When we are talking about DNS spoofing, the threat is real. As an online business owner or administrator it is essential to know what risk is hidden behind these words. Understanding it will help for sure with protecting your clients, yourself, and your business. Let’s talk a little more about what it is and how to defend yourself.
What is DNS spoofing?
Another way that you can see DNS (Domain Name System) spoofing to be called is DNS cache poisoning. This is a hacking attack. It happens when into the DNS cache of a resolver server enters malicious DNS data or files, such as forget records or forget entry. They begin to answer the requests from users. Unfortunately, the end-user receives answers with a forged record, like a fake IP address. The intention is apparently to direct the traffic to an address where attackers will try to get the victims’ sensitive data, like credit card information.
The devices of the users work normally because they are tricked through the forged data. Customers think that they are going to the legit website they requested. Instead, they are directed to an unsafe destination, which is in the control of the attackers. The websites’ appearance could look very alike compared to the real one, and the user may not spot the difference. But that is just a forged copy.
DNS spoofing tactics
Attackers can use various tactics, which are for their illegal purposes.
As we mentioned, the goal is to direct traffic to forged websites.
- DNS cache poisoned through spam. Corrupted code can be found added in ads, images, or URLs in spam e-mails. Once users click the URL, their devices get poisoned. The code, afterward, guides them to forged websites.
- Hijack of a DNS server. The hacker accesses the server, exploiting weak spots, remodeling its configuration, including a fake entry, etc. What is the result? When every IP request is attempting to enter a particular website (the one spoofed), it will arrive at the forged website.
- Man-in-the-middle technique (DNS responses’ spoofing). With this technique, the intention is to poison both, server and the user’s device at once. Here the criminal is exactly between your browser and the DNS server. The communication gets poisoned through software that injects the code.
How to protect yourself?
- Use encryption. Encryption is a great way to keep DNS data (queries and responses) safe. For the criminals who want to spoof, forging a copy of the security certificate of the legit website won’t be possible.
- Work on detection. There are available software tools for scanning the data received as a last step.
- Domain name system security extensions (DNSSEC). It checks the authenticity of data through DNS records. This way, DNSSEC secures DNS lookup’s authenticity.
Users also have to consider some preventive practices and not make the attackers’ job that easy. After all, they are the main target of such type criminal activity.
- Prefer a virtual private network (VPN) for connecting. Connecting to a public network hides a pretty significant risk. VPN will supply users with an encrypted tunnel to securely reach servers and interact with the domains they visit.
- Don’t click strange links. Before clicking any sent link, make a quick check of its URL. This is recommended, especially when such mischievous links are added in spam messages, text, or social media messages, from unknown senders. Not clicking can save users’ sensitive data.
- Delete DNS cache. DNS data of often visited websites will be kept saved for some time. The server may not be poisoned anymore, but the user’s device may be. Users can prevent being directed by their browsers to forged websites by periodically cleaning the DNS cache.