Four Major DNS Attack Types and How to Mitigate Them

| Updated on March 27, 2024

Do you understand DNS attacks, and is your network protected from them? DNS was created primarily to correctly and effectively answer requests, not to speculate about their purpose. As a result, DNS has the potential for hacks and serious vulnerabilities.

In a Domain Name System (DNS) assault, a malicious actor either attempts to hack a network’s DNS or makes use of its built-in advantages to launch a more extensive attack. A well-planned DNS strike has the power to destroy an organization. The four main categories of DNS assaults will be covered in this article that leads to enterprise cybersecurity breaches in 2022.

DNS Tunneling

Encoding data from other applications or protocols within DNS requests and responses is known as DNS tunneling. In simple words, it includes loads of data that can abduct a DNS server and allow hackers to control the remote server and its applications.

DNS tunneling frequently relies on a hacked system’s external network connectivity as a backdoor into an internal DNS server with network access. Controlling a server and a domain, which serves as an authoritative server and performs server-side tunneling and data payload executable programs, is also necessary.

DNS Amplification

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) occurs when  DNS amplification gets attacked and floods a target with DNS answer traffic allowing them to use the open DNS servers that are made available to the public.

However, a DNS lookup request is sent to the open DNS server by the hackers and misleads the source address to get the target address. The DNS record answer is transferred to the new target, but it is already under the influence of attackers when the DNS server yields it.

DNS Flood Attack

User datagram protocol (UDP) flooding can be brought out utilizing DNS flood assaults. Hackers launch fake DNS request packets at a very high packet rate before forging a huge range of IP addresses.

The DNS servers of the target begin responding to all requests since they appear to be valid. A large number of requests may smash the  DNS server. Most DNS attackers use a lot of network resources, modeling the specific DNS infrastructure it gets down or crashes and due to this Internet access went cut off.

DNS spoofing

DNS spoofing, also known as DNS cache poisoning, is the practice of utilizing updated DNS records to reroute online traffic to a malicious website that seems to be the desired location. Users are prompted to enter their accounts once they arrive at the phony location.

They essentially give the threat actor the chance to steal particular access credentials as well as particular sensitive information entered into the bogus login form after they enter the information. Similarly, these harmful websites are used to download viruses into the user’s devices and that allows hackers to perform the hacking process to get the data from the user’s device. 

Final Thoughts

There are a few ways to mitigate DNS attacks. One way would be to rate limit the DNS queries. This would stop a DDoS attack because it takes time to reach the query limit. Another way would be to use response policies. 

This would allow the administrator to control what information is given out in response to a DNS query. For example, the administrator could choose to only give out information about A records and not CNAME records. 

Lastly, another way to mitigate DNS attacks is by using ingress filtering. This would filter out illegitimate DNS traffic before it reaches the DNS server. These are just a few ways to help mitigate major DNS attacks.

Leena Ray

Digital Marketing Writer and Editor

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