THE TERMINATOR, SKYNET AND DNS SECURITY FLAW

Terminator

In the world of The Terminator, Skynet is an artificial intelligence system that gained self-awareness and launched a massive nuclear attack after determining that humanity would attempt to destroy it.

Skynet was able to launch simultaneous global attacks by spreading into millions of computer servers worldwide and taking over nuclear missiles. If it didn’t have the ability to take over the servers and the nukes, Judgment Day could have been prevented. 

Now, a recent article warns of a serious security flaw that could allow a malware to infect the “entire Internet.”

Google Inc. and software company Red Hat have discovered a “critical security flaw affecting the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS), found in a universally used protocol.” In layman’s terms, “This means that an attacker could use it to infect almost everything on the entire Internet,” the article said.

How could that happen? The security flaw tricks Internet browsers into looking up suspicious domains, the article said, causing servers “to reply with DNS names that are far too long, thus causing a buffer overflow in the victim's software.” This overflow, in turn, would allow an attacker to take over the computer remotely. The security flaw will most likely take years to fix, according to the article, given that the last DNS flaw took a decade to fix.

Let’s hope Skynet doesn’t become a reality before the flaw is fixed.  

To keep up with the constantly evolving world of privacy and security sign up for the Bloomberg BNA Privacy and Security Update.