Popular DNS attacks that you need to know

DNS attacks: Explication

DNS attacks are a type of cybercrime that takes advantage of flaws in the Domain Name System. Because the DNS system is such an essential element of the internet infrastructure while still having several security flaws, this is a severe cybersecurity risk.

There are many types of DNS attacks, but this post will focus on a few of the most common ones. Cybercriminals, for instance, can use DNS’s core features to amplify DDoS attacks. DNS spoofing, for example, is an attack vector that tampers with DNS entries in order to reroute internet users to specified websites. So let’s explore them in more detail. 

How to mitigate DNS attacks?

DNS Poisoning attacks

DNS cache Poisoning (DNS Spoofing) is a type of DNS attack that affects DNS resolver servers. They can save a copy of the DNS records for domains in their cache memory for a limited time. Those records are cached for the amount of time specified in their time-to-live (TTL).

Criminals can gain access to the records and alter (poison) them in order to divert your legitimate traffic to a harmful location. For example, they could develop a fake version of your website to defraud your customers and steal their personal information.

As a defense, DNSSEC (domain name system security extensions) is highly recommended. It adds cryptographic authentication to DNS searches by digitally signing records.

Amplification DNS attacks

DNS can also be targeted by DDoS attacks. In this scenario, a typical DDoS assault exploits DNS flaws to generate enormous amounts of DNS queries, which are then amplified even more. The massive traffic is being sent to the IP address of the victim. The victim is unable to cope, and the traffic eventually overwhelms it. This could result in a lengthy outage.

The amplification component is mainly because the searches ask for numerous DNS records, which allows each query to return several times more extensive results, which are then sent to the victim’s device.

To defend yourself, you can utilize a DDoS protection solution that can analyze your network and identify malicious data coming your way. Alternatively, you might use a massive network of name servers with a load-balancing system that can manage heavy traffic.

DNS tunneling

The last DNS attack from our list is the DNS Tunneling. It encrypts (tunnels) malware and other data in DNS queries and responses by using DNS (client-server way).

Here’s how it works in a nutshell. A criminal begins by registering a domain and connecting it to its name server. A tunneling trojan is implanted in the last phase. When a machine is infected, it sends a request to a DNS server. DNS requests are allowed to pass past firewalls because DNS is trusted. This is where the danger begins. The resolver sends the request to the criminal’s server, which uses the DNS server to establish a link between the criminal and the target. The criminal’s computer is hidden and difficult to detect because there is no direct relationship between the target and the perpetrator.

To prevent data possession, a tool needs to be set up. A DNS firewall is the most effective. It needs to be configured and constructed in such a way that any intrusion is rapidly detected. It protects against data exfiltration.


To sum up, DNS attacks are really perilous. But it is possible to protect yourself or your organization from them. How? For example, by implementing DDoS protection service, DNSSEC, Load-balancing solution, Firewall, etc. Good luck!

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