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Screwing Up DNS for Profit

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,226
Thanks: 242
Fixes: 3
Registered: 05-04-2007

Screwing Up DNS for Profit

Hi all,

Just thought I'd bring your attention to this (if anyone is interested).


Read this and this today.

Was annoyed to read that Tiscali have done what Verisign did in 2003 (albeit only on their DNS servers) and are using wildcard DNS records to serve up pages of sponsored advertising links instead of the usual 'page not found' errors when URL's are mis-typed.

Of course they claim it's for the customers benefit, and also assume the end user doesn't understand the difference between say between a ‘MSN’ search page which is re-directed via software and re-directing via DNS changes, which are quite fundamentally different.

Also has many wider implications on DNS in general.

And how is serving more advertising than before, designed to make them money of any benefit to the user? Of course there is no benefit to them I can see :twisted:

Nothing to do with PlusNet of course, but it does make me glad I'm not on LLU and indirectly funding a company (which pulls these kind of stunts) via my monthly subscription.

I wonder if other ISP's will try to follow suit. Typical scenario of some senior manager trying this to make more money.

Have mailed TBB/ADSL Guide, so I wonder if they will bother to pick up on this. Not really a fan of the site myself, but for some unknown reason it is taken quite seriously within the broadband industry I know.


Anyway, be interested to hear of any comments Smiley
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-08-2007

Screwing Up DNS for Profit

Interesting in particular to note that one of the unwarrantied side effects is an increase in Spam!

I wonder, is it possible that hackers could hijack the hijacked DNS entry and send unsuspecting users off to a fake version of the original site?

Sky TV - shoddy service - avoid!

It should be made illegal for ISPs to do this. The lure of $$$s is too much for greedy companies like Tiscali.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Screwing Up DNS for Profit

This is called polluted or poisoned DNS.

There was a case of this on the forums within the last few weeks where a virus or Trojan had changed someone “hosts” file;

Another way that is can be done is by so called WarPharming, where by someone drives by looking for unsecured wireless networks, with the default SSID.
And uses the manufactures published administration password to login.
(No encryption and default SSID is a good clue that you have not set a new admin password.)
They can then change the DNS setting on the router to use their DNS servers, which they can poison the entries in.

So just make sure that you have set up your router securely.