DNS rebinding is an attack technique know for more than 20 years, which is experiencing a revival caused by the ever-increasing networking of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Thus, the potential attack surface is growing rapidly, and this paper shows that DNS rebinding attacks on many smart home devices are still successful. Nevertheless, various conditions must be fulfilled for this type of attack. This leads to the fact that such attacks rarely occur in practice since router vendors often provide DNS rebinding protection. Nevertheless, we believe that it is valuable to investigate whether individual devices are theoretically vulnerable and to create a certain awareness so that the existing countermeasures are used correctly.

As part of this paper, we conducted a study analyzing five devices, four smart home devices and one router as a smart-home gateway connected with the IoT products. Three out of four of the smart home devices are vulnerable, and the router is partially vulnerable because queries reach localhost despite activated DNS rebinding protection; thus, services on localhost are vulnerable. This indicates that the manufacturers of smart home devices rely on the countermeasures of the routers in the first place, but it might even improve the security of the devices if they already implement their own additional countermeasures.


DNS IoT DNS rebinding 



We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedback.


  1. 1.
    Acar, G., Huang, D.Y., Li, F., Narayanan, A., Feamster, N.: Web-based attacks to discover and control local IoT devices. In: Proceedings of the 2018 Workshop on IoT Security and Privacy (2018)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    DNS Rebinding Exposes Half a Billion Devices in the Enterprise. Accessed 06 June 2019
  3. 3.
    CVE - Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures. Accessed 06 June 2019
  4. 4.
    Dai , Y., Resig, R.: FireDrill: interactive \(\{\)DNS\(\}\) rebinding. In: 7th \(\{\)USENIX\(\}\) Workshop on Offensive Technologies (2013)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dean, D., Felten, E.W., Wallach, D. S.: Java security: From HotJava to Netscape and beyond. In: IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (1996)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    DNS Attack Scenario, February 1996. Accessed 06 June 2019
  7. 7.
    Grossman, J., Fogie, S., Hansen, R., Rager, A., Petkov, P.D.: XSS Attacks: Cross Site Scripting Exploits and Defense. Syngress (2007)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jackson, C., Barth, A., Bortz, A., Shao, W., Boneh, D.: Protecting browsers from DNS rebinding attacks. In: ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) (2007)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Johns, M., Lekies, S., Stock, B.: Eradicating DNS rebinding with the extended same-origin policy. In: USENIX Security Symposium (2013)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Johns, M., Winter, J.: Protecting the intranet against “JavaScript malware” and related attacks. In: M. Hämmerli, B., Sommer, R. (eds.) DIMVA 2007. LNCS, vol. 4579, pp. 40–59. Springer, Heidelberg (2007). Scholar
  11. 11.
    Karlof, C., Shankar, U., Tygar, J.D., Wagner, D.: Dynamic pharming attacks and locked same-origin policies for web browsers. In: ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) (2007)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kolias, C., Kambourakis, G., Stavrou, A., Voas, J.: DDoS in the IoT: Mirai and other botnets. Computer 50(7), 80–84 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rekhter, Y., Moskowitz, B., Karrenberg, D., de Groot, G., Lear, E.: Address allocation for private internets. RFC 1918, RFC Editor, February 1996Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Roskind, J.: Attacks against the netscape browser. In: Talk at the RSA Conference (2001)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Singularity of Origin. Accessed 06 June 2019
  16. 16.
    Fonoff-Tasmota. Accessed 06 June 2019
  17. 17.
    Tatang, D., Schneider, C., Holz, T.: Large-scale Analysis of Infrastructure-leaking DNS Servers. In: Perdisci, R., Maurice, C., Giacinto, G., Almgren, M. (eds.) DIMVA 2019. LNCS, vol. 11543, pp. 353–373. Springer, Cham (2019). Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ruhr University BochumBochumGermany

Personalised recommendations