We use the domain name system, or DNS, billions of times a day… and most people don’t even know that it exists. When it comes to companies and individuals alike, DNS is our digital identity. Unfortunately, DNS is also vulnerable to a number of different threats, which is why learning about DNS security is so important.
Here are the top five DNS threats that you need to be ready for:
1. Registrar Company Hijacking
Almost all domain names are a registrar in a company called a registrar company. This is why many hackers will attempt to hijack a registrar company. If the attacker can somehow compromise your account with your registrar company, they will then control your domain name.
This, in turn, will allow them to transfer your domain name either to somebody else or to an offshore registrar, or otherwise use it to gain access to other email servers and web servers. Either way, domain name recovery will be a rather complicated and difficult process.
To reduce the risk of this happening, you will need to select a registrar company that offers excellent security measures. One example will be a multi-factor authentication system.
2. DDoS Attack
A DDoS attack is not a direct threat to DNS, but nonetheless, your domain name system will still be vulnerable to DDoS attacks. This is because the DNS is a choke point on the network, and if your DNS is not able to handle a very large number of requests, the performance of your website will go down.
The best strategy that you can use is to ensure that you use a DNS provider with a widely distributed network of servers that can handle large volumes of DNS traffic, as volume-based attacks are a common DDoS tactic.
3. Cache Poisoning
Each time that you visit a website, or even each time that you simply send an email, your computer is using DNS data. This data has been cached somewhere in the network, like with an ISP.
This is good because it improves the internet’s performance by reducing the load on registries that can provide an authoritative DNS response. But the negative aspect of this is that caches are vulnerable to what is called ‘cache poisoning attacks.’
The best way to reduce the risk of cache poisoning attacks will be to deploy name servers in a secure configuration. You can also use a protocol that is called DNSSEC, which is being used across numerous registries today. his security measure will add a DNSSEC digital signature to domain names. This then means that ISP’s and browsers will have to validate that signature to confirm that it is authentic, which in turn will mean that cache poisoning attacks will be effectively rendered obsolete.
Typosquatting is when a domain name is registered with a name incredibly similar to an existing well-known brand name, to the point that it’s confusing and meant to mislead people. This is a major issue for trademark attorneys in particular, and also presents an issue in regards to corporate confidentiality. The idea is that hackers or anyone else with bad intent can benefit from directing traffic meant for the website with the popular brand name to their own site, and they can also use it to help steal information.
5. Amplification Attack
An amplification attack is technically a type of DDoS attack that will leverage DNS servers to then be deployed in insecure configurations. Hackers discovered long ago that an open recursive DNS server (or a DNS server that allows for a domain name resolution to be handed to more robust servers) can be exploited due to DDoS attacks.
Hackers discovered long ago that an open recursive DNS server (or a DNS server that allows for a domain name resolution to be handed to more robust servers) can be exploited due to DDoS attacks.
Being Ready For DNS Threats
The first step in being ready for DNS threats is knowing what those threats are in the first place. Hopefully, this article clearly outlined for you the top DNS threats you need to be aware of and what steps you can take to be ready for them.