As cyber-attacks continue to proliferate, it’s essential for organizations to stay ahead of the game when it comes to security. One area that requires particular attention is the Domain Name System (DNS).

DNS attacks are more common than one might think, simply because they essentially exploit the way the internet works.

During a DNS attack, threat actors seek to compromise the server running the Domain Name System, in an attempt to redirect traffic intended for legitimate websites to malicious ones, often without the users’ knowledge. This can be used to carry out phishing attacks, distribute malware, or even launch denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

In the following, we’ll have a quick look at the most frequent cyberattacks that exploit DNS and how DNS filtering can help counteract them. Shortly after, we’ll shift our focus on Heimdal, and explain how our DNS Security solution can help prevent this kind of attacks.

What Are the Most Common DNS Attacks?

Exploiting DNS is a popular tactic among cyber attackers. Here are some of the most common cyberattacks that leverage DNS, and how DNS filtering can help mitigate them:


Attackers often set up malicious websites that look similar to legitimate ones, attempting to trick users into providing sensitive information. DNS filtering can block access to known phishing domains and even predictively identify and block new phishing domains using AI&ML technology.


Malicious domains can host and distribute malware. By blocking access to these domains via DNS filtering, you can prevent the initial download of malware or the subsequent communication of malware with its command and control (C&C) server.

Drive-By Downloads

Some websites automatically download malicious software onto a user’s device without their knowledge. A DNS filtering solution can prevent access to such sites.

Botnet Command & Control

Once malware is on a device, it often communicates back to a C&C server. If the domain or IP of this server is known, a DNS filtering solution can block the bot’s communication, effectively neutering its malicious capabilities.

DNS Cache Poisoning (Spoofing)

Sometimes, attackers introduce forged DNS data into a DNS resolver’s cache, causing the resolver to return an incorrect IP address and redirecting users to potentially malicious sites.

DNS filtering solutions prevent DNS cache poisoning by employing secure protocols like DNS over HTTPS (DoH)to ensure data integrity, monitoring anomalies in the DNS responses and by using a maintained blocklist of malicious domains to ensure users aren’t redirected to harmful sites.

How Does Heimdal® Protect You From DNS Attacks?

DNS attacks can cause serious damage to brand reputation, data breaches, and even bring down entire network infrastructures. In fact, reports show that 88% of businesses experienced one or more DNS attacks in 2022, with an average cost of $942,000 per attack, and with 70% of the incidents resulting in application downtime.

To help you safeguard your organization against these threats, we have compiled a list of five ways Heimdal protects you from DNS attacks.

In the “spotlight” will be, of course, our DNS–dedicated product: Heimdal® DNS Security.

So, how does Heimdal protect you from DNS attacks?

1. Uses a Powerful DNS Filtering Engine: DarkLayer Guard®

DNS filtering is the first line of defense towards a secure DNS. Heimdal’s DNS Security uses a powerful DNS filtering engine, DarkLayer Guard®, capable of intercepting malicious data packets that could harm your endpoints and network.

DarkLayer Guard® works by creating a local DNS Server that acts as a filtering engine before resolving the user’s DNS query. So every time your computer makes a DNS query, our DNS traffic filtering engine will look at the data packets to see if there is anything hidden in the Internet traffic.

And, of course, it will automatically block the connection if it notices any strange behavior while querying.

2. Uses Machine Learning to Establish Compromise Patterns: VectorN Detection®

VectorN Detection® works by searching for patterns within the DarkLayer Guard® domain blocks. Using state-of-the-art Machine Learning algorithms, VectorN Detection is able to uncover even the most stealthy malware, providing essential HIPS/HIDS and IOA/IOC capabilities.

With this unique intelligence, Heimdal determines which endpoints are most likely to be infected by malicious scripts or malware. It detects malicious domain request patterns and filters them accordingly. The computers identified as potentially infected are to be treated as threats by the system administrator, who will investigate and scan for threats either manually or automatically.

VectorN Detection is able to intercept patterns such as: when a domain is blocked multiple times a day in a very short amount of time, when a domain is blocked every day at the same time, or when multiple domains are blocked in a very short amount of time – all of which could indicate the presence of infostealer strains, APT strains or botnets.

3. Detects and Blocks Attacks on DNS, HTTP and HTTPS Layers

Heimdal’s DNS Security works on DNS, HTTP and HTTPS layers to block the delivery of malware and ransomware payloads and prevent data exfiltration.

Every website a user visits via the Internet is routed through a database that is configured locally. This database contains 95% of the websites that have been blocked. If the website is found to be infected, the DarkLayer Guard engine will block it.

To give you an idea, in 2022 alone, Heimdal has blocked over 17 million network-based (i.e., DNS, HTTP, and HTTPS) cyber-attacks.

4. Supports DNS over HTTPS & Minimal System Footprint

Since September 2022, Heimdal integrated DoH into the DNS Security Solution, effectively allowing organizations to achieve a safer and more private way to navigate the internet. This functionality encrypts domain name system traffic by routing all DNS queries through a Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure encrypted session.

DNS over HTTPS reduces the risk of DNS spoofing and Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks in your IT environment by encrypting the session between the browser and the DNS server. As a result, user privacy will be increased within your organization at no cost to system performance, saving organizations essential time and resources in the process as well.

5. Is Compatible with Any Existing Security Solution

The DNS Security suite is available at both endpoint: DNS Security – Endpoint and perimeter level: DNS Security – Network.

Both modules are compatible with any existing security solution and can be deployed in your environment in less than an hour. They add to any Firewall or Antivirus and may be used in tandem with other Heimdal products to provide a full Endpoint Protection, Detection, and Response solution. All in a unified system, using a unified agent.

On top of the 5 features presented above, it’s important to note that Heimdal’s DNS Security Solution also:

  • predicts future DNS threats with 96% accuracy using AI;
  • detects DNS hijacking;
  • spots processes, users, URLs and attacker origins used to infiltrate your network;
  • can do category-based blocking (available for the endpoint solution);
  • can easily log network traffic for complete visibility on your network (available for the perimeter solution).

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Antivirus is no longer enough to keep an organization’s systems secure.

Heimdal® DNS Security Solution

Is our next gen proactive DNS-Layer security that stops unknown threats before they reach your endpoints.
  • Machine learning powered scans for all incoming online traffic;
  • Stops data breaches before sensitive info can be exposed to the outside;
  • Advanced DNS, HTTP and HTTPS filtering for all your endpoints;
  • Protection against data leakage, APTs, ransomware and exploits;
Try it for FREE today 30-day Free Trial. Offer valid only for companies.

Wrap Up

These were the five ways Heimdal protects you from DNS attacks. If you’re in need of a solution to help you prevent attacks that leverage DNS and improve your cybersecurity posture, then Heimdal DNS Security is the right choice for you.

Keep in mind that 91% of malware uses DNS for command and control, data exfiltration, or web traffic redirection activity. Our DNS Security solution will help your organization protect its endpoints and network by detecting and blocking even the most advanced cyber threats lurking in your DNS traffic.

Want to see it in action? Book a demo and try it out!

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