Dangers of DNS poisoning and how to prevent it
15 SEPTEMBER 2021
The cyberworld is constantly evolving, and with evolution comes new methods of committing crimes. DNS poisoning is one such threat that might not get the attention it deserves. (Source: 14/9/21 – Owais Sultan, Hackread)
The increase in cybercrimes has impacted businesses globally while companies spend millions of dollars on preventing cyber-attacks. But, still, 68% of the business leaders feel that their cybersecurity risks are only increasing with time. Therefore, learning aspects of cybercrimes and how to prevent them is very crucial.
Hence, this article will provide information about a method of cybercrime known as DNS poisoning. Further, the article will also discuss how you can protect your devices from these types of attacks.
What is DNS Poisoning?
DNS poisoning is also known as a spoofing attack carried out by hackers who imitate another device, client, or user by poisoning the DNS. This camouflaged method makes it easy for hackers to steal information from any device or interrupt internet traffic flow.
In a DNS poisoning attack, hackers change a domain name system (DNS) to a “spoofed” DNS so that when a valid person visits a website, they are redirected to a completely different site. People are unaware of this because fake sites are typically designed to look just like legitimate ones.
How Does DNS Poisoning work?
Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the internet. The names are organized in domains to find their way through the jungle of connected systems easily.
The DNS hierarchy usually looks something like this:
Root -> TLDs (top-level domains, such as .com or .org) -> Domains (such as blogspot.com) -> IP Addresses.
Whenever you type a URL into your browser and hit enter, DNS servers on the internet translate that website’s name into an IP address so that your computer can communicate with the system hosting the website you are looking for. That means DNS is like a translator responsible for conversions so that browsers can load Internet resources successfully.
However, what happens when the DNS servers themselves are compromised and fed false information? Instead of a legitimate website, the browser might launch a dangerous one.
These compromises are made by targeting the weakness in the process of loading pages to redirect traffic from legitimate IP addresses to illegitimate IP addresses. In simple words, the hackers gain access to a DNS server, after which they adjust its directory according to their interests.
Due to this, whenever the users enter a domain name, they will be redirected to the domain set up by hackers instead of the legitimate domain they wanted to access. It poses significant risks for users.
What are the Risks of DNS Poisoning?
DNS poisoning offers great risk to the users, and an even more dangerous thing is that users are not even aware of it. Few dangers of DNS poisoning are listed below.
- Malware. When users get redirected to fake websites, the hackers gain access to the network. Hackers use this access to install malware on the device.
- Theft. Hackers get an easy way through DNS poisoning to steal personal data from a device. They can steal data like financial credentials, login credentials, security numbers, and other sensitive data.
- Blocks Device Security Updates. Through DNS poisoning, hackers can even prevent the devices from getting security patch updates. It helps them in long-term control over the device.
How to Prevent DNS Poisoning?
Preventing DNS poisoning is essential to save yourself or your company from getting hacked by cybercriminals. There are various methods that you can apply to avoid DNS poisoning.
Spoofing Detection Tool
Various DNS spoofing detection tools like NetCut and Arp Monitor scans the DNS data sent to the users. It ensures that only accurate DNS data is being sent to the users.
It is the most common security measure taken by leading companies to ensure that DNS data sent from one end to another is completely encrypted. Encryption prevents cybercriminals from copying the data.
Signing with DNSSEC is strongly recommended by ICANN.
Install A Firewall
Installing a firewall or antivirus that supports protection from online viruses can help you a lot. It will prevent any malware or virus from entering your device, and further, it can also clean the malware already present in your device.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN app can help by allowing your traffic to flow through an encrypted tunnel. Additionally, most robust services use private DNS servers. Furthermore, these servers usually encrypt all requests you make. Thus, a VPN prevents your browsing from being interrupted by hackers or other entities.
With the rise of advancements in cybertechnology, the world has welcomed many dangers too. The risks of using the internet are getting bigger and dangerous day by day. Therefore, to decrease or cease the threats, everyone should adopt the above-given methods.
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