What is a historical DNS database? Why is it?


How cybersecurity experts tracked attackers using Domain Name System (DNS) records and how website administrators used them to manage corporate web properties (such as web pages). You’ve probably heard of it. However, not everyone really knows what DNS is where DNS records are stored (for example, a historical DNS database like this). a), and the purpose of using DNS data. This article sheds light on these subjects.

What is the domain name system?

DNS is most often referred to as an Internet telephone directory. Why? To translate domain names (eg.[.]com) to the IP address (for example 1)[.]255[.]3[.]253 or 2001[:]0db8[:]85a3[:]0000[:]0000[:]8a2e[:]0370[:]7334). In this way, users who want to access company content[.]com is displayed on the correct page.

You might be wondering why you need DNS, but the answer is pretty straightforward. Domain names like businesses are easy for humans to remember[.]Instead of com IP address like 1[.]255[.]3[.]253 or 2001[:]0db8[:]85a3[:]0000[:]0000[:]8a2e[:]0370[:]7334. However, the web browser uses the IP address to interact with the computer or server. That said, DNS acts as a middleman between humans and computers, so you can get what you need in some way.

What is a historical DNS database?

Like the physical telephone directory that was distributed to all residential telephone service subscribers in the past, the domain name and its corresponding IP address must be kept somewhere so that users can access it anywhere on the web. is necessary. It’s DNS, a kind of database. However, it differs from historical DNS databases provided by various information providers. How? ‘Or’ What?

DNS contains all current DNS records for all domain names. Historical DNS databases, on the other hand, record all of the IP addresses that domain names resolve within a certain time period, based on how long a particular provider crawls the web for DNS data. Let’s look at an example to make it clearer.

Domain name company[.]Com used to resolve to IP address 1[.]2[.]3[.]4. The company had to change its Internet Service Provider (ISP) but three years later when the office moved to another country. Its new IP address is 1[.]255[.]3[.]253. Thus, a historical DNS database which has been collecting data for several years provides the user with two company IP addresses.[.]com, 1[.]2[.]3[.]4 and 1[.]255[.]3[.]253.

For illustrative purposes, this is a screenshot of an entry from a historical DNS database.

Note that each domain in the leftmost column points to a different number of IP addresses in the rightmost column. Not all IP addresses are up to date. Some may be out of date.

What data does the historical DNS database contain?

The historical DNS database for the A record (i.e. specifying domain and IP resolutions) has three columns detailed below.

Domain name

Source: thinkco.com

The first column contains domain names that have been matched over a specific period of time (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly, or over time). The domain in the database was accessed by any user during this period and resolved to the specified IP address.

In this example DNS database entry, the domain name is anguillavillarental.[.]com.


The second column contains the date of the last access to the domain and the precise time. The data is expressed in UNIX format and can be easily converted to human readable dates and time stamps in the selected time zone using a converter such as Epoch Converter.

In the same example above, the date and time is 1625204923. The conversion will take place on July 2, 2021 at 5:48:43 GMT.

IP adress

The third column lists all the IP addresses specified by the domain during the specified time period. There is always at least one IP address in this column because every device connected to the Internet (even if a computer or server site is hosted) requires an IP address.

In the same example, anguilla villarental for the week ending July 26, 202[.]com resolved to 3 IP addresses:


Other types of records are also available as part of historical DNS databases such as canonical name (CNAME), mail exchanger (MX), name server (NS), start of authority (SOA), TXT database records.

What is the data in the DNS database used for?

Source: networkencyclopedia.com

DNS data is the most useful in cybersecurity. More precisely, they have the following advantages.

Extension of the IoC list

Professional threat hunters can use DNS data to reveal associations of threats to the domain or IP address. Therefore, if you have a list of intrusion traces (IoCs), including domains, and you want to be sure to block all possible threat vectors, find a specific domain in your DNS database and block all of them. the IP addresses connected to it. can.

Let’s say your IoC list contains a malicious domain account – paypalinfo[.]com, the DNS database tells you that it is connected to the IP address 34[.]98[.]99[.]30. Know this, in addition to blocking access to and from your paypalinfo account[.]Access to com, 34 and access from 34 must also be blocked[.]98[.]99[.]30. You can also use a malicious NS from the NS database as a starting point to add artifacts or IoCs to the current blocklist.

Strengthening cybersecurity solutions

There aren’t many anti-malware solutions that can correlate web properties with 100% accuracy. Just like using DNS databases for threat hunting and expanding the IoC list, you can extend the capabilities of your cybersecurity solution by consolidating DNS data. This not only blocks access to and from IoC, but also blocks the connected IP address (specify domain) or domain (specify IP address). This should strengthen your defense against any kind of threat.

Attack surface management

Source: cycognito.com

The whole thing using a DNS database, kind of like extending an IoC list using a DNS database Numeric properties It is correctly fixed. You can then find all domains or IP addresses. Once you have identified all of your assets, you can verify that your domain’s DNS records are all up to date and point to the correct IP address (i.e. an attacker is redirecting your domain to an IP address. malicious under your control. do not). ..

You can also query all domains and IP addresses on the block list to make sure they are not detected as malicious. If any of them are present, you can modify these resources to protect your domain’s reputation.

Browse other historical DNS database feed files (CNAME, MX, NS, SOA, TXT) to find all web properties (including suspended, forgotten, or unused properties) and update records. You can also verify that it has not been done. Refers to digital assets that you don’t own or deprecate them (permanently remove them from DNS) so that they cannot be used by attackers in domain hacking attacks.

You have learned about DNS and DNS databases and how to use them in practice. DNS databases are created primarily for cybersecurity purposes, but they are also useful for brand protection and market information gathering.


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