DNS Hijacking

Definition of DNS Hijacking

DNS hijacking, also known as DNS redirection, is a malicious attack where a hacker manipulates or alters a user’s Domain Name System (DNS) queries to redirect them to a different website, often with the intent to steal sensitive information or serve malicious content. This is typically done by compromising a DNS server, or by infecting a user’s device with malware that alters the DNS settings. As a result, the user is unknowingly guided to fraudulent websites instead of their intended destination.


D-N-S Hijacking: D – DeltaN – NovemberS – SierraHijacking:H – HotelI – IndiaJ – JulietA – AlphaC – CharlieK – KiloI – IndiaN – NovemberG – Golf

Key Takeaways

  1. DNS Hijacking is a malicious technique where cybercriminals redirect users to malicious websites by altering a system’s DNS settings or domain registrar’s records.
  2. It can lead to various consequences such as phishing attacks, sensitive information theft, and damage to a website’s reputation.
  3. Protecting against DNS Hijacking includes implementing DNSSEC, regularly updating security software, using strong and unique passwords, and being cautious when clicking on links or visiting unfamiliar websites.

Importance of DNS Hijacking

DNS Hijacking is an important technology term because it refers to a malicious cyberattack where hackers redirect users to illegitimate websites by altering a computer’s or network’s DNS settings.

This practice poses considerable security threats as it allows attackers to intercept and manipulate online activities, steal sensitive information such as login credentials or financial data, and distribute malware.

By understanding DNS Hijacking and its implications, users and organizations can implement proper security measures to safeguard their systems and networks from these malicious activities and maintain the overall integrity and trustworthiness of the internet.


DNS Hijacking, also known as DNS redirection, is a malicious practice employed by cyber criminals in order to redirect users from legitimate websites to fraudulent ones. The main purpose of this technique is to manipulate the domain name system (DNS) resolution process.

DNS is the backbone of internet navigation, acting as a phonebook for the internet, which translates human-readable domain names into IP addresses that computers use to identify each other. By compromising the DNS resolution, attackers aim to steal sensitive information, conduct phishing attacks, or spread malware.

In a DNS hijacking attack, cyber criminals typically exploit vulnerabilities in the user’s router, device, or DNS server to alter DNS settings without the user’s knowledge or consent. This can lead to the user being directed to fake websites resembling the authentic ones they intended to visit.

These malicious websites often prompt the user to provide login credentials, personal information, or download malicious files. Consequently, DNS hijacking serves as a gateway for attackers to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data or control over computer systems and devices, potentially leading to identity theft, financial loss, or significant damage to an organization’s reputation.

Examples of DNS Hijacking

DNS hijacking, also known as DNS redirection, is a type of cyber attack where an attacker intercepts and redirects domain name requests to a malicious IP address, often to spread malware, steal sensitive information, or serve phishing websites. Here are three real-world examples of DNS hijacking:

Brazilian Bank Heist (2017):In this notable DNS hijacking incident, cybercriminals manipulated the DNS records of a major Brazilian bank, effectively taking over its online presence for several hours. During this time, the attackers managed to redirect customers trying to access the bank’s website and online services to phishing sites. These fake sites collected customer login credentials and other personal and financial information, allowing the attackers to commit fraud and identity theft. It is believed that all of the bank’s 36 domains were compromised, affecting potentially millions of customers.

Sea Turtle Campaign (2019):A sophisticated cyber espionage campaign named Sea Turtle was discovered targeting a wide range of organizations, primarily in the Middle East and North Africa. The threat actors behind the campaign used DNS hijacking to infiltrate and steal sensitive data from government organizations, telecom companies, and internet service providers. The attackers’ main goal was to obtain administrative access to network infrastructure devices, enabling them to manipulate DNS records and redirect users to their malicious infrastructure. The Sea Turtle campaign demonstrated an unprecedented level of sophistication by attacking the domain registrars and registries directly.

MyEtherWallet Hack (2018):In April 2018, a DNS hijacking attack occurred against a popular cryptocurrency wallet service called MyEtherWallet. The attackers were able to intercept user traffic to the website by poisoning public DNS servers run by Google. Users who visited the wallet service website were then redirected to a phishing site hosted on a Russian IP address, which then collected private keys and drained their wallets of cryptocurrency. As a result, the attackers managed to steal approximately $150,000 worth of Ether in a few hours.These examples illustrate the severe consequences of DNS hijacking, underlining the importance of securing and monitoring DNS-related infrastructure to protect against such threats.

DNS Hijacking FAQ

1. What is DNS hijacking?

DNS hijacking is a type of cyber attack where an unauthorized party alters DNS (Domain Name System) entries to redirect users to malicious websites or intercept their communications. By manipulating DNS settings, attackers can control which IP addresses a user’s computer connects to when requesting a particular domain name.

2. How does DNS hijacking typically occur?

DNS hijacking typically occurs in three main ways: compromising the user’s device with malware, intercepting the user’s network traffic, or altering DNS settings on the DNS server itself. In some cases, attackers may also use social engineering tactics to gain access to a targeted device or network.

3. What are the potential risks of DNS hijacking?

DNS hijacking can lead to significant security and privacy risks, such as redirection to malicious websites, exposure of sensitive data, and increased vulnerability to other cyber attacks. Users may unknowingly provide their login credentials or other sensitive information to attackers when visiting spoofed websites, giving hackers access to their personal accounts and data.

4. How can I protect myself from DNS hijacking?

Here are some steps you can take to minimize your risk of DNS hijacking:

  1. Keep your software and devices updated with the latest security patches.
  2. Use strong, unique passwords for all your accounts and devices.
  3. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever possible.
  4. Use a reputable and secure DNS provider, and consider employing DNSSEC for added security.
  5. Be cautious of unexpected emails and links, particularly those prompting you to enter personal information.
  6. Regularly monitor your DNS settings and address any suspicious activity.

5. What should I do if I suspect I’ve been a victim of DNS hijacking?

If you believe you’ve been a victim of DNS hijacking, take the following steps immediately:

  1. Change your passwords for all accounts, particularly those containing sensitive or financial information.
  2. Check and correct your DNS settings if needed.
  3. Notify your ISP or DNS provider about the suspected hijacking.
  4. Scan your devices for malware and remove any threats detected.
  5. Monitor your online accounts for any signs of unauthorized access or fraudulent activity.
  6. Consider implementing additional security measures, such as enabling DNSSEC or using a VPN.

Related Technology Terms

  • Domain Name System
  • Man-in-the-middle attack
  • Pharming
  • DNS spoofing
  • DNS resolver

Sources for More Information


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