What is DNS Attack and How Does it Works?


DNS Attack is a type of cyber attack that exploits the weakness or vulnerability of the domain name system. InternetInternet has become an essential part of life today. From communication to banking to shopping, to travel, every aspect of life is on the Internet.

Since the InternetInternet is widely used, cyber protection is a primary concern for most web users, as we do now and then hear news of cyber attacks.

Nowadays, cyber-attacks are common. Even for many IT companies and companies, they become a big headache. Some big names such as Twitter, The New York Times, etc. have been cyber-attacked in recent years.

Today we will learn about DNS assaults, how they work and how to fight them.

What is DNS Attack?

Indeed, DNS attacks happen when a hacker can find weaknesses to be abused in the DNS ( Domain Name System) structure.

Hackers are taking advantage of vulnerabilities to make a DNS attack possible. To understand how DNS attacks work, you’ll have to know how DNS functions first.

For those that don’t know, a domain name system is a protocol that interprets an alphabetical domain name to an IP address. In short, its main purpose is to transform a user-friendly domain name to a computer-friendly IP address.

How is DNS working?

When a user enters a domain name in the browser, the program available in the operating system known as ‘DNSresolver’ searches for the IP address of that domain name.

Next, DNS resolve looks for its local cache and tests whether it already has an IP address for that domain. When it is not found in the local cache, it asks the DNS server to check if it knows the right IP address for that domain.

DNS servers operate in a loop, which means they will ask each other to find a DNS server that knows the right IP address of the domain name.

As soon as the DNS resolve locates the IP address, it returns the IP address to the requesting application. DNS caches the domain address for future use.

While the Domain Name System is very useful yet seems less security-oriented, maybe that’s why we’re seeing different types of DNS attacks.

To minimize the possibility of DNS attacks, server administrators must take some necessary steps. They can use an upgraded version of DNS software and configure duplicate servers regularly. Users should flush their DNS cache at a personal level to reduce security risks. If you don’t know how to flush DNS, read an original post on hostinger.com.

How Hackers Use DNS?

The biggest problem with DNS is that if a hacker can find a way to replace a website’s registered IP address with a rogu IP address in any account, anyone attempting to access the site will be redirected to a fake address. The user did not know if he had access to the wrong address.

One of the big problems with the DNS server configuration is that its default configuration is not remembered. Attackers are exploiting this loophole.

Types of DNS Attack

In recent years, a sudden rise in DNS attacks has been noticed. And this attack is not restricted exclusively to small websites.

Many popular websites, including Reddit, Spotify and Facebook, have also complained about thousands of their users’ inaccessibility.

When DNS attacks become all too normal, we will learn to recognise DNS attacks so that we can properly deal with this situation. Let’s have a look at types of DNS attacks.

Zero-day attack – The attacker exploits in the server software or protocol stack a previously unknown weakness in this sort of attack.
Fast Flux DNS – Hackers swap high-frequency DNS records to redirect DNS requests. This technique also helps the intruder resist detection.
DNS-Spoofing – DNS spoofing is also known as the poisoning of the DNS cache. It is a form of security hacking for a device. Attackers or hackers are corrupting the entire DNS server by replacing an accepted IP address in the server cache with a false IP address. They redirect the entire traffic to a malicious website and collect the essential information.

This is one of the most common phishing techniques for stealing information by attackers. When users type in their browsers the correct domain address, they never know they have access to a bogus or rogue website.

It is therefore difficult to detect this attack. Often users can’t find it before the time to live (TTL) ends. TTL or time to live until the DNS solver recovers the DNS query until it expires.

The easiest way to avoid DNS cache poisoning attacks would be to clear a DNS cache from time to time.

DDoS Attack on DNS

The DDoS attack is classified as a Denial of Service attack. This typically happens when several systems overwhelm a targeted system with its resources. Attackers can use this attack against various devices, including the DNS server.

A DDoS attack will crash the entire DNS server and block users from accessing the Internet. And, if placed in the local cache, they would be able to access websites they have recently visited.

Attacks on DNS servers can be a huge network security issue. This should also not be taken lightly by businesses. We will apply state-of-the-art protections to avoid and reduce the consequences of these attacks.

It depends on the role of your systems in the environment how you can protect this attack. You should, however, take the following steps.

Get daily insights into what’s going in a network. You may use IPFIX, NetFlow, etc. for the same technology.

DDoS attacks usually reach the network with excessive packets per second rate. Think of some good solutions for it.

Final Words:

DNS attacks can be deadly for your protection. You must therefore take every step you can to prevent them.

Have you ever suffered a DNS attack? How did you prevent them from doing so? Ask us about your experiences.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.