DNS – Domain Name System, is part of the internet backbone that enables you to surf the internet seamlessly.
How DNS works
You can view a DNS as a phonebook directory where a certain name has a corresponding number. In a nutshell, a DNS is a translator between us and the internet (Computers and other devices in the network). That’s, computers only understand numbers; we humans understand words better.
When you want to access a certain service on the internet, the first thing you do is type the domain address, e.g., google.com. But the internet won’t understand that. What it will understand is the IP address, e.g., 184.108.40.206. It’s the DNS work to look up for the corresponding IP address of the domain name.
These IP addresses are stored in DNS servers. These are special kind of computers that resolve, translate and look up for the domain names and their corresponding IP addresses. The internet is made of many DNS servers, and if one DNS server can’t resolve a domain name to its IP address, it passes the request to other DNS servers till the IP address is found. Sometimes, the domain name may not have a corresponding IP address, and you might get a response, “We’re having trouble finding that site or the website doesn’t exist.’’
As mentioned earlier, there are several DNS servers, and DNS requests are passed on to different DNS servers till results are found.
DNS hijacking is a malicious practice that involves redirecting your DNS queries to a wrong DNS server. When your query is finally serviced, you end up getting the wrong results. DNS hijacking is dangerous in that you may land on a spoofed site that may look like the legitimate site you wanted to visit. For instance, a spoofed website. It’s even more dangerous when phishing is involved.
In both cases, you might end up giving your confidential and sensitive information unknowingly such as emails, usernames, and their passwords, your credit card number and other Personally identifiable information (PII) that could be used in identity theft and fraud.
At times, it can be annoying and dangerous at times. For instance, if you type a domain name that doesn’t exist, your ISP can take advantage of that and redirect you to their websites loaded with ads. Some of these ads can be intrusive and violate your privacy.