What Is DNS Server Poisoning?


Scott Campbell

DNS Server Poisoning is a malicious attack that can have serious implications for website owners and internet users alike. It involves corrupting the Domain Name System (DNS) server, which is responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses.

What is DNS?
Before delving into DNS Server Poisoning, let’s understand what DNS is. DNS is like a phonebook for the internet. It resolves human-readable domain names like www.example.com into machine-readable IP addresses like

How does DNS Server Poisoning work?
In a typical DNS Server Poisoning attack, the attacker exploits vulnerabilities in the DNS protocol to manipulate the data stored on a DNS server. By doing so, they can redirect users to fraudulent websites or intercept their traffic.

The Process of DNS Server Poisoning:

  1. The attacker identifies a vulnerable DNS server.
  2. They send forged or malicious data to the server.
  3. The server accepts and stores this data.
  4. When users try to access a website, the compromised server responds with incorrect information.

Types of DNS Server Poisoning:
There are different types of DNS Server Poisoning attacks:

1. Cache Poisoning:

Cache poisoning involves injecting false information into the cache of a DNS resolver. When unsuspecting users request information from the resolver, they receive incorrect results.

2. Zone Poisoning:

Zone poisoning occurs when an attacker gains unauthorized access to a primary or secondary authoritative DNS server and modifies its zone files. This leads to incorrect information being propagated across other servers.

3. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Attacks:

DHCP attacks involve manipulating DHCP responses to provide rogue DHCP servers as legitimate sources of network configuration information. This can lead to DNS Server Poisoning by redirecting users to malicious DNS servers.

Consequences of DNS Server Poisoning:
DNS Server Poisoning can have severe consequences:

  • Phishing: Attackers can redirect users to fake websites that mimic legitimate ones, tricking them into revealing sensitive information like passwords or credit card details.
  • Malware Distribution: Poisoned DNS responses can lead users to download malware or unwittingly participate in botnets.
  • Data Theft: Attackers can intercept and modify data transmitted between users and websites, allowing them to steal sensitive information.

Protecting Against DNS Server Poisoning:
To mitigate the risk of DNS Server Poisoning, consider the following measures:

1. Keep Software Updated:

Regularly update your DNS server software to patch any known vulnerabilities. Implement DNSSEC:

DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions) adds an extra layer of security by digitally signing DNS records, ensuring their integrity and authenticity. Use Firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS):

Implement firewalls and IDSs to monitor network traffic for any suspicious activity.

4. Disable Recursive Queries:

Disable recursive queries on your DNS server if they are not required. This prevents attackers from exploiting recursive queries for poisoning.

In conclusion, understanding the risks associated with DNS Server Poisoning is crucial for both website owners and internet users. By implementing security measures and staying vigilant, you can protect yourself and your network from falling victim to this malicious attack.

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