What is DNS? How does DNS work?
Every time you visit a website, you will be interacting with the most extensive distributed database in the entire world. The Domain Name System (DNS) is a large, distributed database. The DNS does all the work so seamlessly and quickly that you may not even be aware that it is happening. Only when you get an error message after visiting a website, will you be able to see what the DNS is doing.
This article will focus on DNS addresses and provide a quick discussion about Domain Names and Internet Protocol Addresses (IP) addresses, DNS servers, and security threats to DNS security. It will also discuss security concerns regarding DNS servers.
Domain names and IP addresses
Domain names are human-readable web addresses that people use every day. Google.com, for example, is Google’s domain. To visit Google, all you have to do is enter google.com in your browser’s address box. Your computer doesn’t know where “google.com is”. Therefore, other networks and the Internet use numerical IP addresses behind the scenes. Google.com uses 126.96.36.199 as its IP address. This number can be typed in your browser’s address field to reach Google’s website.
Google.com is preferred to 188.8.131.52. This is because addresses like google.com can be easier to remember and are more meaningful. Although IP addresses can change over time, DNS servers can keep up with the new information. DNS is mostly treated as a phone book, where you search for someone’s name and the book supplies you with their phone number. DNS servers maintain a list of domain names and translate them into IP addresses.
DNS servers are responsible to match domain names with their IP addresses. Your computer will ask your DNS server for the IP address associated with your domain name after you have entered it into your browser. Your computer will then connect to the IP address and retrieve the correct web page.
Your Internet service provider (ISP) probably provides the DNS servers that you use. Your Internet service provider (ISP) may be providing DNS servers to you if your router is connected. However, the router will forward requests to your ISP’s DNS servers.
Because computers cache DNS responses locally (so the DNS request doesn’t happen every time you connect to a domain name you have visited before), Your computer will keep track of the IP address associated with a domain name once it has established that information. This speeds up connection speed and skips the DNS request phase.
DNS Security Security Threats
The following are the top threats to DNS security:
- Distributed Denial of ServiceThe most frequent DNS attack is distributed denial-of-service (DDoS). DDoS attacks cause servers to be flooded by traffic from hackers, which in turn prevents authorized users from accessing the network. These DNS servers are unable to withstand such a large volume of traffic and quickly become inaccessible.
- SYN FloodsSYN floods, another type of Denial of Service attack, are also possible. The hacker sends “fake data packages” to infected destinations during such attacks. These requests are not legitimate and the DNS servers do not recognize them. They will therefore exhaust themselves trying to establish active connections, which means they are unable to respond to legitimate requests from users.
- DNS TunnelingDNS tunneling can lead to data packets being sent and received over the DNS becoming compromised. This DNS process can be easily hacked by many security systems. A rise in tunneling activity is a sign that malware attacks or data breaches are in progress.
- Cache PoisoningIf a DNS server is not properly configured, it can be vulnerable to cache poisoning. Website visitors are taken to an infected server by a cache poisoning attack. The hacker is responsible for the infection. Online users don’t often realize they are being phished. The malicious website looks exactly like the original.
- DNS HijackingThe DNS hijacking takes over the Internet connection of the targeted server. The majority of this process is carried out by malware. Hackers can redirect online users to malicious IP addresses.
All of these above-discussed threats can be prevented by installing good web security software capable of performing multiple functions like virus detection and prevention, real-time edge protection for websites, incident management and response, blacklist repair, etc. This is cWatch, which offers the following features:
- Monitoring Malware and its RemediationThis feature allow cWatch to detect malware and provide tools and methods to remove it. It also helps prevent future attacks.
- Web Application Firewall (WAF). This WAF provides web applications and websites with powerful edge protection that is real-time and offers advanced security, filtering, and intrusion prevention.
- Security Information and Event Management (SIEM).Advanced intelligence that can leverage current events and data from over 85M+ domains and 100M+ endpoints
- PCI ScanningThis scanner allows service providers and merchants to stay compliant with PCI DSS.
- Secure Content Delivery Network (CDN).To improve the performance of web applications and websites, a global network of distributed servers is used
- Cyber Security Operations Center (CSOC). Our team of certified cybersecurity professionals is available to provide 24/7 surveillance and remediation services.