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DNS on Windows Server 2003, 3rd Edition by Robbie Allen, Matt Larson, Cricket Liu

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Dynamic Update

Dynamic update was implemented in the Microsoft DNS Server starting with Windows 2000. Like many other protocols used by Windows, it’s an Internet standard, defined in RFC 2136. Dynamic update allows a name server to be updated by sending it a message over the network. This is a big improvement over the traditional method, which requires a human to fire up the DNS console to make the change in person. Dynamic update allows nonhumans—i.e., programs—to easily update DNS information. Dynamic update is now used extensively in Windows: a modern Windows client uses it to add an A record to DNS for its IP address and recent Windows DHCP servers also use dynamic update to add PTR records as they assign leases.

No security is built into the dynamic update protocol. It’s up to an individual name server to decide whether or not to accept an update message. About the only means of authentication a name server has is to look at the source IP address of the dynamic update message, and that’s not a very strong means of authentication at all: it’s easy to “spoof” or forge a packet’s source IP address. And since a complete dynamic update message travels in a single UDP packet, all an attacker needs to know is an IP address that the name server accepting dynamic updates trusts. The Bad Guy just creates a dynamic update with a spoofed source IP address and sends it to the unsuspecting name server.

This deficiency begs for some stronger security based on cryptography, which fortunately ...

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