DNS Spoofing – What does it mean?

DNS Spoofing explained

You can find DNS Spoofing, also called DNS poisoning. Don’t get confused. It is the same thing. It is a technique applied by hackers which includes imitating a device or a user. That is applied as a cover, with which the disruption of the regular flow of traffic or reaching protected data is not such a difficult task. 

The attacker takes its time to remodel a Domain Name System (DNS) to one, which is spoofed. Therefore when a customer is trying to explore a particular website, it is going to be directed in a completely separate way. Users actually, in most cases, don’t even realize that they are exploring a fake website rather than the legitimate one they requested to visit. The reason for that is these fake sites are created the same as the original website. The differences are not major at all. 

Once the attack is initiated, the whole traffic is guided to the server, which is non-legit. In such a position, hackers are able to perform various malicious actions, such as stealing sensitive data or man-in-the-middle attacks. Furthermore, they can also install a virus on their victim’s device, even placing a worm to increase the harm to more machines.

The different tactics

To achieve their illegal purposes, attackers apply different tactics. Still, the intention is to direct the traffic to forged websites.

  • Tactic through spam. Ads, images, or URLs in spam e-mails can contain infected code. So when a user clicks the URL, the device gets spoofed. Afterward, the code guides the user to fabricated websites. 
  • Tactic through Man-in-the-middle method. The attacker is precisely between the DNS server and the user browser. The goal of this method is to poison the user’s computer and the server at the same time. The code is injected through software which makes the communication poisoned.
  • Tactic through hijacking a DNS server. The attackers access the server, using weak spots, editing the configuration, including a fake entry, and so on. So, as a result, every IP request made for a particular site is going to enter the forged one.

How to protect against cache poisoning (DNS spoofing)?

  • Encryption. Use encryption to keep DNS data, such as queries and responses safe. It is not possible to forge a copy of the security certificate from the original website. 
  • Detection. Softwares for examining the received data are a great solution for a prior step. 
  • DNSSEC. It helps for verifying the authenticity of data via DNS records, which are digitally signed. Thus, DNSSEC keeps the DNS lookup’s authenticity safe.

The main targets are the users of this criminal action. Thus they have to also take some precautions.

  • VPN (Virtual Private Network). Connecting to public networks comes with bigger risks. VPN serves to interact with servers safely and communicate with the domains.
  • Unfamiliar links. Don’t click blindly on suspicious URLs. Such links come from unknown senders, usually attached in spam messages or social media messages. By avoiding clicking on them, users can keep their data safe.
  • DNS cache. The DNS data of often visited sites stay saved for some time. So it could be only the user’s device spoofed and not the server anymore. So to avoid being directed by the browser to fake sites, it is a good idea to clean the DNS cache regularly.

Recommended article: Most popular DNS attack types.

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