What is a DNS Hijacking?

With nearly 72% of organizations experiencing Domain Name System (DNS) attacks in the last year, DNS infrastructure security has never been more critical. DNS hijacking was one of the most common attacks, affecting 47% of survey respondents, followed by DDoS attacks (46%), and DNS tunneling (35%).

Unfortunately, attempts to compromise the Domain Name System are common. This is because it serves as a vital link between organizations and their customers or suppliers. Customers may become dissatisfied if this link is disrupted, and businesses may lose clients or sales.

This article will introduce the DNS, define DNS hijacking, and suggest a few preventive measures to make your Domain Name System more secure.

What is a DNS?

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a directory system that connects a website to its IP address. When you type a site’s name into your browser, it sends that name – the Universal Resource Locator (URL) – to the DNS. This is referred to as a DNS request.

In response to the request, your browser receives the website’s IP address, which is its precise numerical location on the internet. You can access and communicate with the site once your device has an IP address.

What is DNS Hijacking?

DNS hijacking is a domain name system attack (DNS). In some cases, it could be an attack on the DNS to render it inoperable, whereas, in others, it could be a stealth mode of redirecting the website’s users to another website. DNS hijacking attacks, in either case, use the DNS as an important part of the attack process. During a DNS hijacking, attackers typically incorrectly resolve DNS queries sent by users and redirect them to bogus sites without their knowledge. Following that, the website user inadvertently visits the linked harmful website or continues to use the internet on a server compromised by cyber attackers.

There are significant waves of DNS hijacking attacks happening all over the world daily because many companies have domain names that link to their websites, which are destined to provide more details about their goods and services to website visitors.

Malware is typically installed on the computers of users by attackers, who then redirect their queries to malicious websites where cybercriminals can steal data such as the user’s login credentials and other information. In some cases, the Domain Name Server communication is hacked to achieve the same result.

A DNS hijacking attack may cause you to lose users who do not trust your website’s security and are frustrated because they cannot access your website’s content. It could give hackers access to sensitive information about your customers, putting them and your company at risk of fraudulent activity.

  • Man-in-the-middle Attack

An attacker intercepts the connection between the user and the website or application that the user wishes to access during a man-in-the-middle attack. The attacker then redirects the user’s DNS requests to a malicious DNS server. Finally, the attacker provides various target IP addresses to direct the user to malicious websites. DNS spoofing is another term for this type of DNS hijacking attack.

  • DNS Router Hijacking

A DNS router is a piece of hardware that domain service providers use to match people’s domain names with their IP addresses. Several routers are plagued by firmware flaws and have weak password protection. Because of these flaws, the router is vulnerable to cyberattacks in which hackers can hijack the router and reconfigure its DNS settings.

  • Rouge DNS Server Hijacking

Attackers compromise DNS servers and modify the configurations of targeted websites, causing their IP addresses to figure out malicious websites. Users are redirected to a fake site when they submit a request to a specific website.

  • Cache Poisoning

An attacker can use this method to redirect you to a “spoof” site without directly hijacking your DNS requests. Fake DNS entries are inserted into your local DNS resolver’s cache (memory), redirecting you to dangerous imitation sites rather than the actual sites requested.

Because the DNS resolver manages all device requests on your system, a well-planned cache poisoning attack could put your entire LAN and those who use it at risk. A single user having to click a malicious link within an email or pop-up could cause a slew of issues.

How to Prevent DNS Hijacking?

Traffic is essentially a digital currency. As you work to increase traffic to your website, you must prioritize DNS security to ensure that every visitor counts.

Here are some methods for protecting your web server from DNS hijacking.

  • Always double-check the URL of the site to ensure that it is the one you intended to visit. If any part of the address looks strange, close the browser and inspect your DNS settings for security flaws or leaks. Typically, phishing sites do not have a valid SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate. Check that the site you’re visiting has a valid SSL certificate, which is indicated by the lock icon in your browser’s address bar. Never enter sensitive information (such as credit card numbers or personal information) into a web form on a site that lacks a valid SSL certificate.
  • DNS hijackers also attempt to steal users’ login credentials. Install antivirus software on your computer to identify any malicious attempts to expose your credentials by cybercriminals. To decrease the likelihood of your information being exposed, only use secure virtual private networks.
  • Change your router’s default admin and password. These are not the same as your wireless access password. This represents the username and password used to log in to your router and make changes to DNS settings, for example. This is significant because only a few default admin usernames are used, and passwords are typically written on the router itself. Furthermore, the login access screen is typically accessible at a well-known IP address such as or

From the endpoint to the DNS root server, resolving domain names into numerical IP addresses is fraught with vulnerabilities for ordinary users and enterprises, while providing ample opportunities for attackers. A global DNS hijacking campaign is currently underway, according to the US Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). An attacker who successfully hijacks your organization’s web traffic can redirect it to attacker-controlled infrastructure, finish with legitimate encryption certificates, and perform man-in-the-middle attacks. DNS attacks on the device are simply altering the local DNS settings or poisoning the local hosts’ files.

Follow the precautions outlined in the preceding section to remain safe. If your endpoints are not already protected by a strong security solution such as Sun IT Solutions, please contact us right away so that our autonomous endpoint solution could indeed keep your devices and network security. To get any IT Support in Toronto, get in touch with our experts as we are providing Managed IT Services in Toronto.