DNS tunnelling, exfiltration and detection over cloud environments
AffiliationUniversity of Chester; Kingston University
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AbstractThe domain name system (DNS) protocol is fundamental to the operation of the internet, however, in recent years various methodologies have been developed that enable DNS attacks on organisations. In the last few years, the increased use of cloud services by organisations has created further security challenges as cyber criminals use numerous methodologies to exploit cloud services, configurations and the DNS protocol. In this paper, two different DNS tunnelling methods, Iodine and DNScat, have been conducted in the cloud environment (Google and AWS) and positive results of exfiltration have been achieved under different firewall configurations. Detection of malicious use of DNS protocol can be a challenge for organisations with limited cybersecurity support and expertise. In this study, various DNS tunnelling detection techniques were utilised in a cloud environment to create an effective monitoring system with a reliable detection rate, low implementation cost, and ease of use for organisations with limited detection capabilities. The Elastic stack (an open-source framework) was used to configure a DNS monitoring system and to analyse the collected DNS logs. Furthermore, payload and traffic analysis techniques were implemented to identify different tunnelling methods. This cloud-based monitoring system offers various detection techniques that can be used for monitoring DNS activities of any network especially accessible to small organisations. Moreover, the Elastic stack is open-source and it has no limitation with regards to the data that can be uploaded daily.
CitationSalat, L., Davis, M., Khan, N. (2023). DNS tunnelling, exfiltration and detection over cloud environments. Sensors, 23(5), 2760. https://doi.org/10.3390/s23052760
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