Domain Name Service ( DNS ) is responsible for matching website names with their respective IP Addresss. www.AboveTopSecret.com = 22.214.171.124
If DNS is shutdown/unavailable, entering www.abovetopsecret.com in the address bar will result in a "Server Not Found" error... however entering
126.96.36.199 in the address bar will bring up the site ( if it is available ).
DNS Shutdown was one of the methods used in Egypt.
Here are a few reasons why DNS is an effective vector for 'Shutting Down' the Internet within a specific country.
1. Most ISPs only operate a few DNS servers. Remove just these 2-4 devices and all requests (
as in Egypt
) that use these ISP DNS servers will return a "Server Not
Found' error. For the 85+ % of users ( those who haven't prepared ) the Internet would effectively be "Shut Down". Although in reality the resources
are likely still available, just unreachable.
2. Most ISPs operate a large/huge number of Routers. Installing the control software (
with Egypts 4 top ISPs ) on all of these routers, in
ISPs in the USA, would be an enormous
task. However, this approach would be expected with the main Routers that handle traffic into
and out of the USA.
3. Literally 'Shutting Down' all Internet devices is not a realistic option. TCP/IP ( the Internet protocols ) is the standard communications protocol
suite used for military & government communications. Removing these devices from the network would also negatively affect governent communication
4. Removing DNS provides the appearance ( to the unknowledgable ) of an Internet Shutdown, whilst maintaining functionality for the govt. to use.
"All warfare is based on deception
." Sun Tzu
The recent events in Egypt highlighted the following noteworthy points...
1. During the shutdown of the DNS servers of Egypts 4 top Internet Service Providers, approx 15% of users switched to Alternative DNS
providers and were able to continue to access websites within Egypt
2. Router filtering software (from a US company) was used to block unauthorised Internet traffic from leaving/entering the Egytpian network to/from
overseas networks. ( where did I put that link? ). It did not block Internet traffic "within" Egypt, just at the network borders.
How is this useful ?
You can find a list of alternative DNS servers for your network at DNS Server List
. I recommend saving a copy
locally so you can access it should DNS be unavailable.
There are plenty of videos on the www
demonstrating how to utilise
an alternative DNS.
Many ( but not all ) websites are also configured to be accessed via IP Address, like ATS. You can test which websites are accessible by doing the
1. Go to DNS Tools
and enter the website name ( e.g., www.abcd.com )
2. Take the resulting IP Address and enter it into the browser address bar.
3. If the website loads, record the IP Address.
Of course, none of this will matter in the event of a catastrophic EMP or similar. But the info here should be enough to point people in the right
direction for how to access the Internet in a situation similar to that of Egypt.
edit on 14-2-2011 by V3isM3 because: Clarifying a couple of points.