What Is DNS Poisoning?

Many large corporations and institutions use domain name systems (DNS) servers to direct users to access their websites. The DNS system runs on several different machines, which brings up how the organization ensures that the IP address for its website will always point to the proper location. 

One way is by using a form of attack called DNS poisoning. A hacker or other person who has successfully poisoned a DNS server can corrupt data in one or more databases that are associated with it. This can be done through malware installed on an office computer, rerouting attacks, etc., but the result is the same. When someone types www.examplecompanyname.com into his Web browser, he’s redirected to another site without ever seeing the valid location of the website.

Impact Of DNS Poisoning On Users

DNS poisoning can be done on a large scale, affecting thousands or millions of individual users at a time. 

In some cases, the DNS server is only poisoned for a few minutes while an attack is being carried out, and then it goes back to normal operation. However, in other instances, poisoning may be used as part of a long-term strategy to disrupt companies’ work. 

Previous Uses  

This technique has been used in several situations where state-sponsored cyber attacks have been suspected. 

It’s also been used in “reflectors,” where traffic from multiple sources is reflected off one or more infected machines and then sent to predetermined targets. The idea behind this type of attack is that the source of the attack will be more challenging to track.

Reasons For Using DNS Poisoning 

DNS poisoning can be used for various reasons, including censorship, data theft, and working at particular organizations. 

It’s also not an attack that’s easy to detect or stop, which makes it very useful for people who want to get around security measures without being noticed. 

Some people have compared DNS poisoning to placing a virus on other machines in a peer-to-peer network to anonymize unwanted material without putting other users’ information at risk.

Purpose Of DNS Poisoning

  1. Many DNS servers are filled with records associated with a particular website or traffic flow from one location to another while maintaining the same IP address. This means that a poisoner may effectively make www.examplecompanyname.com point to a different server without changing the numeric address associated with it. 
  2. Poisoners can also use this tactic to make multiple machines appear to prevent users from accessing certain websites or other destinations by falsely associating these locations with dangerous material such as malware and spyware. In some cases, legitimate sites have been blocked by ISPs or government organizations, hoping to reduce people’s chances of visiting them and becoming infected.

Since it’s so difficult to detect and correct, there is a certain amount of concern about the use of DNS poisoning to gather intelligence on those who are visiting websites that might be considered dangerous. This has been occurring for some time, with hundreds of people being identified as targets without their knowledge or consent.

Prevention Of DNS Server

It’s possible to prevent a DNS server from being poisoned by changing the nameserver records associated with it.

In most cases, these changes can be made by logging into the website of your ISP and making them on their end. However, you may need to contact your DNS provider for instructions on implementing this change if they’ve already been configured. In some instances, poisoning cannot be prevented or stopped at an individual level. 

You should also try using a virtual private network (VPN) to protect yourself against this type of attack.

How Do DNS Servers Work?

DNS servers work by translating a domain name into its corresponding IP address. This allows users who are trying to access a particular website or resource to connect with it without knowing its numeric address. 

This process can be carried out by a recursive DNS server or one that’s authoritative. By poisoning a DNS server, attackers can redirect traffic from a legitimate destination to another location of their choice while still maintaining the same IP address.

This is done to fool users into visiting websites that they probably wouldn’t usually see. 

For instance, instead of connecting to www.examplecompanyname.com, victims might find themselves at an alternate site where they’re prompted to enter confidential information or download malicious software without realizing it. Since there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with the company’s domain name, these activities won’t necessarily raise any red flags.


DNS poisoning is a potentially dangerous tactic that attackers can use to create fake websites and steal personal information and credentials. This attack may also affect web functionality and take sites offline entirely. While it’s difficult to protect yourself against these types of attacks completely, you should implement as many security measures as possible to avoid falling victim.

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