DNS Attacks

Christopher Morrow morrowc.lists at gmail.com
Wed Jan 18 05:34:19 UTC 2012

On Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 12:04 AM, toor <lists at 1337.mx> wrote:
> Hi list,
> I am wondering if anyone else has seen a large amount of DNS queries
> coming from various IP ranges in China. I have been trying to find a

china is a big country....

> pattern in the attacks but so far I have come up blank. I am completly
> guessing these are possibly DNS amplification attacks but I am not
> sure. Usually what I see is this:
> - Attacks most commonly between the hours of 4AM-4PM UTC
> - DNS queries appear to be for real domains that the DNS servers in
> question are authoritive for (I can't really see any pattern there,
> there are about 150,000 zones on the servers in question)


> - From a range of IP's there will be an attack for approximately 5-10
> minutes before stopping and then a break of 30 minutes or so before
> another attack from a different IP range

marka noted that the source is really the thing being attacked, that
seems to be the case in the incidents I've seen (and which I"ve seen
other folks also make note of, over the last ~2-3 months)

> - Every IP range has been from China

yup, probably over .cn peer links? if you have them...

> I have limited the number of queries that can be done to mitigate this
> but its messing up my pretty netflow graphs due to the spikes in
> flows/packets being sent.

yea... you can't really limit queries, unless you can react in almost
real-time to drop the queries on the floor before your servers see
them :( or capacity-plan for the spikes, which is... rough.

> Does anyone have any ideas what the reasoning behind this could be? I
> would also be interested to hear from anyone else experiencing this
> too.

lots of folks are chattering privately about this, it's something in
china attacking chinese users.The BW and PPS rates involved are likely
quite high...

> I can provide IP ranges from where I am seeing the issue but it does
> vary a lot between the attacks with the only pattern every time being
> the source address is located in China. I read a thread earlier,
> http://seclists.org/nanog/2011/Nov/920, which sounds like the exact
> thing I am seeing.

it probably is... if you run decently large auth complexes with lots
of domains, welcome to the party.


> Thanks

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