Updates released on Wednesday by the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) for the DNS software BIND patch four high severity, remotely exploitable denial-of-service (DoS) vulnerabilities.
Exploiting the flaws can cause the BIND name server (named) process to encounter an assertion failure and stop executing, resulting in a DoS condition for clients. ISC has provided the following description for the vulnerabilities:
CVE-2016-9778: An error in handling certain queries can cause an assertion failure when a server is using the nxdomain-redirect feature to cover a zone for which it is also providing authoritative service. A vulnerable server could be intentionally stopped by an attacker if it was using a configuration that met the criteria for the vulnerability and if the attacker could cause it to accept a query that possessed the required attributes.
CVE-2016-9147: Depending on the type of query and the EDNS options in the query they receive, DNSSEC-enabled authoritative servers are expected to include RRSIG and other RRsets in their responses to recursive servers. DNSSEC-validating servers will also make specific queries for DS and other RRsets. Whether DNSSEC-validating or not, an error in processing malformed query responses that contain DNSSEC-related RRsets that are inconsistent with other RRsets in the same query response can trigger an assertion failure. Although the combination of properties which triggers the assertion should not occur in normal traffic, it is potentially possible for the assertion to be triggered deliberately by an attacker sending a specially-constructed answer.
CVE-2016-9131: A malformed query response received by a recursive server in response to a query of RTYPE ANY could trigger an assertion failure while named is attempting to add the RRs in the query response to the cache. While the combination of properties which triggers the assertion should not occur in normal traffic, it is potentially possible for the assertion to be triggered deliberately by an attacker sending a specially-constructed answer having the required properties, after having engineered a scenario whereby an ANY query is sent to the recursive server for the target QNAME. A recursive server will itself only send a query of type ANY if it receives a client query of type ANY for a QNAME for which it has no RRsets at all in cache, otherwise it will respond to the client with the the RRsets that it has available.
CVE-2016-9444: An unusually-formed answer containing a DS resource record could trigger an assertion failure. While the combination of properties which triggers the assertion should not occur in normal traffic, it is potentially possible for the assertion to be triggered deliberately by an attacker sending a specially-constructed answer having the required properties.
CVE-2016-9444, CVE-2016-9147 and CVE-2016-9131 pose a risk mainly to recursive servers, and CVE-2016-9778 affects only certain configurations. The vulnerabilities have been patched with the release of BIND versions 9.9.9-P5, 9.10.4-P5, 9.11.0-P2 and 9.9.9-S7.
ISC said it was not aware of active exploits for any of these vulnerabilities. The organization sent out advance notifications for these flaws on January 3.
Eduard Kovacs is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.