Understanding MAC Flooding and DNS Spoofing

A packet sniffer on a switched network can't capture all traffic as it can on a hub network; instead, it captures traffic either coming from or going to the system. It's necessary to use an additional tool to capture all traffic on a switched network. There are essentially two ways to perform active sniffing and make the switch send traffic to the system running the sniffer:
  • ARP Spoofing This method involves using the MAC address of the network gateway and consequently receiving all traffic intended for the gateway on the sniffer system. A hacker can also flood a switch with so much traffic that it stops operating as a switch and instead reverts to acting as a hub, sending all traffic to all ports. This active sniffing attack allows the system with the sniffer to capture all traffic on the network.
Many switches have been patched or redesigned to not be susceptible to the flooding vulnerability.
DNS Spoofing (or DNS Poisoning) This is a technique that tricks a DNS server into believing it has received authentic information when in reality it hasn't. Once the DNS server has been poisoned, the information is generally cached for a while, spreading the effect of the attack to the users of the server. When a user requests a certain website URL, the address is looked up on a DNS server to find the corresponding IP address. If the DNS server has been compromised, the user is redirected to a website other than the one that was requested, such as a fake website.
To perform a DNS attack, the attacker exploits a flaw in the DNS server software that can make it accept incorrect information. If the server doesn't correctly validate DNS responses to ensure that they come from an authoritative source, the server ends up caching the incorrect entries locally and serving them to users that make subsequent requests.
This technique can be used to replace arbitrary content for a set of victims with content of an attacker's choosing. For example, an attacker poisons the IP address's DNS entries for a target website on a given DNS server, replacing them with the IP address of a server the hacker controls. The hacker then creates fake entries for files on this server with names matching those on the target server. These files may contain malicious content, such as a worm or a virus. A user whose computer has referenced the poisoned DNS server is tricked into thinking the content comes from the target server and unknowingly downloads malicious content.
The types of DNS spoofing techniques are as follows:
  • Intranet Spoofing Acting as a device on the same internal network
  • Internet Spoofing Acting as a device on the Internet
  • Proxy Server DNS Poisoning Modifying the DNS entries on a proxy server so the user is redirected to a different host system
  • DNS Cache Poisoning Modifying the DNS entries on any system so the user is redirected to a different host

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