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DNS Hijacking

Understanding DNS Hijacking

DNS hijacking, also known as DNS redirection, is a malicious attack technique where the attacker intercepts and redirects the Domain Name System (DNS) queries of a user. The DNS is akin to an internet phonebook, converting user-friendly domain names into IP addresses that computers use. In DNS hijacking, cybercriminals alter the pathway of a DNS query, leading users to fraudulent websites or intercepting their internet traffic.

The Roots of DNS Hijacking

Tracing back its origins, DNS hijacking has evolved with the internet. Early instances were often simple misconfigurations or exploits of system vulnerabilities. However, as internet security strengthened, attackers developed more sophisticated methods, including malware and compromised routers, to execute DNS hijacking. This evolution reflects the continuous cat-and-mouse game between cybercriminals and cybersecurity experts.

DNS Hijacking in Action

A practical example of DNS hijacking involves an attacker modifying the DNS settings of a router. By doing so, all devices connected to this router are directed to malicious websites, even if the user types in the correct address. This method can be used for phishing – tricking users into providing sensitive information – or for spreading malware.

The Flip Side: Benefits of DNS Hijacking

While predominantly malicious, DNS hijacking has certain 'beneficial' applications. For instance, some internet service providers (ISPs) use a form of DNS redirection to guide users to informative pages when they attempt to access a non-existing domain. Additionally, in corporate environments, DNS hijacking can be employed for enforcing internet usage policies or for redirecting traffic during network maintenance.


Regularly update your router's firmware, use strong, unique passwords, and consider using encrypted DNS services, like DNS-over-HTTPS, for added security.

No, they are different. While phishing often involves tricking a user into voluntarily giving up information, DNS hijacking involuntarily redirects users to malicious sites without their knowledge.

Antivirus software can detect and prevent some forms of DNS hijacking, especially those involving malware. However, it's also crucial to maintain secure network practices to prevent router-based DNS hijacking.


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