DNS Hijacking is definitely one of the most severe Digital traps seen today. The important fact is that most users are being victim to these DNS Hijacking attacks out there. So, if you are someone who cares for Web Privacy, Security, you need to be aware about DNS Hijacking and the ways to prevent it. In this article, we shall have an overview on DNS Hijacking, how it works and some effective methods on how to prevent DNS Hijacking. Before we move on, we will tell you a bit on DNSs and its use.
What is DNS?
DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is the system used to convert domain names into corresponding URLs. Every ISP comes with an in-built DNS. So, when you enter a URL on the browser’s box, it will be resolved and you will be lead to the actual website asap. This is what works every time you try to visit a website; let that be Google, Facebook or your own site.
Normally, DNS works pretty fine until there is a malware in your PC that causes DNS Hijacking. Now, we will talk about DNS Hijacking, given that you have an idea about how DNS works.
What is DNS Hijacking?
Simply put, DNS Hijacking is the process of subverting the resolution of Domain Name System queries. Instead of directing you to the actual IP address, DNS Hijacking gets you to another website. This can be done for different purposes. For most hackers, DNS Hijacking is helpful for phishing attacks and other digital stealth. Or, they can show you some advertisement-based webpages to earn money out of that.
However, DNS Hijacking is performed by a bunch of ISPs for their profits. Suppose you are visiting an invalid website. Instead of showing the ‘Server not Found’ error, the ISP can display some advertisement pages and get paid for that.
How DNS Hijacking is Done?
It’s clear that DNS Hijacking is profitable for most hackers, in one way or another. They use different methods to attack a computer or set of computers with DNS Hijacking. The prominent method is to infect the computer with a type of malware. This malware can have access to the network settings of your computer and change the DNS Servers according to needs of the hacker.
In most cases, you will be using the in-built DNS servers from the Internet Service Provider, although there’s an option to change to Google Public DNS or others. For instance, if you find that the ISP DNS is slowing down browsing speed drastically, you can try using something else. Nevertheless, when you are a victim to DNS Hijacking, your safety will be compromised from several aspects.
How to Prevent DNS Hijacking?
Now that you have a clear idea about DNS Hijacking and how it works, we will share some tips to prevent DNS Hijacking in your computers.
#1 – Get an Antivirus and Check for Malware
As we said earlier, DNS Hijacking is done through the help of malware. This malware script or application is used to change your DNS Server settings and point to the hacker-defined one. So, in order to get rid of DNS Hijacking attacks, you need to make sure that there is no malware in your computer. While there are many manual options to do that, the easiest one is to get an effective anti-virus security suite. You will have to perform a scan using the security suite to find the presence of malware. And, if you are to purchase the high-quality products from Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Norton or something, you’ll also get dedicated protection from DNS Hijacking attacks.
#2 – Clean the HOSTS File
As you might know, there is a HOSTS file in Windows PCs that has a role in network-related activities. So, if you think you are a victim to DNS Hijacking, you can try deleting the contents of HOSTS to get rid of the situation. If you see some major, unusual changes made in the particular file, you can certainly doubt the presence of a DNS Changing malware in your PC. Right after you have detected the presence, it is up to you to remove it from the device. To do that, you can use a dedicated anti-malware removal tool or something else.
#3 – Check for DNS Server Changes
Another manual method to prevent your device from DNS Hijacking is to check whether there’s an unauthorized edit of DNS server information. You might have installed some seemingly-good but malicious programs in your PC that try to change the existing DNS information to something else. So, if you find that the changes are made, you can change them back to normal. You can either go for the default ISP DNS or prefer to go with something like Google Public DNS. This is a useful method to know if someone/something has unauthorized access to your DNS-based settings.
Summing Up All
So, we have told you enough about DNS, DNS Hijacking, how DNS Hijacking and some effective methods to prevent your PC from DNS Hijacking. If not taken care of, DNS Hijacking is indeed a bigger issue for your safety and privacy. It isn’t nice to be redirected to some bogus websites and apps when you want to visit your favourite ones. Also, it will cause you a lot of privacy-based issues such as data stealth. So, it is necessary to make sure that you pick some methods to prevent DNS Hijacking in the device. And, among the many methods, it makes enough sense to get an effective anti-virus suite such as Bitdefender or Kaspersky. So, happy, safe browsing ahead.