DNS attacks: what are they and how to protect us

How DNS Servers Work

DNS is the acronym in English for the Domain Name System. It serves to translate the information that we put on the Internet when trying to access a page. For example, when we put it automatically translates it to the corresponding unique IP address. In this way users do not have to remember numbers, but simply remember the domain name.

For this to be possible, it is necessary that there are DNS servers that are in charge of carrying out the search. They have a large database, like a phone book, and they send the request back to users. The servers that host the information of the IP addresses.

We can say that it is a very important part of the Internet. They are part of our day to day and it is essential to connect either from mobile devices or desktop computers. There are millions of pages on the net and it would not be possible to navigate properly without DNS servers.

What is a DNS attack?

A DNS attack consists of attacking those servers that we mentioned. There may be attacks that target either of the two options that we have indicated. This will logically cause a malfunction, it will prevent users from browsing normally and even carry out attacks to steal personal information and passwords.

We are going to show what are the main types of DNS attacks that we can find. As we will see, they are different, but all of them in one way or another can put our privacy at risk. Be prepared and not make mistakes of any kind.

DNS cache poisoning

The cache poisoning DNS is one of the most used options by cybercriminals. What they are looking for in this case is to redirect traffic to fraudulent pages when the victim enters a web page.

Let’s say, for example, that we try to enter a website to log into a social network or make a purchase. By accessing a page that has suffered a DNS cache poisoning attack, attackers can redirect us to a site that pretends to be legitimate but is actually a scam. They can use it to steal data.

DDoS attack against DNS servers

Another very present practice is that of flood with requests servers. It is what is known as a DDoS attack. This can prevent visitors from accessing a web page normally, since all these requests could block the service.

Hackers do not use a single location to try to access that site, as doing so could potentially block them. What they do is send a lot of requests from many places. That’s where the botnet.

This could cause great economic losses to a company. Ultimately, that website is going to be disabled for a while. Let’s say it is a page to sell a certain product. If it’s off duty for an entire afternoon, for example, they wouldn’t be able to sell.

Information theft through DNS

An alternative is the Information theft via DNS. As we know, today our personal data has great value on the Internet. They can be used to include us in spam lists, send targeted advertising or even sell it to third parties.

In this case, cybercriminals often take advantage of vulnerabilities that exist in DNS servers. In this way they manage to steal information from the victim. It can also affect the operation of a company and the loss of prestige.

How to protect ourselves from DNS attacks

It is very important to protect ourselves from any type of threat on the network. There are many types of viruses, malware and other elements that can affect our privacy and security. This makes it essential to have security tools, have the computers protected and of course also the web servers that we use.

Upgraded systems

Something very important to avoid this type of attack and any other similar is to have the systems correctly updated. There are many vulnerabilities that can arise and are exploited by hackers to carry out their attacks. We need to have the equipment with all the patches and correctly updated. This will prevent hackers from taking advantage of these errors.

Security tools

Another fundamental question to avoid DNS attacks is to always have the protected systems. For this we can use antivirus, but the use of a firewall is especially important. A firewall will help to reject fraudulent connections that point against our server, computer or any device.

Network security threats

Use secure and encrypted connections

Whenever we browse the Internet we must be aware of using connections that are secure. Sometimes we connect through public Wi-Fi networks that can be a danger to our privacy and we could also be browsing networks that have suffered a DNS attack. This could cause us to enter pages that have been modified or be redirected.

Have a VPN

To prevent personal information from being leaked, data from our browsing, when browsing the Internet, especially on insecure networks, we can use programs VPN. They are very useful to preserve our privacy at all times. There are them for mobile devices and desktop computers. We can also use them both free and paid.

Common sense

But without a doubt the most important thing is the common sense. We must avoid errors, access pages that are insecure and that could have been modified to steal personal information. Ultimately, in most attacks, hackers are going to need user interaction.

In short, these are some questions that we must take into account to avoid DNS attacks. A series of steps that we must take at all times to protect our data against possible hackers.

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