Lab – Explore DNS Traffic (Instructor Version)
- Part 1: Capture DNS Traffic
- Part 2: Explore DNS Query Traffic
- Part 3: Explore DNS Response Traffic
Background / Scenario
Wireshark is an open source packet capture and analysis tool. Wireshark gives a detailed breakdown of the network protocol stack. Wireshark allows you to filter traffic for network troubleshooting, investigate security issues, and analyze network protocols. Because Wireshark allows you to view the packet details, it can be used as a reconnaissance tool for an attacker.
In this lab, you will install Wireshark on a Windows system and use Wireshark to filter for DNS packets and view the details of both DNS query and response packets.
- 1 Windows PC with internet access and Wireshark installed
Instructor Note: Using a packet sniffer such as Wireshark may be considered a breach of the security policy of the school. It is recommended that permission is obtained before running Wireshark for this lab. If using a packet sniffer such as Wireshark is an issue, the instructor may wish to assign the lab as homework or perform a walk-through demonstration.
Step 1: Capture DNS traffic.
a. Open Wireshark and start a Wireshark capture by double clicking a network interface with traffic.
b. At the Command Prompt, enter ipconfig /flushdns clear the DNS cache.
C:\Users\Student> ipconfig /flushdns Windows IP Configuration Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.
c. Enter nslookup at the prompt to enter the nslookup interactive mode.
d. Enter the domain name of a website. The domain name www.cisco.com is used in this example. Enter www.cisco.com at the > prompt.
C:\Users\Student> nslookup Default Server: UnKnown Address: 188.8.131.52 > www.cisco.com Server: UnKnown Address: 184.108.40.206 Non-authoritative answer: Name: e2867.dsca.akamaiedge.net Addresses: 2001:578:28:68d::b33 2001:578:28:685::b33 220.127.116.11 Aliases: www.cisco.com www.cisco.com.akadns.net wwwds.cisco.com.edgekey.net wwwds.cisco.com.edgekey.net.globalredir.akadns.net
e. Enter exit when finished to exit the nslookup interactive mode. Close the command prompt.
f. Click Stop capturing packets to stop the Wireshark capture.
Step 2: Explore DNS Query Traffic
a. Observe the traffic captured in the Wireshark Packet List pane. Enter udp.port == 53 in the filter box and click the arrow (or press enter) to display only DNS packets.
b. Select the DNS packet labeled Standard query 0x0002 A www.cisco.com.
In the Packet Details pane, notice this packet has Ethernet II, Internet Protocol Version 4, User Datagram Protocol and Domain Name System (query).
c. Expand Ethernet II to view the details. Observe the source and destination fields.
What are the source and destination MAC addresses? Which network interfaces are these MAC addresses associated with?
In this example, the source MAC address is associated with the NIC on the PC and the destination MAC address is associated with the default gateway. If there is a local DNS server, the destination MAC address would be the MAC address of the local DNS server.
a. Expand Internet Protocol Version 4. Observe the source and destination IPv4 addresses.
What are the source and destination IP addresses? Which network interfaces are these IP addresses associated with?
In this example, the source IP address is associated with the NIC on the PC and the destination IP address is associated with the DNS server.
b. Expand the User Datagram Protocol. Observe the source and destination ports.
What are the source and destination ports? What is the default DNS port number?
The source port number is 58461 and the destination port is 53, which is the default DNS port number.
c. Open a Command Prompt and enter arp –a and ipconfig /all to record the MAC and IP addresses of the PC.
C:\Users\Student> arp -a Interface: 192.168.1.10 --- 0x4 Internet Address Physical Address Type 192.168.1.1 cc-40-d0-18-a6-81 dynamic 192.168.1.122 b0-a7-37-46-70-bb dynamic 192.168.1.255 ff-ff-ff-ff-ff-ff static 18.104.22.168 01-00-5e-00-00-16 static 22.214.171.124 01-00-5e-00-00-fc static 126.96.36.199 01-00-5e-7f-ff-fa static 255.255.255.255 ff-ff-ff-ff-ff-ff static C:\Users\Studuent> ipconfig /all Windows IP Configuration Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : DESKTOP Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . : Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No Ethernet adapter Ethernet: Connection-specific DNS Suffix . : Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Desktop Adapter Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 08-00-27-80-91-DB DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::d829:6d18:e229:a705%4(Preferred) IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.10(Preferred) Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0 Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Tuesday, August 20, 2019 5:39:51 PM Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Wednesday, August 21, 2019 5:39:50 PM Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1 DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1 DHCPv6 IAID . . . . . . . . . . . : 50855975 DHCPv6 Client DUID. . . . . . . . : 00-01-00-01-24-21-BA-64-08-00-27-80-91-DB DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206 NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Enabled
Compare the MAC and IP addresses in the Wireshark results to the results from the ipconfig /all results. What is your observation?
The IP and MAC addresses captured in the Wireshark results are the same as the addresses listed in arp – a and ipconfig /all command.
d. Expand Domain Name System (query) in the Packet Details pane. Then expand the Flags and Queries.
Observe the results. The flag is set to do the query recursively to query for the IP address to www.cisco.com.
Step 3: Explore DNS Response Traffic
a. Select the corresponding response DNS packet labeled Standard query response 0x0002 A www.cisco.com.
What are the source and destination MAC and IP addresses and port numbers? How do they compare to the addresses in the DNS query packets?
The source IP, MAC address, and port number in the query packet are now destination addresses. The destination IP, MAC address, and port number in the query packet are now source addresses.
b. Expand Domain Name System (response). Then expand the Flags, Queries, and Answers. Observe the results.
Can the DNS server do recursive queries?
Yes, the DNS can handle recursive queries.
c. Observe the CNAME and A records in the answers details.
How do the results compare to nslookup results?
The results in the Wireshark should be the same as the results from nslookup in the Command Prompt.
1. From the Wireshark results, what else can you learn about the network when you remove the filter?
Without the filters, the results display other packets, such as DHCP and ARP. From these packets and the information contained within these packets, you can learn about other devices and their functions within the LAN.
2. How can an attacker use Wireshark to compromise your network security?
An attacker on the LAN can use Wireshark to observe the network traffic and can get sensitive information in the packet details if the traffic is not encrypted.