Sirwin
Sirwin

Why should you be worried about a DNS leak if you use cryptocurrencies?


DNS and WebRTC are two technologies that facilitate communication and access to Internet resources, but they can also be exploited by attackers to obtain information about your identity, location, activity and funds. Therefore, it is important that you know what they are, how they work and how you can protect yourself from possible threats. Therefore, this article is, in part, a continuation of my previous publication: WebRTC: What Is It And Why Should You Care If You Use Cryptocurrencies?

DNS (Domain Name System) is the Internet telephone directory. Thanks to DNS, we can access websites like Google or Facebook without having to memorize their numerical IP addresses. DNS is responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses and vice versa, so that browsers can load Internet resources. However, DNS is not a perfect or secure system. There are vulnerabilities that can allow an attacker to intercept, modify or redirect the DNS queries we make when browsing the web. This is known as a DNS leak, and it can have serious consequences for our online privacy and security.

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A DNS leak occurs when a DNS query that should be sent through a VPN or proxy reaches an unprotected DNS server. This may reveal personal, illegal or sensitive information about the user, such as domain name, IP address or ISP. Additionally, the attacker can take advantage of the DNS leak to redirect the user to fake or malicious websites, where they can steal their credentials, banking details, or even their cryptocurrencies.

We all know (at least I hope so) that cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology to guarantee their security, transparency and decentralization. That cryptocurrency users store funds in digital wallets, which are identified by a unique alphanumeric address and that in order to send or receive cryptocurrencies and that it is necessary to know the address of the recipient's or issuer's wallet. This is where the risk of a DNS leak comes into play. If a cryptocurrency user visits a cryptocurrency-related website, such as an exchange, trading platform, payment service, or online wallet, and suffers a DNS leak, the attacker can redirect them to a version fake website, where it will ask you to enter your wallet address, private key or seed phrase. This data is essential to access and control the funds in a cryptocurrency wallet, and if it falls into the hands of an attacker, it can result in total loss of funds.

For example, (I'm writing this "from memory") and if I remember correctly around 2018-2019, there was a DNS leak that affected the cryptocurrency websites: Cream Finance and PancakeSwap. An attacker managed to modify the DNS records of both websites and redirect visitors to fake websites, where he asked for their seed phrases to access their cryptocurrency wallets. I believe the scope and impact of the attack is still unknown, but it is estimated that the attacker was able to steal thousands, perhaps millions of dollars in cryptocurrency.

There are some measures we can take to protect ourselves from these types of attacks:

✔ Use a trusted VPN or proxy, which encrypts and protects our DNS queries.

✔ Configure our device to use secure and private DNS servers.

✔ Verify the address and certificate of the website we visited, and make sure they match the original.

✔ Never enter our private key or seed phrase on any website, and save them in a safe, offline place.

✔ Periodically perform DNS leak tests, using online tools. Example: https://browserleaks.com/dns.

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The DNS is a vital system for the functioning of the Internet, but it can also be a source of threats to our privacy and security. As cryptocurrency users we must be especially careful with DNS leaks, as they can lead to the loss of our funds. Therefore, it is important that we take all possible precautions and be alert for any signs of suspicion.


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Trader, entrepreneur, freelancer, enthusiast and promoter of globalization, adoption and understanding of cryptocurrencies and new information and communication technologies (ICTs)


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