This article originally appeared on F5.com on 7.29.15.

A recent report from The Infoblox DNS Threat Index (in conjunction with Internet Identity) shows that phishing attacks has raised the DNS threat level to a record high of 133 for second quarter of 2015, up 58% from the same time last year. The biggest factor for the jump is the creation of malicious domains for phishing attacks. Malicious domains are all those very believable but fake sites that are used to mimic real sites to get you to enter sensitive details. You get a phishing email, you click the link and get sent to a financial site that looks and operates just like your real bank site. If you're fooled and enter your credentials or other personal information, you could be giving the bad guys direct access to your money. These sites can also pretend to be corporate portals to gather employee credentials for future attacks.

Along with the malicious domains, demand for exploit kits also helped propel the DNS threat. Exploit kits are those wonderful packaged software that can run, hidden, on websites and load nasty controls and sniffers on your computer without you even knowing.

The Infoblox DNS Threat Index has a baseline of 100, which is essentially the quarterly averages over 2013 and 2014. In the first quarter 2015, the threat index jumped to 122 and then another 11 ticks for Q2 2015, hitting the high mark. Phishing was up by 74% in the second quarter and Rod Rasmussen, CTO at IID, noted that they saw a lot of phishing domains put up in the second quarter. You'd think after all these years this old trick would die but it is still very successful for criminals and with domain names costing less than $20 and available in minutes, it is a cheap investment for a potentially that big score.

DNS is what translates the names we type into a browser (or mobile app, etc.) into an IP address so that the resource can be found on the internet. It is one of the most important components to a functioning internet and as I've noted on several occasions, something you really do not think about until it isn't working...or is hacked. Second to http, DNS is one of the most targeted protocols and is often the source of many attacks. This year alone,  the St. Louis Federal Reserve suffered a DNS breach, Malaysia Airlines' DNS was hacked, and Lenovo.com to name a few. In addition, new exploits are surfacing targeting vulnerable home network routers to divert people to fake websites and DNS DDoS is always a favorite for riff-raff. Just yesterday 3 people were sent to prison in the DNS Changer Case.

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With more insecure IoT devices coming on line and relying on DNS for resolution, this could be the beginning of a wave of DNS related incidents. But it doesn't have to be. DNS will become even more critical as additional IoT devices are connected and we want to find them by name. F5 DNS Solutions, especially DNSSEC solutions, can help you manage this rapid growth with complete solutions that increase the speed, availability, scalability, overall security and intelligently manages global app traffic. At F5 we are so passionate about DNS hyperscale and security that we are now even more focused with our new BIG-IP DNS (formerly BIG-IP GTM) solution.

ps

@psilvas

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