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An attack that inserts fraudulent data into the cache of a Domain Name System (DNS) resolver. A cache is a local storage area where name resolvers store results of the DNS lookups that they process. To speed lookups, a resolver searches for answers in its cache before forwarding queries to authoritative name servers or upstream resolvers.
In a cache poisoning attack, a cyberattacker substitutes fraudulent DNS data for a popular domain name in a name server’s cache. Once the cache has been poisoned, subsequent queries for that domain name direct the attacker’s victims to a malware-hosting or phishing website.