CZ.NIC staff member Petr Špaček has a blog post describing a newly disclosed DNS resolver vulnerability called NXNSAttack. It allows attackers to abuse the delegation mechanism to create a denial-of-service condition via packet amplification. "This is so-called glueless delegation, i.e. a delegation which contains only names of authoritative DNS servers (a.iana-servers.net. and b.iana-servers.net.), but does not contain their IP addresses. Obviously DNS resolver cannot send a query to “name”, so the resolver first needs to obtain IPv4 or IPv6 address of authoritative server 'a.iana-servers.net.' or 'b.iana-servers.net.' and only then it can continue resolving the original query 'example.com. A'.
This glueless delegation is the basic principle of the NXNSAttack: Attacker simply sends back delegation with fake (random) server names pointing to victim DNS domain, thus forcing the resolver to generate queries towards victim DNS servers (in a futile attempt to resolve fake authoritative server names)." At this time, Ubuntu has updated its BIND package to mitigate the problem; other distributions will no doubt follow soon. More details can also be found in the paper [PDF].