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DNS Spoofing Definition & Meaning

Domain name system (DNS) spoofing is a tactic used in man-in-the-middle attacks and others whereby a hacker forwards a domain name to a different IP address than the one actually associated with the web server. Doing so effectively lets attackers impersonate a website to steal personal information such as login credentials, inject malware, block security updates, or censor web traffic.

Hackers can pull off DNS spoofing in three ways:

  • Using a man-in-the-middle-attack to impersonate a Wi-Fi router via ARP spoofing and then setting up IP forwarding to the attacker’s computer
  • Performing a DNS server hijack to cause a legitimate web server to redirect web address visitors to a fake website
  • Using DNS cache poisoning to replace a legitimate IP address with a fraudulent one on the victim’s own device

While it can be difficult to resolve DNS spoofing, there are ways to protect yourself against this tactic:

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