What is DNS:

DNS stands for “Domain Name System”,  it works like a “Phone Book” for the Internet. Each computer on the internet has an IP (Internet Protocol) address, which is similar to a Phone Number. DNS is used by your computer to look up the website name (i.e. “www.slavelakecommunication.com”) and translate that to an IP Address, similar to how you would use a phone book. The IP address is then used by the computer to “call” another computer on the internet, which returns the webpage information to your computer so it can display it for you. In order for DNS to function, your computer needs to know the IP address of at least one “DNS Server”. Normally, your Internet Service Provider (i.e. ISP) will provide your router (and in turn your computer) with the appropriate settings, and everything will work automatically.

Why you should verify your DNS settings:

Recently, a significant number of our customers have been victim to DNS Hijacking attacks. These attacks have been targeting our customers routers, changing their DNS settings to malicious DNS servers run by the attackers. Changing the DNS settings allows attackers to redirect the victim to a page of their choosing for any page on the internet.

Note: Much of the literature concerning Hijacking on the Internet concerns ISPs redirecting DNS traffic through their own DNS servers . This is a separate issue, which does not apply in this case. We DO NOT intercept or redirect any DNS traffic from our customers.

This is an issue which we take very seriously. With that in mind, we have developed a tool to help identify routers which are using non-standard DNS settings.

Verifying your DNS Settings:

Your Current DNS Server’s IP is: Unknown, please wait

What can you do to protect yourself:

There are several things you can do which will reduce the risk of your router being hacked:

  • Keep your router software up to date. The manufacturer of your router should provide regular updates to your routers firmware. It is important to check for updates regularly, and apply them. Your router should have a model number visible on a sticker on the bottom,  search for the model on the manufacturer’s support website for the latest firmware and installation instructions.
  • Disable remote access to the router. Many router exploits used in this hack require remote access to be turned on, or access from the local network side to work. Disabling remote access to the router will help make these attacks more difficult.