It’s 5:15 PM. Is Your DNS Server Taking You For a Walk on the Wild Side?

There’s a big hole on the internet related to a problem with DNS servers (See article at, the drones that silently and efficiently convert internet addresses like and into IP addresses like and   You may also want to listen to the Security Now podcast here, or review the printable transcript of the episode here.  You may want to use one of the three tools listed below to test your ISP’s DNS servers to see if they are patched for the vulnerability:

If your ISP is vulnerable, you might consider using someone else’s DNS servers.  Some options include:

  • OpenDNS is a free service (Wikipedia article here) which lets you use their DNS servers ( and instead of your ISP’s servers.  (Open DNS is reportedly not vulnerable to the attacks mentioned in the podcast.)  An article on how to configure Windows XP, Windows Vista, and a router from Computerworld is here. I have been using OpenDNS for about six months, and have been impressed with the speed increases when browsing the web,
  • Other options, including talking directly to the 13 root servers and others are in an article from Leo Notenbloom here.