Monday, September 22, 2008
I just watched a 12 minute “bloxTV” video interview with Cricket Liu, one of the world’s leading experts on DNS. Blogger John Furrier asks him about the recent DNS vulnerability and why it received so much fanfare. Cricket answered that it was “the biggest vulnerability” we have ever seen; and that it impacted close to 11 million servers responsible for directing Internet and TCP/IP network traffic. That’s a lot of traffic between lots of destinations.
According to some pundits, we’ve heard enough about the DNS vulnerability and exploit issue and its time to put it behind us. I beg to differ. The DNS exploit meme explosion will be a mere poster child for many new exploits and challenges to come; and many of them will directly threaten the core integrity of the Internet.
At about 7 minutes into the interview Cricket responds to a pointed question from Furrier about the core (DNS) stresses and strains on the Internet by tactfully noting that it recently celebrated a 25 year anniversary. DNS, Cricket also noted, has been able to amazingly scale from the ARPANET with thousands of hosts to the Internet with hundreds of millions of hosts. The original ARPANET backbone bandwidth capacity was 56k.
Cricket is right; the DNS story is an incredible success story. As Cricket also notes, it is understandably creaking under the pressures of increasing traffic, demands, endpoints and even outdated approaches to managing core network services/protocols. More patches and more exploits are on the way, as we watch service providers announce their plans to excited audiences.