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DNS now your first line of defense against Cyber Attacks


F-Secure

F-Secure is partnering with the Global Cyber Alliance to step up the fight against malicious URLs with a secure DNS service that companies and individuals can use for free.

Helsinki, Finland – November 16, 2017: Every single day, F-Secure Labs discovers nearly 30,000 malicious URLs used in phishing attacks, ransomware campaigns, and other cyber attacks. Now F-Secure is partnering with the Global Cyber Alliance to tackle these threats through Quad9 – a free DNS service designed to prevent people, organizations, and devices from visiting malicious URLs.

The domain name system (DNS) is an internet protocol that translates internet domain names into IP addresses. It’s how people, applications, and devices connect with websites and other internet resources. And manipulating people into visiting malicious URLs with phishing emails, malvertising, and other cyber attacks is a common way for hackers to compromise their victims.

But according to Christine Bejerasco, Service Lead for Consumer R&D at F-Secure, tackling security problems by using key parts of the internet, like DNS, give the cyber security industry an opportunity to nip potential compromises in the bud.

“To put it simply, a lot of the digital technologies we use were never designed to hold up against the kind of attacks we see today. And reinforcing technologies that serve as the backbone of the internet gives users a more secure option to work with,” said Bejerasco. “Quad9 works almost exactly like the DNS services people already use, but adds protection against malicious domains.”

Quad9 works by acting as a filter that prevents devices, browsers, and applications from resolving malicious URLs. The service, which is free to use for both individuals and companies, maintains a blacklist of malicious websites provided by F-Secure and other threat intelligence partners. When a device or application tries to connect with a blacklisted domain, Quad9 simply prevents the domain name from resolving, and informs the user that the site has been identified as malicious.

Quad9 also supports DNSSEC to help protect users against attacks using DNS spoofing. And it provides these benefits without infringing on the privacy of users by collecting IP addresses or other personally identifiable information.

While end users will benefit the most from these security benefits, the Global Cyber Alliance is hoping that online service providers, particularly Internet of Things device manufacturers, will recognize the potential benefits of using Quad9 in their products and services.

“The Internet of Things means more devices connecting to the internet – more computers, more connections, and more assigned IP addresses, and more targets for cyber criminals. This is a huge problem – billions of insecure devices that can be taken over and used to attack others, or that can be destroyed,” said Philip Reitinger, Global Cyber Alliance President and CEO. “Device manufacturers, ISPs, service providers and device owners can use Quad9 to help secure these things with little extra work on their part, which means few costs or headaches for them or their customers.”

Quad9 is free to use for both people and organizations, and can be setup on most devices in minutes with a simple configuration change.