Hotlist and stale content update mitigation in local databases for DNS flooding attacks

Document Type


Publication Title

Telecommunication Systems


Domain name system (DNS) works like a phone book in the Internet address resolution process. It translates user-provided domain names into corresponding IP addresses and thus helps to connect to those domains. For its important role in Internet connectivity and the emerging growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, recent massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) flooding attacks target this important infrastructure. The significance behind this kind of attack is huge. A successful DDoS flooding attack in DNS makes hundreds of domain names unreachable. This paper proposes a mitigation mechanism for this DNS flooding attack in which stale content updates and a hotlist in DNS local databases are utilized in local/low-tier DNS servers. This hotlist contains domain records from different upper-level DNS servers, and these domain names are the top most queried domain names of those servers so that when the DNS is under attack, those domains in the hotlist still can be accessed. This hotlist is implemented using piggyback response messages not to cost much overhead. Furthermore, we propose a stale content update method for DNS local database, which periodically updates the stale contents to keep the database fresh. Simulation runs show good results from this hotlist content, and during an extreme outage for the DNS flooding attack, hotlist contents serve over 80 % of the total responses of the database. © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.



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Distributed denial of service (DDoS), DNS local database, Domain name system (DNS) flooding attacks, Hotlists, Internet of Things (IoT), IoT attacks, Security, Stale update


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