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DNS Attacks

DNS attacks are among the most widespread attack vectors. In DNS attacks, cybercriminals exploit the characteristics and, in particular, the technology-related vulnerabilities of the Domain Name System (DNS) to launch targeted attacks on organizations. The results include attacks via DNS spoofing and DNS cache poisoning.

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What you need to know about DNS Attacks

In cybersecurity, DNS attacks are defined as attacks that are either carried out via the Domain Name System (DNS) or that target the DNS directly. For example, cybercriminals can exploit key properties of the DNS to reinforce DDoS attacks. Other attack vectors such as DNS spoofing are designed to tamper with DNS entries in order to redirect internet users to specific websites.

The most common types of DNS attacks are:

Sequence of a DNS cache poisoning attack

DNS cache poisoning

DNS cache poisoning is a variant of DNS spoofing and refers to attacks that attempt to insert manipulated entries into the DNS cache of name servers. By doing so, attackers manipulate the assignment between domain names and their matching IP addresses, directing users on the internet to a fake and usually also malicious website when they access the domain.

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Sequence of a DNS cache poisoning attack

DNS Spoofing

Cybercriminals use DNS spoofing to tamper with DNS entries on servers, routers, PCs, and mobile devices, redirecting users to mostly harmful web content. In most cases, the attacks seek to steal valuable login credentials by phishing, spread malware, or generate revenue from click fraud. In addition, authoritarian regimes often employ spoofing methods: Unwelcome portals on the internet can easily be censored by tampering with the internet service providers. DNS extensions such as DNS cookies and DNSSEC, used to authenticate and check the integrity of clients, servers, and data, have proven to be effective preventive measures.

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