Domain Name System, also known as DNS, is among the most important systems implemented which have transformed the way Internet is being used. DNS is the masking system which allows users to easily access any website on the Internet. It is known fact that website address is used to visit any website. However, there is an intricate system working behind this which makes the operation possible.
Every website has a specific IP address. The IP address is a combination of numbers which makes up a unique address for each website. It is practically impossible to keep in mind the IP address of every website. A much better solution is to name the websites and have names which are humanly possible to remember. This has been made possible due to the DNS. DNS refers to a database which contains the IP addresses of the various websites along with their corresponding domain names. The IP address is fetched for the purpose of retrieving the web page and is returned to the user with the respective domain name.
Thus, it is pretty much evident that domain names make the communication possible.
Why DNS security is important?
Even though it is such a vital part of the entire operation, DNS is basically quite vulnerable to external attacks and exploits. DNS does not have built in security features. Whatever security can be found were implemented at a later stage. Since DNS is quite literally the soft target for hacking and other unauthorized access and exploits, it is imperative that some security measure is taken to secure the DNS. Statistically speaking the highest percentage of websites that faced major exploits through DNS attacks happen to belong from the financial segment. Since financial data is literally the most valuable information available online, most hackers target financial dealing websites to gain unauthorized access to confidential user accounts and details.
Types of DNS attack
DNS attack can be of various types. Here is a list of the most popular ones that has been witnessed over the years.
– DNS Cache Poisoning Attack – DNS cache poisoning is one of the most severe attacks that have come to light. The aim of the attacker is to modify the DNS database and lead the user to a false website which has been replicated to look like the original one. Since the user almost never check out the IP address of the website one is visiting and it is basically impossible to do so, the unsuspecting user enters confidential information into the duplicate site giving access to all the information to the hacker. Such attacks take time to be recognized and thus lead to high amount of loss.
– Denial of Service – More popularly known as DoS, denial of service attack is a more straight forward exploit and uses the internal DNS recursive behavior against the website. In most cases the sole purpose of this attack is to cause disruption of service. Most of than not, the loss faced is by the organization whose website is under attack.
DNS security can only be guaranteed through the implementation of a dedicated security system that operates autonomously and monitors the network 24X7 for any kind of exploit or unauthorized access. Since most of these attacks need to access the DNS server, the server needs to be protected against any illegal access. No security is said to be impenetrable, but with changing modes of attack security needs to be changed as well.