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the-externalities-of-dns-configuration

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According to a recent study by DNS appliance maker Infoblox, over 50% of the Internet's domain name servers allow recursive name services - requiring a name server to relay requests to other name servers. If an attacker "poisons" the list of name servers, users are directed to a fake site, even if they manually enter the correct web-address.

Economists would call this an externality. The risks posed by the DNS Cache poisoning are external to the ISPs. The consumer or financial institution could sue the ISP - and the courts are there to help solve externlities (can we plot the growth of torts with the growth of externalities?). A better solution would be for PC World to scan for recursive DNS and other security precautions when they do their Best and Worst ISPs. Proper DNS configuration is a great example of something that tells a lot about a company. If they do the things that people can't see well, then they probably do the things they can see very well. I bet that Earthlink has the fewest mis-configured DNS servers.

The other solution for this is mutual authentication. Even if all the ISPs fixed their DNS servers, it probably still wouldn't be enough because many corporations run them as well. Users will never be able to properly evaluate an SSL certificate, so mutual authentication will be necessary. On the plus side, it should eliminate 99% of current phishing attacks.

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