Q&A: How should I deal with DNS failures?

Q I hear that there is a major new threat to the Internet’s name servers. Is there anything that I should do to deal with this, or will I know about it when my name servers go down?

A You are correct in that a recently-discovered vulnerability in the software run by many name (DNS) servers is now being exploited. This vulnerability does not appear to result in ‘poisoning’ of the name service, to misdirect your connections, but causes the name server to collapse.

Unless you want to check the name servers which you normally connect to (probably not advisable), the best solution is to go to the biggest, most resilient, and most secure: OpenDNS. You can do this free, and simply point your Network pane settings to use DNS Server addresses of 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220. Those should work anywhere in the world, unlike the addresses provided by your ISP. If OpenDNS were to get into trouble, then you can rest assured that the rest of the name servers have already gone down in flames!