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DNS is nothing less than the backbone of the entire Internet communication. It has evolved as the best solution against people having to remember impossible combination of digits to access the various websites. DNS effectively masks the IP from the public and enables the device to locate the right IP by maintaining a directory of IPs corresponding to the different domain names. However, the DNS is inherently not secured enough. It is vulnerable against external exploits.
Before we concentrate upon DNS hack specifically, let me remind you, pretty much every hack is with malicious intent and will cause damage to some extent. It is hard to find a situation where in a hacker left no damage. Even if the person hacking is doing so to bring to light a security breach, unless it is WhiteHat hacking (legalised hacking done by the organization itself to find security breaches), the act is jeopardizing the security of the organization and all those associated with it. It is essentially publicizing a fault and this fault might be present in other organizations as well.
DNS hacking is a pretty specialised form of hacking and it targeted towards a specific IP or set of IPs. The hacker is mainly targeting those who are visiting the website. It might also be to cause damage to the organization in one way or another. Let us take a look at some of the most common yet most notorious form of DNS hacks and their implications.
The first one that comes to mind is that of Denial of Service (DoS/DDoS) attacks on various servers. Denial of service, as the name clearly mentions, is an attack that does not allow users to access the website or the server. This attack is carried out in a varied format. At times there is a constant looping, formed within the server itself. It is mostly known as LAND attack. Here the host’s IP address is placed at both the source and destination of any request. The machine keeps replying to itself and becomes unavailable to others. Besides this, flood attacks are done on the servers which essentially crash them due to excessive requests. All of these cause the servers to become unavailable and hence the Denial of Service. The attack has been carried out on many servers across the globe. Among the most recent and publicised attack was that on the Sony Playstation Servers. It did not let many play online game for long. Due to the massive popularity of online gaming, many game servers have been known to be the target of DDoS attack.
Cache poisoning is another highly malicious attack on DNS. This modifies the DNS directory records and takes the user to a fake website when they try to access the original one. In less serious cases it is used to siphon traffic from one website to another. However, hackers have used this to make people divulge important financial and banking security details by taking them to fake banking or eCommerce websites.
Like every protection against a hack, an attack on DNS can also be prevented. It needs better security added to the DNS server. There are firms which offer complete security solution. Best option is to invest and boost up the DNS security.