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Attackers often attempt to hide within or otherwise abuse the domain name system (DNS). You can thwart attempts to manipulate this omnipresent protocol by monitoring for these types of abuses.

  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint, Network_Resolution
  • Last Updated: 2017-09-18
  • Author: Rico Valdez, Splunk
  • ID: 3c3835c0-255d-4f9e-ab84-e29ec9ec9b56


Although DNS is one of the fundamental underlying protocols that make the Internet work, it is often ignored (perhaps because of its complexity and effectiveness). However, attackers have discovered ways to abuse the protocol to meet their objectives. One potential abuse involves manipulating DNS to hijack traffic and redirect it to an IP address under the attacker’s control. This could inadvertently send users intending to visit, for example, to an unrelated malicious website. Another technique involves using the DNS protocol for command-and-control activities with the attacker’s malicious code or to covertly exfiltrate data. The searches within this Analytic Story look for these types of abuses.


Name Technique Type
DNS Exfiltration Using Nslookup App Exfiltration Over Alternative Protocol TTP
DNS Query Length Outliers - MLTK DNS Anomaly
DNS Query Length With High Standard Deviation Exfiltration Over Unencrypted/Obfuscated Non-C2 Protocol Anomaly
Detect hosts connecting to dynamic domain providers Drive-by Compromise TTP
Excessive DNS Failures DNS Anomaly
Excessive Usage of NSLOOKUP App Exfiltration Over Alternative Protocol Anomaly


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