What is DNS hijacking?

What is DNS hijacking

DNS hijacking is becoming a favorite trick of cybercriminals. Domain Name Server (DNS) hijacking, sometimes called DNS redirection, is a form of DNS assault where DNS requests are mistakenly handled and redirect users to malicious websites unexpectedly. The Perpetrators may install some malicious software on your pcs, hack, or intercept the communication or control your router to initiate the attack.

DNS hijacking is used for phishing or pharming. Many Internet Service Providers use a form of DNS hijacking to gather the stats of users, take over the requests of DNS and return advertisements if the users access any unidentified domain. For censorship, some countries are using DNS hijacking, redirecting the users to government-approved sites.

Here’s an overview of how DNS Hijacking works;

  • In the URL bar, you enter the address of a site (like “facebook.com”).
  • Your computer sends a request to the DNS server and asks for the IP address of facebook.com.
  • DNS server responds to your query and gives your computer the IP of Facebook.
  • Your computer will now use the IP address to connect through Facebook.
  • DNS server can send you the fake address of a website. Like if you asked for “facebook.com,” but the server sends you the IP address of “faceebook.com.”

So, now your computer will be connected to an unknown website that can add some malicious software to your device.

What Is DNS Hijacking Used for

  • DNS hijacking can be used for stealing your personal information. The pharming and phishing attacks can also steal your information.
  • After stealing this information, the objectives of these hackers are clear. They can use your credits cards information and have complete access to your bank accounts. 
  • They can sell all of your personal information like address, email ID, mobile number, the social security number on the dark web.

How does the DNS hijacking works

DNS is strongly decentralized, and there is not a single DNS server that has a complete record of all the domains and IP addresses. Your query travels through multiple DNS servers to show you the results. Redirecting all the queries is DNS server hijacking.

  • If your DNS server is hijacked and you are trying to access your bank online, a Homepage opens, which looks like exactly the page of your bank. You will enter all the credentials of your account. Hackers have now all of your essential information.
  • In some situations, DNS hijacking could be irritating. When you type the wrong URL of a site and suppose that URL doesn’t exist. So instead of displaying an error message, many ISP reroute you to their website and start viewing you some irrelevant and annoying ads.

Which ways can be used to Hijack a DNS server

The following are some of the means through which hackers hijack your DNS server

Malware

When the malware attacks on your router, it alters the settings, and now you will be using the DNS servers of Hackers, not the original ones. They can easily redirect you to any website they want automatically.

  • The outcomes will be worst if the scammer has been using malware to infiltrate your router.
  • The scammer can divert you to a malicious website that tracks your traffic, keyboard strokes, or spyware, adware, or keyloggers.
  • The disadvantage of malware is that you will have no idea about this until you have been completely damaged.

DNS Server Hacking

The vulnerability is not just limited to your device or router. The DNS servers can also be hijacked, and hackers can obtain all of your important information and credentials. After seizing the DNS server, hackers can now reroute your traffic and email.

 The hackers can compromise the DNS server, or they can also set some Rogue DNS servers.

  • This attack becomes crafty because you don’t have any control over the direction of your traffic.
  • If this attack occurs, all users of the ISP are at a possibility of their financial and personal information being stolen.
  • Generally, this will be comparatively hard to make a DNS server, but it is not impossible.

ISP Interface

Some of the internet service providers (ISP) also hijack the DNS servers to show you the advertisements. They also collect the stats of users. Internet service providers accomplish this hijacking through the response of NXDOMAIN. 

Whenever you enter the address of a website on the search bar, that does not exist, so instead of showing you the error, DNS servers will direct you to some irrelevant website to show you the ads.

How to Stop DNS hijacking?

Just follow these steps to prevent DNS hijacking.

Protect Your Router

The smartest thing you should do to secure your router against DNS hijacking is to keep changing the default login credentials. The login details are usually something like “admin / password” or something like that.

Anyone can guess the login credentials of your router. They can also find the login details by downloading the manual of that router. This information will be enough to have complete control over your router.

Do not Visit Unknown Websites

If somehow you are redirected to an unknown website, you should immediately close that browser, turn off the internet and shut down your computer. If you click a link on the site randomly, there’s a considerable chance that your computer or personal data is already compromised.

How can you differentiate between a safe and malicious website? It’s so simple. Just check the URL of that site if it starts with “https,” so it is secure and if the URL is beginning with “http,” so it is clear that this site is not secure.

Use Virtual Private Network

A Virtual Private Network is a tool that encrypts all of your online data and hides the IP address. DNS traffic is also included in your online traffic, so when your DNS traffic is protected, no hackers or cybercriminals can monitor your online activities, and they won’t be able to hijack your DNS.

RitaVPN is the best VPN service that is most trusted worldwide. It creates a tunnel between your device and the internet, and no hackers and cybercriminals can hack or steal your personal information.

Stop Using Public Wifi

It’s very harmful and dangerous for you to use public wifi because the hackers and cybercriminals can easily steal your information because you both are sharing the same network. The public wifi can use any DNS server, and you won’t even know that either it is safe or not. So, there’s more chance of DNS hijacking. 

You must use a VPN service while using public wifi because you will be more protected. RitaVPN provides you a security wall against hackers, and you will be safe while using public wifi. You can also visit any blocked website and content.

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