Even though consciously or subconsciously the DNS is among the most used components of the Internet communication system, when it comes to guaranteeing protection, the DNS security is often overlooked. The domain name is much more than a mere website address. It is the identity of any organization or a personal brand. DNS is also a critical component of the system security. However, it is also one of the weak links present in the entire system architecture.
Let us take a closer look at the various security threats that plague the DNS and the ways to prevent these.
Typosquatting is basically using a domain name that is confusingly similar to an existing highly popular domain. The reason for having such a domain varies. It was earlier considered as a way to steal away traffic from an existing website. However, the implications can be much more serious. If there are domains registered which are similar to that of the domain of any banking or financial institution’s website, users mistakenly visiting the fake website may be duped into revealing personal information. The same might happen when a person receives a mail. Since the domain name comes after the “@”, changing it slightly such that the person receiving the mail may be duped into believing that the sender of the mail is someone different can be tricked into revealing confidential information and data.
In order to prevent such situation, you need to keep tab of newly registered domains. Better still, buy all similar domains and make them redirect to your actual website so that these domains are not available for purchase.
While browsing through the Internet and visiting various website we tend to simply enter the address of the most visited websites. Even though it is a new instance of us asking for the website the network might have stored the website information in the cache memory and uses it to fetch the website we are asking for. This process is used to make sure that the DNS server is not overcrowded with requests. However, this also opens up a new opportunity for the exploiters. DNS cache poisoning attack is simply corrupting the data stored against a website in the cache memory of the network and replacing it with information that will lead the user to a different website as per the choice of the attacker. If the fake website is prepared similar to the original one, it is impossible for the user to know that the person is victim of phishing.
The only way to prevent this is to ensure that digital signature certificate is checked before opening the website and to use secured connection only.
DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service attack basically targets the functionality of any website. It is not specific to DNS server, however, since DNS server is the most logical bottleneck, it is targeted at all times. The easiest way is to bombard the DNS server with requests such that it reaches its maximum capacity and the performance of the website falls.
There are a few ways to prevent this like having a highly redundant network with a number of DNS servers that are running on different software. Incoming traffic can also be checked to ensure that requests are not coming in from bots.
DNS security should not be taken lightly under any circumstance. There are many more ways the DNS may be exploited. Make sure you keep the security protocol updated.