Cloudflare has launched new free public DNS resolvers 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 on April Fools day 2018 (This is not a joke, its a real service). This service competes directly with Google’s and OpenDNS’s public resolvers.
Cloudflare claims to build the new resolvers with Security and Speed as basic features. Here are the results for latency test for both 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 from all over the world for comparison (Click on the image to zoom).
Of course this is just a simple latency test and actual performance may vary depending on different other factors.
Memorable IP Address
Until now Google 18.104.22.168 used to be the most memorable publicly used ip address followed by Level 3’s 22.214.171.124. Cloudflare’s 126.96.36.199 is not more memorable than Google’s 188.8.131.52 but I have to admit its way cooler. This is important because you can use domain names so you dont have to remember ip addresses of websites but you cannot do it with DNS servers and you need to know the ip address.
DNS-over-TLS and DNS-over-HTTPS Support
DNS protocol was not designed with security in mind because at the time it was designed it did not need it. Its not true for today’s internet. For that reason CloudFlare’s DNS servers support both DNS-over-TLS and DNS-over-HTTPS from day 1.
Fastest DNS Server
Cloudflare has also posted in their blog that DNSPerf has ranked 184.108.40.206 as the fastest DNS server with an average of 14ms of query speed. Of course you will get different results based on your location and whether or not you are a Cloudflare customer.
DNS Query Name Minimisation to Improve Privacy
Cloudflare also supports DNS Query Name Minimisation to Improve Privacy as defined in RFC7816 which means that Cloudflare’s DNS resolvers do not send full query to the upstream name servers which reduces the information leaked to upstream DNS servers, like the root and TLDs.
Along with 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168.1 Cloudflare has also provided memorable ip addresses for their IPv6 DNS servers 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4007::1001.
You can learn more about Cloudflare’s DNS server’s on https://22.214.171.124
Recently Mathy Vanhoef of imec-DistriNet has discovered a vulnerability in WPA2 standard which enables a Man in the Middle to sniff and decrypt packets over the wireless network. The details about this vulnerability is provided on https://www.krackattacks.com/
WPA2 is used to secure the wireless communication between the clients and access point. It was considered as unbreakable untill this vulnerability is discovered. Here are the key things you should know about this vulnerability.
- This vulnerability cannot be exploited remotely. The attacker or his device must be close enough to connect to the targeted wireless network to run the attack. This limits the effect of this vulnerability significantly.
- There has been no reports of this vulnerability being exploited in the wild, yet.
- This only enables the attacker to decrypt the wireless frames and expose the payload. Is the communication is over HTTPS/TLS the attacker can still not decrypt the payload and all of your communication data is still safe.
- The vulnerability was discovered many months ago and was communicated to many vendors whose products are vulnerable. So the patches will be available soon.
- This vulnerability effects every client device that uses wireless as the vulnerability is in the WPA2 standard.
- There are no patches available to fix it at this moment so till the time the device vendor releases a patch the wireless communication is prone to this attack.
- This enables the attacker to get private information over wireless communication if the payload is sent over plain text/http protocol.
- Though the HTTPS communication is safe from this attack, it still exposes your DNS traffic which is in clear text.
- The attacker can modify the DNS traffic and can redirect you to a malicious website.
Things you should do to keep yourself safe from this attack.
- Keep an eye on any update released by your device vendor, patch the device as soon as an update is available.
- Do not send any private information like Username/Password, account login, Payment information, personal details over unencrypted connection. Always check of the website you are submitting the details is using HTTPS for encrypting all the communication related to private information.
- Ensuring this green lock button on the browser is even more important now as the attacker can modify DNS traffic and redirect you to a malicious website. If that is the case you will get a certificate error on the browser. Do not proceed if your web browser warns you about any problems with the website certificate.
- If possible always use VPN when connected over wireless, so that all the communication over wireless is protected by an extra layer of VPN encryption.
- For the paranoids, keep yourself from using wireless at all until this vulnerability is patched.
DNS Stands for Domain Name System. DNS is one of the most important part of internet. All the computers on the internet are connected to each other and each one of them has a unique IP address and DNS maps these IP address with their Domain names. It is easier to remember and recall names than a bunch of numbers.
Whenever you try to browse a website on a browser like http://126.96.36.199, the browser uses DNS to get the IP address of the website asknetsec.com and then connects to that IP address and downloads the webpage.
DNS communication works in a server-client model where the client is the computer that needs to resolve a domain name to an ip address and the server is a computer which has the information about Domain name to IP address mappings.
A typical DNS transaction is made up of 2 packets. A request from the client to the server and a response from the server to the client. The request packet consists dns query for the domain name and the response packet consists of answer to that query in the form of IP address for the requested domain name.
Below is a typical DNS request and response packets taken from Wireshark that shows more info on the content of the DNS transaction.
Dns Query packet
Dns Response packet
The DNS query contains the domain name and DNS response contains the IP address associated with that domain name.