DNS: Power or BIND?

PowerDNS Express is a new addition to the world of Domain Name Servers which transform domain names into the less instantly memorable, but completely essential IP addresses.

Until recently, BIND, on which the vast majority of Internet servers rely, was seen as a de facto standard. However, the discovery this year of a number of security holes, which allowed hackers to launch denial of service attacks, has called this reputation into question somewhat.

To overcome this, Netherlands-based PowerDNS has launched the new — “more robust” — server with an easy-to-use, Web-based interface.

The company reckons its new software is “engineered from scratch to avoid the problems that are inherent in existing technology … it is not vulnerable to the kind of attacks that could take out 90 percent of the existing systems used on the internet today.”

PowerDNS Express allows technical and non-technical individuals alike to manage their domain name and email services, as well as allowing the more technically competent to define mail servers, hosts and aliases through an advanced Web interface.

However, it is perhaps unfair to knock BIND too much. The real problem with BIND might be its popularity. With BIND running on millions of computers on the Net, it’s almost impossible to make sure that everyone is aware of the compromises to security.

BIND works well — and the latest versions fix the holes — but its ongoing problem may be that, as not everyone has upgraded their software to fix these flaws, BIND may be blamed for further attacks, leaving the DNS field open for competing software, such as PowerDNS.

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