Understanding and Preventing DNS Hijacking

By Enterprise Networking Mag | Monday, January 07, 2019

Data security and privacy have always been a major concern for an organization and it seems to sustain in future as well. Businesses spend heavily on their cybersecurity to protect their sensitive data. Domain Name System (DNS) hijacking is one of the most commonly practiced security threat among the malicious groups and infects the most to an organization as it gives the easiest breakthrough through security. DNS is a kind of internet directory that plays the role of redirecting must system to the desired webpage or website by converting the webpage’s URL into IP address because the server only understands numerical IP address.

DNS hijacking can be done for various purposes but at the organizational level it is done to get hands over the sensitive data or hinder the workflow resulting is huge data and economic loss. This can be done in two ways wherein first malicious software is injected into the system which disables proper translation of IP addresses hindering the process or secondly, by hacking and modifying a website to direct users to a completely different address. Even the ISPs have been found involved in such activities to benefit their personally owned webpage.

Preventing such threats is necessary and organizations can take up several measures which will help them to combat DNS security threats.

• DNSSEC- Domain Name System Security Extension: IT departments must focus upon integrating DNSSEC which has an additional security layer, unlike regular DNS which mitigates the risk of DNS hijacking allowing secure access to website and portals.

• Strong Password and Restricted Access: The easiest method that IT could imply is using strong passwords policies to reinforce the security of a network and also they must restrict the DNS server management access to limited again with employing strong password policy.

• Auditing DNS Service Providers: Before signing up SLA with any DNS service provider enterprises must audit them to check which one provides the latest security and updates its packages timely. A thorough trust check is must prior to agreeing for any service.

• Constant Monitoring: although it seems a monotonous and most obvious one but is definitely the most important as immediate actions can be taken against the breach. Also, servers with higher vulnerability to cyber attack can be provided with extra security.    

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