Understanding DNS Hijacking and its Impact on DeFi Projects

CryptoMode DNS Hijacking DeFi

The realm of digital assets is no stranger to cyber-attacks. With the rise of cyber adversaries, the threat to user privacy, asset security, and online authenticity grows exponentially. One such dangerous technique is DNS hijacking, which not only affects Web 2 but has profound repercussions for the emerging Web3 domain.

What is DNS Hijacking?

DNS hijacking, at its core, targets the very foundation of the Internet. It manipulates the Domain Name Systems (DNS), pivotal for online navigation. It can paralyze a public DNS service or redirect users to malicious portals when executed.

In a standard scenario, an attacker replaces the original pairing of the Domain Name and its legitimate IP with a malicious server’s IP. As a result, when users make future DNS queries, they unknowingly land on deceitful platforms, as detailed by CertiK.

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What makes DNS hijacking so nefarious is its stealth. Users, unknowingly redirected to these malicious sites, expose themselves to phishing schemes and potential malware downloads. These sinister applications can compromise and even control devices.

In 2021, high-profile platforms like CreamFinance and PancakeSwap fell victim to DNS hijacking. The following year, Ankr’s public RPC gateways for Polygon and Fantom wallets also faced similar breaches. Other notable mentions include Cronos-based DEX MM.Finance, Curve Finance, Celer Protocol, Fantom’s SpiritSwap, and Polygon’s QuickSwap. These events underscore the vulnerabilities in Web2 and their ripple effect on the Web3 ecosystem.

Interplay Between Web2 and Web3 & DeFi

The incidents vividly highlight the intricate connection between the security of Web2 and Web3. These breaches emphasize that the vulnerabilities aren’t native to Web3 protocols. Instead, the conventional centralized domain setup exposes them to such challenges.

Web3 projects stand at a crossroads. With the looming threat of DNS credential theft and inherent vulnerabilities from third-party domain services, their journey is fraught with challenges. CertiK’s research indicates that the core Web3 protocols are not at fault. It’s the age-old centralized domain infrastructure that becomes the weak link.

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