us identify “zero-day attacks” so we can take steps mitigate them.