A diverse DNS security threat landscape

A diverse DNS security threat landscape

Hackers can attack you online for any reason.  They might try to disrupt business, change data, steal information, or all three at once! They are always looking for vulnerabilities to achieve their goals, and create a wide range of DNS attacks. It’s widely known that the DNS service is one of a company’s most vital IT services, regardless of industry. Many reports have highlighted the critical role of DNS in ensuring business continuity, which is undoubtedly the most critical objective of any network and security team. DNS services must, without a doubt, be included in a global company’s security plan.

Why attack the DNS?

To know DNS attacks, it is necessary to first know how the domain name system operates. DNS is a protocol that converts a human-readable domain name, such as, into a computer-readable IP address, such as

A DNS resolver in the client’s operating system (OS) pulls up’s numerical IP address when an end-user inserts the people-friendly domain name into the browser.

First, the DNS resolver looks in its local cache to determine if the IP address for is already there. Whether the resolver doesn’t know the address, it asks a DNS server if it knows the proper IP address for DNS servers are recursive, which means they can search each other to discover another DNS server with the proper IP address or the authorized DNS server with the canonical mapping of the domain name to its IP address. The resolver returns the IP address to the requesting software and caches the address for future use as soon as it finds it. These attacks are mentioned in the DNS attack list.

How do DNS attacks work?

Although the DNS is quite secure, it was created for ease of use rather than security. DNS attacks are widespread and complicated today, reaping the benefits of the back-and-forth communication between clients and servers.

The plaintext connection between clients and the three types of DNS servers is commonly exploited by attackers. Another common attack approach is to use stolen data to get into a DNS provider’s website and reroute DNS records.

DNS Attacks Target Cache, Recursive and Authoritative Functions

It is crucial to acknowledge that most DNS threats are targeted at a certain DNS function (cache, recursive, or authoritative) and have defined damage targets. This aspect must be integrated into the DNS security strategy to design an in-depth defensive system that ensures comprehensive attacker protection.

The following list of the most prevalent attacks stresses the threat’s diversity and the magnitude of the attack surface.

1. Volumetric Attacks

Attempt to overrun the DNS server by flooding it with a large number of queries from one or more sources, causing the service to degrade or become unavailable.

2. Exploits

Attacks that take advantage of bugs or flaws in DNS services, protocol, or operating systems that use DNS services.

3. Protocol abuse

Attacks using the DNS differently than the original intention leading to data exfiltration and phishing.

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