How to Prevent DNS Attacks

Nowadays, the use of the Internet has grown into a gigantic scale and therefore everybody ought to be kept up to date with some basic principles related to the web. One of these principles has to do with the DNS or else the Domain Name System, which is nothing more than a translating protocol of friendly domain names into IP addresses and thousands of numbers. Without its contribution, you would have to memorize all these sets of numbers that lead to websites all over the Internet. Where’s the sense and practicality in that?

Luckily, the DNS works in the form of a middleman and drives you to the proper IP address, without asking the very same IP address to be handed over for authenticating access to it. The same goes with sending and receiving emails and thus you ought to know by now how crucial DNS is for your survival online!

What Do We Mean by DNS Attacks

DNS attacks are pretty serious, judging from the consequences that they trigger for the websites suffering from them. Unfortunately, as the web progresses so do hackers and this is why there is such a huge increase in the DDoS attacks according to a recent report by Symantec. Experts in computing are now making their way and overcome the security standards set by websites and email service providers universally, bringing chaos to the cyberspace.

A DNS attack is generally any attack aiming at redirecting the traffic from a website to a different IP address or respectively redirecting the volume of emails from a specific email account to a different one. Of course, there is also the option of combining both these targets and helping break all hell loose! In all of these cases, people do not have any idea of the fact that they are being scammed. They access a website which appears to be the right one, but indeed is a mirror benefiting from the traffic. As you can imagine, this is not good!

How to Prevent DNS Attacks

On the bright side, preventing DNS-based attacks is not impossible, nor difficult. Even though it is critical to be on alert at all times and although it is always better to be safe than sorry, there are methods that we can use for avoiding the negative effects of such attacks. We have gathered the most important details to keep in mind, in avoidance of DNS attacks and many other problems emerging on the web (because one can never be too careful!). Behold!

  • Maintaining Your System Up to Date: This is of paramount value, when it comes to computing. If you are serious about your online protection, it is imperative that you are kept up to date with the latest versions of all software and programs aiming at your safety.In this way, you can dodge the bullet of vulnerabilities that used to be effective but are now kind of obsolete. News travels fast and therefore you need this type of information, so that you can rest assured that you are next to immune about DNS attacks!
  • Using a Random Source Port: Rather than having UDP port 53 for your connection, it would be wise of you to configure the port that you are using. As a result, your server will become a lot more effective against cache poisoning and this means that you will instantly get much fewer possibilities of getting attacked online. Although it might appear more complicated, this is definitely worth the fuss!
  • Avoiding the Use of Recursive Name Servers: If you are not up to it, it is far better not to go ahead with using recursion. Name servers that are open to recursive queries are not at all necessary for the vast majority of Internet users and so it would be a lot of trouble and unnecessary risk to proceed with such an option.
  • Validating Your Configurations Properly: There is not a single way for achieving the proper configuration, but you ought to pay attention to the requirements and suggestions of your vendor. Nevertheless, you should limit the zone transfer servers and the access of the administrator within the system; additionally, you should make sure that you prevent DNS open resolver configuration and, as stated above, recursion.
  • Engaging in RRL (or Else Response Rate Limiting): There is a cool mechanism that allows you to track down the response rate within a specific and pre-determined time frame. In this way, DNS are not that easily used as amplifiers and this will indisputably help out towards staying away from DNS attacks.
  • Randomizing the Query ID: This is another beneficial tool that you can put into effect, since it will assist you to minimize your vulnerability against DNS attacks. Your resolver should also be kept private and out of reach, but the query ID and the symbols that are supposed to be resolved ought to be random.

From all of the details that have been pointed out above in the field of DNS and the attacks that have been increasing in frequency and severity over the years, it makes total sense why you ought to be scholastic about your online protection. Feel free to incorporate some if not all of the guidelines offered above and do let us know how you deal with such ongoing and crucial threats against the safety of your computing experience!

Top-right Image: By Matthäus Wander via Wikipedia

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How to Prevent DNS Attacks

by Ali Qamar time to read: 4 min
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