E-crime month: DNS Poisoning


A DNS poisoning attack, also called DNS spoofing or DNS pharming, is where a hacker redirects an internet user to a different website than the address the user has typed into his/her browser. A few years back a criminal managed to hack the Romanian Google domain name. When a user in Romania typed in http://www.google.ro into their browser, they were redirected to a hackers website instead of Google’s search engine. The screenshot below clearly shows the domain name in the web browser URL bar is google.ro but the image is the hackers webpage.


The hacker exploited a vulnerability in the local DNS server software in Romania. This means that a user in Romania will end up at the hacker’s website, while a user in another country is not affected.


The only way to protect yourself against DNS Poisoning is to secure your router by changing the default password and make sure you have the latest firmware installed. Don’t use public WIFI to send sensitive data such as passwords and bank details because the connection is not secure and the routers used might be hacked.


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