In October 2016, many popular websites such as Amazon, Twitter, Netflix and Spotify became inaccessible to millions of internet users in the US for nearly 10 hours. DDOS attacks on several DNS hosts was attributed to be the reason behind this incident.
Although DNS simplifies our life by helping us directly resolve connection requests between websites and web-connected devices, it is not without faults. In fact, cybercriminals can exploit DNS servers and addresses in many ways to capture your valuable data.
Keep reading to know about DNS hijacking fix but, it is important first to know what DNS hijacking is and how it works.
What exactly is DNS Hijacking?
DNS hijacking attacks, also known as DNS redirects, are network attacks in which a hacker hijacks a user’s DNS request, inappropriately resolves the IP address of the website, and when the user attempts to load it, he/she gets redirected to the phishing site.
The hijack involves breaking DNS settings of a user’s system to redirect them to the rogue DNS server, as a result incapacitating the default DNS settings. To perform an attack, the hacker either installs malware on the user’s system or takes over the router by exploiting known vulnerabilities or cracking DNS traffic. Thus, users will become victims of phishing or domain spoofing.
Types of DNS hijacking attack
Local DNS hijacking attack
In this type of attack, a hacker embeds malicious software on the user’s system and modifies local DNS settings, making the user system now use a DNS server which is controlled by the hacker.
Router DNS hijacking attack
In Router DNS hijacking, a hacker takes over the router by using the router’s default password and exploits firmware vulnerability in the router to override the DNS settings, affecting all the users connected to the router.
Man-in-the-middle (MITM) DNS attack
In this DNS hijacking attack, a hacker performs a MITM attack to intercept communication between the user and the DNS server, giving a different destination IP address which is further used to point the user to a malicious site.
Rogue DNS Server
In Rogue DNS Server attack, a hacker can hack the DNS server and change the DNS record to redirect DNS requests to the malicious site.
DNS Hijacking Fixes
To avoid DNS hijacking, experts recommended to ensure that software is updated regularly and to use good security software and anti-virus programs.
One of the effective ways to prevent DNS hijacking is to avoid phishing attempts, as this is one of the main ways that cybercriminals infect your device with malware.
Some basic activities you can imply to avoid DNS hijacking:
- It’s recommended to use a public DNS server.
- Check regularly if your DNS settings have been modified.
- Make sure your DNS server is secure.
- Use a complex password or reset the router’s default password.
Some other activities to avoid DNS hijacking
Protect yourself from DNS Hijacking with a Third-Party DNS
The use of a VPN automatically gives you access to a new set of DNS servers. You can also manually change the DNS servers that your device accesses by changing them from the local service provider to a trusted third party. This can help create a faster and safer online environment for your entire home network, as well as providing you the ability to protect users from objectionable content.
Protect yourself from DNS Hijacking by using a VPN
You can also go a little further and use a VPN, which encrypts all communications, not just DNS requests. When you browse the Internet through a private virtual network, all your communications will be encrypted, so you will not have to worry about any DNS hijacking attacks. In addition, a VPN will hide your IP address when you start the system.