How to Use Reverse IP/DNS Lookups for Threat Intelligence Gathering and Incident Response

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Cybercrime remains an altogether lucrative business that shows no sign of stopping. If anything, we are likely to see new threats using even more sophisticated tools, tactics, and procedures (TTPs). The repercussions of a cyberattack can include data loss, a tarnished brand reputation, productivity loss due to service disruptions, and fines for not adhering to laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Given these severe ramifications, companies must have robust threat intelligence and effective incident response strategies. These can significantly enhance their overall cybersecurity posture. How? Using the findings gleaned from threat intelligence, you can tighten security by sealing up vulnerable areas that bad guys are likely to target.

While several sources of threat intelligence exist, this post aims to look specifically at how reverse DNS lookup tools like Reverse IP/DNS IP API[1]  can become part of an organization’s strategic cybersecurity agenda and incident response efforts.

3 Threat Intelligence and Incident Response Strategies Reverse IP Lookups Can Help With

1.   Detecting All Connected Domains to a Malicious IP Address

Reverse DNS lookup tools can help users identify all domains connected to a specific IP address. So, let’s say that you have an IP address tied to a phishing campaign. You want to make sure that none of your network-connected users access it. Then again, a single IP address can be connected to several domains, which they all need to avoid. You can use Reverse IP/DNS API to identify all potentially harmful domains so you can block access to these. That way, you don’t risk users ending up on potential phishing sites even if these have yet to prove malicious.

2.   Enhancing Your Domain Reputation by Severing Ties with Malicious Domains

You may not know it, but your domain could be sharing a server with malicious sites. Any ties to malicious activity can severely affect your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking. At worst, your website can be blacklisted because it shares a host with dangerous domains. If that happens, no matter how good your content and marketing campaigns are, potential and existing customers won’t be able to access your website, dampening your revenue. And should customers ever get wind that your site is blocked, they may lose trust in your brand.

Reverse IP address lookups can help you avoid such a scenario. You can run your IP addresses on Reverse IP/DNS API to get a list of all domains that you share hosts with. Then you can dig deeper into the domains, and should any of them have malicious connections, you can ask your Internet service provider (ISP) to assign you a cleaner IP address so your neighbors’ doings won’t affect your company.

3.   Identifying Forgotten and Insufficiently Secured Domains

Attackers abuse weak spots in your network to infiltrate it. And one of the commonly overlooked attack surfaces is a company’s domain infrastructure. Cyber attackers can abuse stale DNS records to execute subdomain takeovers. For example, they can take over forgotten mail exchanger (MX) records and point these to their specially crafted malicious mail servers. That would allow them to intercept emails intended for your company. And should these messages contain confidential information, they can use them against you. In other cases, they can take over an insufficiently secured name server to redirect your visitors to malicious sites instead.

Reverse DNS lookups can help you identify all of the domains hosted on your IP address. For instance, you may have forgotten to delete an old domain that you own. If this proves vulnerable, attackers can use it to gain entry into your network. Running all of the domains you own (active or inactive) on a tool like Threat Intelligence Platform[2]  can help you spot DNS vulnerabilities and record misconfigurations that may need immediate attention.

Knowledge is power. And that is also true when it comes to cybersecurity. Investing in proactive reverse IP address lookup solutions like Reverse IP/DNS API, which can enhance your threat intelligence gathering and incident response strategies, may prove an excellent idea. It helps improve your overall cybersecurity posture against both known and unknown threats.

About the Author: Jonathan Zhang is the founder and CEO of Threat Intelligence Platform[3]  (TIP)—a data, tool, and API provider that specializes in automated threat detection, security analysis, and threat intelligence solutions for Fortune 1000 and cybersecurity companies. TIP is part of the WhoisXML API[4]  family, a trusted intelligence vendor by over 50,000 clients.