Hackers have begun to threaten the very existence of large parts of the internet by exploiting a flaw that is extremely damaging to one of the most widely used and critical piece of software on the planet, Bind.
The attacks are using a denial-of-service flaw present in every single version of Bind that has the potential to give one attacker the God-like ability to shut down huge parts of the internet.
Bind is a commonly used piece of software that translates domain names into the IP addresses recognised by servers.
Ars Technica reports that all attackers need do is use a single command to crash authoritative and recursive domain name system servers, which in turn allows attackers to wreak havoc on as much of the internet as they wish.
There is currently no workaround for the flaw, however, a patch has been recently been released and must be installed to prevent hackers taking control. The problem right now is that many still haven't installed it correctly.
Manual installation required
"Because of its severity we've been actively monitoring to see when the exploit would be live," Daniel Cid, founder and CTO of security firm Sucuri, explained in a blog post. "We can confirm that the attacks have begun. DNS is one of the most critical parts of the Internet infrastructure, so having your DNS go down, it also means your e-mail, HTTP, and all other services will be unavailable."
Bind comes as standard inside most versions of Linux and regardless of the version the update must be installed manually and all DNS servers restarted before it takes effect.