DNS poisoning (DNS spoofing) explained

What is DNS poisoning (DNS spoofing)?

DNS poisoning (DNS spoofing) is a technique that hackers use. It imitates another device, user, or client. It acts as a cover, which makes it easier to disrupt the regular flow of traffic or reach protected information.

The attackers remodel a Domain Name System (DNS) into a spoofed one. So, when a client wants to visit a website, they will be directed to a completely different site, rather than opening the legitimate destination they requested to visit. Users usually don’t even understand that they have reached a fake site. That is because they are designed as same as the original site without any major differences.

After the attack is initiated, the traffic is directed to the non-legit server. Therefore hackers are capable of performing malicious actions, such as man-in-the-middle attacks and steal sensitive information. Another scenario is installing a virus to the victim’s computer and cause a lot of damage. Even further, they can place a worm to expand the harm to more devices.

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How is DNS poisoning so dangerous?

DNS poisoning poses risks to organizations and also to individuals. Maybe the biggest risk is that once a device has become a victim of DNS poisoning, it is very challenging to solve the issue. This is because the poisoned device will continue to go back to the forged site. Besides, the DNS poisoning attack is very hard to be detected by a user. The attackers direct the traffic to a very similar website. In this situation, the visitor doesn’t identify that there is something wrong. The user inputs their sensitive information as usual and doesn’t realize that they exposed themselves to severe risk.

Here are some of the severe dangers that this type of attack includes:

  • Robbery

With DNS poisoning, it is easy for attackers to steal sensitive information. For example, logins for protected sites – banks, organizational systems, or information about house proprietary. The personally identifiable information is also valuable, like social security numbers or information details about payments.

  • Malware and viruses

After a visitor is led to a forged website, for the attackers is possible to access and install a host of viruses and malware to the users’ device. It includes a virus designed to harm their device and also other devices with which it interacts. On the other hand, the malware provides the attackers continuous access to the device and the information inside it.

  • Security blockers

With DNS poisoning, malicious actors can cause critical damage in a long time period. This happens through redirecting the traffic from security providers to block devices from getting essential updates and patches that keep the strong security. In this way, the devices are becoming more defenseless through time. So like that, the door is open for various other kinds of attack, such as Trojans.

What are appropriate protective measures against it?

There are possible ways to protect the resolution of the DNS name from being tampered with. As an example, by implementing DNS cookies that secure the integrity and authenticity of clients, DNS queries can be protected. Also, the servers and the information which is transferred between them. Another thing that can help with protecting against DNS spoofing is implementing a DNSSEC technology.

To create DNS tampering even more difficult, it is essential to use well-maintained and up-to-date software on routers, name servers, and all kinds of devices. This is because the weaker points for attack performed by attackers and malware are far less on the patched system.

Author: isabella

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