Archive for the ‘Infosec’ Category

Why should you change your DNS server

2 January, 2012


How to increase internet speed
How to prevent phishing attacks
How to block proxy websites for schools
How to change DNS server

Wiki DNS Server

DNS Server translates URL names to IP addresses.
It has also been used by ISPs to redirect to advertisements.

Why do you need a DNS server?

To access any website, say Google, you need to know only its URL, that is, you need not know the IP address where the website is running from, which is actually an alternate way,

DNS server resolves the easy-to-remember URL to its corresponding not-so-easy-to-remember IP address.

Flushing existing DNS

Once resolved, the URL-IP is saved for a few hours/days locally.
Open CMD prompt and give the following commands
ipconfig /flushdns

Benefits of using DNS servers

Faster DNS resolution
Phishing protection
Web content filtering
Detailed statistics
Typo correction
No software to install
Real time protection

Free DNS Providers

Check out each DNS servers to find out what features they provide

Google Free DNS


OpenDNS (Family shield)

Norton DNS Security

How to change DNS

There are two methods to change DNS.

1. Changing DNS for individual computer

Control Panel > Network Connections > {your internet connection} > Properties > Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) > Properties > General tab > Use the following DNS server addresses
Enter the Primary and Secondary DNS Server name.
Note : Changing DNS will not affect your IP address.

Changing DNS settings

Changing DNS settings

2. Changing DNS for the Router for all connected computers

Open the router setting website. Generally or
Enter login ID and password. Generally admin and admin.
Navigate to Interface Setup > LAN
Change DNS Relay option to Use User Discovered DNS Server Only
Enter the Primary and Secondary DNS Server name.
Note : The above mentioned settings may vary from router to router.

DNS Setting for Router

DNS Setting for Router

Hijacked hosts file is an internal security breach

27 December, 2011


Anti-virus websites are blocked.
Search engines are blocked.
When you try to open a website, some unexpected website loads.
Hosts file is hijacked.

Wiki for HOSTS file

The “hosts” file is a system file used to map hostnames to IP addresses.
By default, there is only one entry in the file. localhost
With this setting, the actual website at can be accessed when you enter http://localhost/ in browser.

How would you feel, if you type is any browser and you land somewhere else.

Viruses may modify hosts file for silent phishing attack, blocking anti-virus websites, blocking search engines.


The following modified hosts file will have two implications
Access to the website will be blocked.
Access to the website will redirect you to
# Copyright (c) 1993-1999 Microsoft Corp.
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
# For example:
# # source server
# # x client host localhost

# Following redirections may be added by virus # This will block the kaspersky website # This will redirect to some other website(, when you try accessing google

Example implementing modified hosts file

The Real Threat

Because of its role in local name resolution, the hosts file represents an attack vector for malicious software.
Viruses modify the hosts file to redirect you to malicious/fraud/unwanted websites when you try to open legitimate website.
On the web-browser’s address bar you will see the correct address that you have entered, but the actual contents will be from the malicious website.

Type 1 : DOS Attack

The file may be hijacked and modified to redirect traffic from the intended destination to sites hosting content that may be offensive or intrusive.
The virus W32.MyDoom@mm used this to create a distributed denial-of-service(DOS) attack in 2004.

Type 2 : Blocking Websites

Some viruses can block your access to the Anti-Virus websites using HOSTS file.
The installed anti-virus will be unable to update its virus-definition.
The search engines may be blocked to prevent you searching for the solution.

Type 3 : Phishing Attack

The banking/social networking websites may be redirected to phishing websites to steal credentials.


Most of the anti-virus do not fix the hosts file due to complications and it has to be done manually.
Open the following directory
Create a backup file before you modify the hosts file.
Remove read-only property for hosts file.
Open the file in Notepad.
Delete all lines with suspected URL’s and IP’s contents.
Do not delete the following default line localhost

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