Over one third of websites share Microsoft's Domain Name System (DNS) server vulnerability and are compromising their security and resilience.
A random sample of nearly 5000 website domains were tested by DNS consultancy Men and Mice using diagnostic tools that found approximately 38 per cent of domains have the same DNS configuration that helped wipe out Microsoft's web presence this week.
DNS servers translate domain names, such as vnunet.com, into numerical IP addresses - for example 22.214.171.124 - which are used to identify servers. The system lets web surfers use memorable domain names, rather then strings of numbers, to locate websites.
The network design where all of the DNS servers are on the same network effectively creates a single point of failure and exposes the company to serious damage if there is an operational error or a hacking attack.
Director of Surveys at Men and Mice, Sjofn Agustsdottir, said: "It is clear that a stunning number of companies have serious DNS configuration problems which can lead to failure at any time. A single point of failure can go undetected for months, which is simply a disaster waiting to happen."
DNS expert and technical author, Cricket Liu, said: "DNS on a global scale is poor. Anyone doing business on the internet needs to take DNS outages seriously. Companies should pay more attention to DNS as a critical component of their network infrastructure."
John Bennett, security expert at GFI Informatics, who previously worked at government intelligence establishment GCHQ, said: "In my experience after being out of government for eight months, businesses are more at risk than governments. If it means spending money ensuring IP addresses and routers are made secure, companies would often rather save money. They don't think strategically."
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