PowerDNS Security Advisory 2008-02: By not responding to certain queries, domains become easier to spoof

  • CVE: CVE-2008-3337
  • Date: 6th of August 2008
  • Affects: PowerDNS Authoritative Server 2.9.21 and earlier
  • Not affected: No versions of the PowerDNS Recursor (‘pdns_recursor’) are affected.
  • Severity: Moderate
  • Impact: Data manipulation; client redirection
  • Exploit: Domains with servers that drop certain queries can be spoofed using simpler measures than would usually be required
  • Solution: Upgrade to PowerDNS Authoritative Server 2.9.21.1, or apply commit 1239.
  • Workaround: None known.

Brian J. Dowling of Simplicity Communications has discovered a security implication of the previous PowerDNS behaviour to drop queries it considers malformed. We are grateful that Brian notified us quickly about this problem.

The implication is that while the PowerDNS Authoritative server itself does not face a security risk because of dropping these malformed queries, other resolving nameservers run a higher risk of accepting spoofed answers for domains being hosted by PowerDNS Authoritative Servers before 2.9.21.1.

While the dropping of queries does not aid sophisticated spoofing attempts, it does facilitate simpler attacks.