DDoS attacks threaten Internet security and stability, with attacks reaching the Tbps range. A popular approach involves DNS-based reflection and amplification, a type of attack in which a domain name, known to return a large answer, is queried using spoofed requests. Do the chosen names offer the largest amplification, however, or have we yet to see the full amplification potential? And while operational countermeasures are proposed, chiefly limiting responses to ‘ANY’ queries, up to what point will these countermeasures be effective?
The DNS TXT resource record is the one that without doubt provide users with the most flexibility of content, as it is a largely unstructured. Although it might be the ideal basis for storing any form of text-based information, it also poses a security threat, as TXT records can also be used for malicious and unintended practices. Yet, we reckon that TXT records are often overlooked in security research. In this paper, we present the first structured study of the uses of TXT records, with a specific focus on security implications.