Domain Name Service (DNS) is a fundamental technology on the internet that delivers an easy browsing experience to users. Behind everything you browse lies a DNS that maps the human-readable domain names to the web servers’ real IP addresses.
However, with the proliferation of cyber attacks nowadays, attackers can manipulate the DNS resolvers causing server outages or tricking you into entering malicious websites. According to stats, nearly 72% of organizations experienced a DNS attack in 2021.
Therefore, DNS protection should be an essential part of antivirus protection for any organization or individual. This article discusses the importance of DNS protection and how an antivirus with DNS protection helps you secure your devices from DNS attacks.
Accessing the websites you want requires standard DNS queries, which could exploit by cyber attackers in many ways. Following is the compilation of the most common DNS attacks that can take place in any organization.
- DNS hijacking – Cybercriminals make users believe that they are connected to a legitimate domain but forward them to a malicious one. This is often achieved by cache poisoning malicious DNS servers and tricking them into storing incorrect data. Consequently, when a user visits a website, it will redirect the user to a malicious site instead of an actual site that can inject viruses or collect sensitive user information.
- DNS tunneling – many organizations count DNS as a trusted protocol. Thus there is no restriction on entering and leaving DNS traffic through their networks. Cybercriminals abuse this freedom and can send DNS requests with exfiltrated malware data. Then attackers can send the data to a server under their control, process them and send the malicious response.
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks – attackers use several compromised interconnected devices known as botnets to send requests to DNS servers that they cannot handle. It overwhelms the servers making applications unavailable to users.
- Random subdomain attack – hackers can cause DDOS attacks by sending DNS queries to website sub-domains that are non-existent.
- Phantom Domain attack – DNS resolver receives many requests for ‘phantom’ domain servers set up by attackers that do not respond to requests or take some time to respond, making it wait for their responses, eventually causing DDOS attacks.
The Importance of DNS Protection through Antivirus
An antivirus primarily protects against different malware that injects into devices. However, DNS protection provides an extra layer of security with the proliferation of DNS attacks. Let’s discuss the importance of having an antivirus with DNS protection to mitigate the above-discussed DNS attacks.
Whenever you browse the web, you are vulnerable to DNS attacks if you do not have DNS protection. Cybercriminals can trick users into visiting malicious or spam sites, causing them to leak important information or cyberattacks like malware or ransomware. Also, some users can intentionally visit unwanted sites like sites with adult content. Content filtering allows filtering such unwanted and potentially harmful websites, reducing the risks of cyberattacks from malicious websites.
If the antivirus knows that you are visiting potentially malicious websites by learning your web access behavior, it helps to enhance its intelligence. For example, the RAV Antivirus prevents attacks from malicious websites even if you do not intentionally visit them. It can automatically learn your behavior using its ML engine while you surf the web identifying the less common applications and websites you access.
Phishing attacks are the common results of DNS hijacking. Attackers can redirect the users to sites with malicious content that can contain different threats like ransomware. But the sites look normal, so it will be difficult for them to know that in advance. Antivirus DNS protection includes filtering and blocking such malicious websites, reducing the risks of phishing attacks.
The RAV Antivirus uses threat intelligence to identify sites with a history of malware and phishing. It also utilizes various tools to block domains with a history of malware and phishing. Not only websites but also some applications installed on your computer could be tracking your behavior. DNS protection helps you to save your privacy by blocking such app tracking.
You may have experienced that your device is bombarded with many advertisements after installing an app or visiting a particular website. This is often the result of adware trying to collect sensitive information from your device or inject malware. DNS protection should include ad blockers that block potentially harmful ads from websites and downloaded apps to prevent risks of cyberattacks.
For instance, the RAV Antivirus DNS protection and Saferweb consist of an ad blocker that can protect you against such malicious ads. Also, these unwanted ads can impact your system performance by making it slower or crashing the apps. Thus always look for a solution with ad-blockers to remain free from unwanted system performance downgrades.
With the advancement of IoT devices, botnet attacks are becoming very popular as easy targets for attackers. These infected devices with malware networks can cause coordinated criminal attacks by controlling every single device under their control. The RAV Antivirus DNS protection secures your device from botnets by blocking communications with the botnet servers. Therefore, users do not have to worry about using IoT devices anymore.
Typo domains are popular domains used to correct typos, such as correcting the misspelt site ‘yaho.com’ to ‘yahoo.com.’ Although not a popular type of attack, attackers can inject malware into them or use them to collect sensitive user information. Therefore, DNS solutions help prevent such attacks and secure your devices from malicious typo domains.
Not only do DNS solutions prevent the devices from the above-discussed attacks, but also they can improve your device performance and productivity. When the DNS is secured enough, it can perform a faster DNS lookup than those that do not have such protection.
DNS is a critical technology that resolute domain names to IP addresses. Unfortunately, cyber attackers now use the same technology to inject malware or trick users into visiting malicious sites and downloading malicious content. Therefore, DNS protection is a must-have feature you need to consider before buying an antivirus. This article described the importance of having an antivirus and how RAV antivirus DNS protection helps prevent attacks caused by DNS compromises and provides a safe browsing experience.