Catch the DNS Hijack: How ISPs Play Fast and Loose with Your Internet Navigation

Surfing the net and hit a snag? Your ISP might be the prankster behind that ‘404 comedy show’, sneakily intercepting your DNS. Trust us, it’s no laughing matter when your quest for cybersecurity news lands you on the ‘naughty list’. Keep your clicks genuine—beware the DNS shenanigans!

Hot Take:

Remember when your Internet Service Provider (ISP) said, “We’re here to help”? Well, looks like their “helping hand” might’ve been caught in the cookie jar of DNS interception. It’s like having a nosy neighbor who not only judges your mail but also slips in a few “special offers” while they’re at it. And just like that neighbor, even when you tell them to stop, they just can’t help themselves. You wanted to visit Bleeping Computer for some light reading, but your ISP’s overzealous DNS filter might redirect you to KnittingForCats.com because, you know, safety first!

Key Points:

  • ISPs, in their infinite “wisdom,” may intercept your DNS requests to “protect” you from the big bad web or to “enhance” your nonexistent experience of error pages with ads.
  • Comcast’s Security Edge is like a stage parent, even when you think you’ve turned it off, it’s still there, lurking and judging your DNS choices.
  • False positives in DNS filtering can send benign sites like Bleeping Computer to the digital naughty corner without a fair trial.
  • Debugging DNS issues can feel like Sherlock Holmes on the internet, with secret messages hidden in DNS logs and TTL values.
  • Ironically, the very tools meant to secure your DNS traffic might just be the ones pulling a Houdini on your trust.

Need to know more?

The Mysterious Case of the Mischievous ISP

It seems our ISPs fancy themselves as the vigilantes of the virtual world. They've adopted the modus operandi of intercepting DNS requests in the name of security. But let's be honest, sometimes it feels more like they're the overbearing parent who won't let you go to the cool kids' party because they heard there might be soda. And by soda, I mean those pesky malicious websites.

Comcast's Security Edge: The Security Blanket You Never Asked For

Security Edge, Comcast's version of "I've got you covered," is like that free trial you can never seem to cancel. Even when you politely decline their DNS interception offers through your dashboard, Comcast might just go ahead and keep it active anyway. It's the gift that keeps on giving, whether you want it or not.

When Good Sites Go Bad (According to Your ISP)

Ever had a good website go bad? No, it's not the plot of a summer blockbuster; it's what happens when DNS filters get overzealous. Bleeping Computer, the cybersecurity Good Samaritan, found itself on Comcast's blacklist. It turns out talking about security threats is enough to get you treated like one. Guilty by association, much?

DNSSEC or DNS Mess? The Plot Thickens

When DNSSEC, the knight in digital armor, starts failing, it's a sign that something's fishy in the state of DNS. Our intrepid internet user, armed with tools like dnsviz.net, uncovers the truth: someone's been tinkering with DNS responses. And it's not just any someone; it's happening across various DNS servers. The plot, like your favorite thriller series, has more twists than a pretzel factory.

Branded Warning Pages: The Fashion Statement No One Wanted

In the quirky world of ISPs, even error pages can be "branded." It's as if they're trying to turn network errors into a fashion statement. But don't get too excited; you might never see these haute couture masterpieces, thanks to the wonders of TLS and strict transport security. It's like being promised a runway show and getting a text description of the outfits instead.

DIY Detective Work: Uncovering DNS Interference

For those aspiring to be cyber Sherlocks, there's a way to sniff out DNS interference. With a little bit of digging and comparing TTL values across different name servers, you can start to piece together whether your ISP has been playing puppet master with your internet experience. It's not exactly elementary, but with patience, you can crack the case.

FINAL WORDS

In the tangled web we call the internet, DNS interception by ISPs raises some serious trust issues. Even with the best intentions, ISPs need to be transparent about their meddling ways. And when they provide switches to turn off their "helpful" services

Tags: Comcast Security Edge, DNS interception, DNS spoofing, DNS timing analysis, DNSSEC, false positives in blocklists, recursive resolvers