An adversary serves content whose IP address is resolved by a DNS server that the adversary controls. After initial contact by a web browser (or similar client), the adversary changes the IP address, to which its name resolves, to an address within the target organization that is not publicly accessible. This allows the web browser to examine this internal address on behalf of the adversary. Web browsers enforce security zones based on DNS names in order to prevent cross-zone disclosure of information. In a DNS binding attack, an adversary publishes content on their own server with their own name and DNS server. The first time the target accesses the adversary's content, the adversary's name must be resolved to an IP address. The adversary's DNS server performs this resolution and provides a short Time-To-Live (TTL) in order to prevent the target from caching the value. When the target makes a subsequent request to the adversary's content, the adversary's DNS server must again be queried, but this time the DNS server returns an address internal to the target's organization that would not be accessible from an outside source. Because the same name resolves to both these IP addresses, browsers will place both IP addresses in the same security zone and allow information to flow between the addresses. The adversary can then use scripts in the content the target retrieved from the adversary in the original message to exfiltrate data from the named internal addresses. This allows adversaries to discover sensitive information about the internal network of an enterprise. If there is a trust relationship between the computer with the targeted browser and the internal machine the adversary identifies, additional attacks are possible. This attack differs from pharming attacks in that the adversary is the legitimate owner of the malicious DNS server and so does not need to compromise behavior of external DNS services.
Likelihood Of Attack
The table below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf and ParentOf, and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as CanFollow, PeerOf, and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar attack patterns that the user may want to explore.
Standard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.
Identify potential DNS rebinding targets: An adversary publishes content on their own server with their own name and DNS server. Attract HTTP traffic and explore rebinding vulnerabilities in browsers, flash players of old version.
Adversary uses Web advertisements to attract the victim to access adversary's DNS. Explore the versions of web browser or flash players in HTTP request.
Establish initial target access to adversary DNS: The first time the target accesses the adversary's content, the adversary's name must be resolved to an IP address. The adversary's DNS server performs this resolution, providing a short Time-To-Live (TTL) in order to prevent the target from caching the value.
Rebind DNS resolution to target address: The target makes a subsequent request to the adversary's content and the adversary's DNS server must again be queried, but this time the DNS server returns an address internal to the target's organization that would not be accessible from an outside source.
Determine exploitability of DNS rebinding access to target address: The adversary can then use scripts in the content the target retrieved from the adversary in the original message to exfiltrate data from the named internal addresses.
Access & exfiltrate data within the victim's security zone: The adversary can then use scripts in the content the target retrieved from the adversary in the original message to exfiltrate data from the internal addresses. This allows adversaries to discover sensitive information about the internal network of an enterprise.
Adversary attempts to use victim's browser as an HTTP proxy to other resources inside the target's security zone. This allows two IP addresses placed in the same security zone.
Adversary tries to scan and access all internal hosts in victim's local network by sending multiple short-lived IP addresses.
The target browser must access content server from the adversary controlled DNS name. Web advertisements are often used for this purpose. The target browser must honor the TTL value returned by the adversary and re-resolve the adversary's DNS name after initial contact.
Setup DNS server and the adversary's web server. Write a malicious script to allow the victim to connect to the web server.
The adversary must serve some web content that a victim accesses initially. This content must include executable content that queries the adversary's DNS name (to provide the second DNS resolution) and then performs the follow-on attack against the internal system. The adversary also requires a customized DNS server that serves an IP address for their registered DNS name, but which resolves subsequent requests by a single client to addresses internal to that client's network.
The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the attack pattern. The Scope identifies the security property that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in their attack. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a pattern will be used to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.
Execute Unauthorized Commands
Bypass Protection Mechanism
Design: IP Pinning causes browsers to record the IP address to which a given name resolves and continue using this address regardless of the TTL set in the DNS response. Unfortunately, this is incompatible with the design of some legitimate sites.
Implementation: Reject HTTP request with a malicious Host header.
Implementation: Employ DNS resolvers that prevent external names from resolving to internal addresses.
A Related Weakness relationship associates a weakness with this attack pattern. Each association implies a weakness that must exist for a given attack to be successful. If multiple weaknesses are associated with the attack pattern, then any of the weaknesses (but not necessarily all) may be present for the attack to be successful. Each related weakness is identified by a CWE identifier.
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed:
September 30, 2019