In many ways, the DNS (or Domain Name System) is the very heart of the internet. Your computer uses it in order to map the various hostnames to IP addresses, so it may interact with websites.
As a result, it shouldn’t be hard to see how domain name systems are one of the most popular services on the internet…but also one of the most vulnerable to hackers and cyberattacks.
Despite this, reinforcing the DNS is often neglected in favor of hardening other systems such as SSH services or database systems.
DNS configurations that do not have the necessary security measures can be very easily exploited by hackers to do things such as modifying the DNS resolvers or transferring DNS zones to report different IP addresses, scamming people, launching amplifying attacks, or redirecting email and web traffic.
If this happens, website visitors will have no way to detect traffic that has ben redirected. This is just one reason of many why having a secure DNS server is vitally important, and in order to do that, you need to learn how to stop DNS attacks.
Here are the top strategies to stop DNS attacks:
Check The URL and SSL of a Site You visit
Whenever you visit a website, always check the URL of that site in order to make sure that it is indeed the same site that you intended to visit in the first place. If there is any part of the address that does not look familiar, then you would be wise to close the entire web browser right away and check your DNS settings to see if there are any vulnerabilities.
Most of the time, phishing websites will not have a valid secure sockets layer (also known as an SSL). You can confirm that the website you are using has a valid SSL certificate by checking for the lock icon in the address bar.
Maintain Your Systems
Keeping your systems updated and maintaining them as such may seem obvious. But it’s a really paramount thing to do if you want to make your systems immune to DNS attacks.
If you are serious about online protection, then you will need all of the latest and most recent versions of your programs and software to be running. This is arguably the first line of defense that you will have against DNS attacks to begin with.
Limit Zone Transfers
DNS zone transfers, or copies of the DNS zones, are often utilized by slave name servers to query master the various different DNS servers. As a result, hackers will attempt to perform DNS zone transfers to better understand the topology of your network.
One of the best things that you can do to prevent this kind of a hacker trick will be to limit the number of DNS serves that are allowed to perform zone transfers, or alternatively, to limit the IP addresses who can make those requests.
In the long run, restricting zone transfers will be one of the very best things you can do to shield your DNS zone information from attacks.
Disable DNS Recursions
Last but not least, something else that you can do to stop DNS attacks will be to disable DNS recursions. A DNS recursion is almost always default enabled on most Bind servers on the Linux distributions.
This leaves these systems vulnerable to major security issues, including DNS attacks. It also increases the exposure of your systems to amplification attacks. Disabling DNS recursion on your DNS servers is the best thing that you can do to stop amplification attacks from happening.
If DNS recursion has been enabled on the server, this means the DNS server will allow for recursive queries the other domains that are not the real master zones located on the same server. It basically means that third party hosts can query the name servers as they see fit.
Stopping DNS Attacks
One last thing to take note of is that DNS hijacking and attacks are not only done by criminals. Did you know that ISP’s can also run modified DNS servers in order to redirect traffic?
In addition, governments will also use DNS hijacking, often for censorship and surveillance purposes in order to direct users away from websites that are banned.
If any of the above gives you concern, then the time will never be better to take proper action against DNS attacks and hijacking.