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Situation

I know the IP address of a DNS server running in the same network on a machine which I can't maintain.

Question

How can find out more about which software that DNS server uses?

Thanks for your help - if anythings unclear, please leave a comment.

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you could use nmap but that can be dangerous. There probably is an offical way to do this I just don't know it. –  tony roth Jun 19 '13 at 20:33
1  
Ask the sysadmin responsible who does maintain it... ? –  mfinni Jun 19 '13 at 20:34
    
@mfinni I'm looking for technical way to do it. –  fdj815 Jun 20 '13 at 7:58
    
What technical problem could you be trying to solve, if you're not the admin on the DNS server? –  mfinni Jun 20 '13 at 12:48

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Many DNS servers are pre-configured with version information in DNS TXT records for the version.bind label in the CHAOS class. If this is the case with yours as well, you could retreive it by running

dig @dns.name.server version.bind chaos txt

Typical answers might include

;; ANSWER SECTION:
version.bind.           0       CH      TXT     "9.8.1-P1"

or

;; ANSWER SECTION:
version.bind.           1476526080 IN   TXT     "Microsoft DNS 6.1.7600 (1DB04228)"

or

;; ANSWER SECTION:
version.bind.           0       CH      TXT     "dnsmasq-2.47"

Apart from this, tools for DNS fingerprinting exist, fpdns probably being the most advanced one.

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Just remember that many server administrators disable this feature if it's present. –  Andrew B Jun 22 '13 at 15:50

The DNS protocols don't have a discovery mechanism built into them like some other protocols do.

This leaves you with indirect methods, such as port-scanning and shoulder surfing, the use of which is not that advisable. If you need to know, working at the human layer is probably the most effective way to get the answer you want without being perceived as an attacker.

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2  
Or even if you are an attacker. –  Ryan Ries Jun 19 '13 at 20:56

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