Monday, August 17, 2009

Nominum Enhances Carrier DNS with Automatic Propagation of Threat Data

Nominum its releasing the third generation of its Trusted Response and Universal Enforcement (TRUE) Architecture, which allows service providers to use DNS to provide instant and automatic protection to end users against a wide range of Internet threats as soon as they are discovered.
  Whereas traditional DNS provides the end-user with direct domain name resolution to any site -- including malicious sites, phishing sites. Malware infected sites or illegal content -- Nominum's Intelligent DNS enables the service provider to use automated threat propagation data in responding to DNS requests.

Nominum believes this use of DNS is necessary to overcome the increasingly dynamic nature of today's Internet threats.  The company said hackers are taking advantage of the shortcomings of legacy DNS systems to continuously change the profile of their exploits in order to sustain their effectiveness and inflict broader damage on the Internet.  To cite just one highly visible recent example, the Conficker worm, which has infected more than 10 million PCs around the world used the DNS as a rendezvous point for command and control.  This worm effectively turned the DNS into an ally of the attackers.  Nominum's intelligent DNS systems were able to track, block, and isolate the Conficker worm and identify infected hosts.

Key features of Nominum's third generation TRUE Architecture include:

  • Personalized Services can be deployed across the provider network for compliance and protection by leveraging the highly scalable, data efficient, threat aggregation platform.  Millions of discrete threats can now be monitored across the network and efficiently bundled into personalized service options for end users such as illegal content blocking, anti-phishing, botnet protection, parental controls and others. Nominum has already pre-integrated threat data to protect against Conficker and to prevent access to illegal child exploitation content on the Internet. 

  • Automated Provisioning of Threat Data across the Network enables network-wide policy enforcement against millions of malicious, illegal or inappropriate Internet destinations with no manual intervention.  Automation reduces the delay, to as little as a few seconds, between the time a new threat is discovered and when it is acted on.  

  • Real-Time Visibility (RTV) for the first time gives service providers complete insight into network activity with logging, real time analysis and reporting for every single DNS transaction without impacting performance and latency.  These real time capabilities allow informed policies, based on detailed data, analysis and reporting, therefore making it easier to spot threats and proactively defend against rogue activity. 

  • Discovery Mode is a powerful risk assessment tool that is valuable for gauging the scope and sources of threats before taking enforcement action.  For instance, botnet command and control sites could be monitored to find how many hosts are infected with botnet viruses and how often they access the command and control sites. This tool can also help study behavioral evolutions of various threats for better policy making that leads to better protection for all end users.

  • Confidentiality of Sensitive Data Feeds prevents inadvertent disclosure or theft of lists of web sites hosting unwanted or illegal content, such as child exploitation images. Confidentiality is maintained end-to-end to eliminate the negative publicity and potential legal liability that disclosure would bring.