Skip to content

BIND Denial of Service via malformed DNSSEC key (CVE-2015-5722)

The latest update for the BIND DNS server fixes a bug that could be used to crash a DNS server that is verifying DNSSEC records. Parsing a malformed DNSSEC key can lead to an assert in the file buffer.c.

Usually DoS-issues are considered relatively minor. In this case however I consider the impact relatively severe as it is quite easy to trigger crashes of a large number of DNS servers. It is often easy to force a system to resolve a certain domain name, e. g. through a website (clients) or an e-mail (servers). Although DNSSEC is not widely deployed a lot of DNS resolvers have DNSSEC validation enabled.

This issue was found with american fuzzy lop. BIND ships several command line tools that parse DNSSEC keys, e. g. dnssec-importkey, dnssec-dsfromkey or dnssec-revoke that can trigger this bug. Given that quite recently another vulnerability in BIND was also found with american fuzzy lop it is quite surprising to me that this issue wasn't found earlier. There was almost nothing special in fuzzing the BIND tools, the only thing to consider was that they expect keys in a certain file name scheme (they need to start with a K). afl-fuzz can guarantee certain filenames with the -f parameter. This tells us that even in highly critical software like BIND one can sometimes still find vulnerabilities with afl easily.

This issue was reported to ISC (the company developing BIND) on August 1st. After exchanging a couple of mails the BIND developers provided me a test patch on August 5th. The releases with the fixes were released on September 2nd. The fix is contained in the releases 9.0.7-P3 and 9.10.2-P4. These releases also fix another security issue (CVE-2015-5986). If you're running an affected BIND version you should update immediately.

I want to thank Florian Weimer from Red Hat who confirmed that this issue is remotely exploitable through a DNSSEC zone.

To give people some time to patch their servers I will wait a few days until I publish the proof of concept crasher. This should however be no excuse not to update your servers. It is quite possible that others will reproduce this work and create a working exploit very soon.

ISC advisory: Parsing malformed keys may cause BIND to exit due to a failed assertion in buffer.c

Update (2015-09-11):

The proof of concept is now public. This can be tested with several command line tools from bind, e. g. with dnssec-dsfromkey.

The key record looks like this:
0 DNSKEY 0 0 2 ADN00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000AC000

I have personally not tested to create a live DNSSEC record crashing BIND installations (I don't use DNSSEC myself). It should be enough to add that as a DNSKEY record in your setup and try to resolve the domain with a DNSSEC-validating, vulnerable BIND resolver.

Update 2 (2015-09-15):

I was asked whether I can also provide a proof of concept for CVE-2015-5986, which was fixed in the same release. This issue wasn't discovered by me, but I was easily able to fuzz that one as well, here is the proof of concept file. It can be tested with named-checkzone -f raw -o - a [infile].


No Trackbacks


Display comments as Linear | Threaded

No comments

Add Comment

Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.

Form options