How DNSFilter stops malware

Stop 0-day threats, including new strains of malware, with DNSFilter’s advanced AI-driven domain categorization. Our DNS protection can keep your employees safe and mitigate the risk of someone within your organization falling for a malicious campaign.

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What is malware?

“Malware” is short for “malicious software” meant to harm or exploit a service, network, or device usually for financial gain. These malicious attacks can be used to exfiltrate data that can then be sold on the darkweb, to hold the data ransom (as in ransomware attacks), or in the outright destruction of valuable data.

Ransomware, malvertising, worms, spyware, viruses, trojans—malware is a broad term that includes all of these threat types and more.

Because of the wide range of possible malware attacks, downtime and costs can vary dramatically. However, the average cost of a malware attack on a company is $2.6 million according to Accenture.

dnsfilter ai powered dns security

There are over half a million new malware strains detected each day

74% of malware is sent from one coworker to another

dnsfilter ai powered dns security

Over 1 billion malware programs currently exist

How malware works

Malware can spread through a variety of avenues. One of the most effective ways of deploying malware is to host it as a forced-download on a website domain and promote it through a phishing or social engineering attack. Standing up malicious URLs is an incredibly easy and effective way to spread malware. The threat actors usually take advantage of existing sites and hack them to host their malware.

Once someone unknowingly downloads any type of malware, it will usually “callback” to a host server for further instructions. It does this via DNS, and these “callback” signals can be blocked if DNS security is in place. The instructions the malware receives will depend on what type of malware it is: Ransomware, spyware, adware, virus, etc.

Sometimes the malware will act immediately to make itself known, while other times it might stay on your device or network and quietly gather data for a long period of time.

This is how you stop malware

All organizations need to be prepared for a malware attack. Robust backups, application layer encryption, training, anti-virus, password managers, and multi-factor authentication will all aid you in the fight against malware. But one of the best ways to combat a malware attack is to block threats at the DNS layer.

DNS security not only blocks domains hosting malware, but will also stop “callbacks” from malware to host servers. This disables the ability for malicious software to be deployed and take over your computer in the event a malware package is deployed on your computer.

Take a zero-trust approach to cybersecurity, and put your company in a position to minimize the possibility of intrusion. When DNS protection is in place, it can mitigate 33% of all data breaches. It’s a lightweight but powerful layer that will keep you and your employees safe.

More on how to prevent malware attacks here.

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Threats We Block

malware threat icon

Malware is short for “malicious software” and can be spread in a variety of ways such as forced downloads or malicious ad content. It includes viruses, worms, spyware, ransomware, and trojan horses. The most common way that malware gets onto a computer or other device is through surfing hacked sites. So the best way to protect your company from malware is to prevent your users from ever accessing these sites.

Zero Day Threats

DNSFilter is the best security product to protect against zero-day attacks because our proprietary AI tools are constantly scanning the internet for new sites that could potentially contain scams or malware. DNSFilter detects threats up to 80 hours faster than static threat feeds.

Phishing Attacks

Phishing and spear phishing attacks are a favorite among hackers because they are relatively easy to implement. They use email or chat (such as public Slack channels or Discord) to lure victims into a scam, or more commonly to a link where they will enter data or download malware. Phishing attacks can be broad and general, impersonating institutions like banks or hospitals, or they can be targeted and sophisticated, often impersonating employees inside your own organization. Because DNSFilter is constantly scanning the web for new malicious sites, we can prevent phishing attacks by stopping your employees before they hit a malicious site, or give a phisher their data.


Ransomware is software that allows hackers to encrypt files, networks, and computers remotely. They then hold your data hostage until your company pays a ransom. With the evolution of ransomware in key sectors like healthcare as well as the ubiquity that Ransomware-As-A-Service offers, this threat technique has become one of the top causes of cybersecurity incidents worldwide. In 2020 the average ransomware demand was $233,000 and they now make up around ⅓ of all security breaches. If your company doesn’t pay you risk data loss, or in some cases, data being sold on the darkweb. The key to ransomware protection is stopping the malware from being downloaded in the first place, which usually requires blocking the site that hosts the malicious content before an unsuspecting user can visit it and become infected.

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A true 21st century threat, cryptojacking is the unauthorized takeover of a computer or network to “mine” cryptocurrency. Because new currency is created by computers using massive amounts of computing resources computational bandwidth is at a premium. Cryptojacking infects a distributed network of computers to utilize their computational bandwidth, slowing down the device and, at scale, driving up your energy costs. DNSFilter has a robust catalog of known cryptojacking sites, and domains that contain cryptocurrency references can be blocked in a single click.


Thousands of people type into their browser every day. Turns out, the average internet user isn’t always the best speller. Bad actors take advantage of this by setting up malicious sites with domain names that feature common misspellings of familiar sites. Everyday we seem to discover new “Chase” login pages with an increasingly creative variety of typos (check out the fake sites here). DNSFilter protects the user from typosquatting by blocking access to domains that are known to contain malware or malicious content. Never worry about misspelled domain names again.

Man-in-the-Middle attacks

Have you ever visited a site that just looked off? Middleman attacks create a fake site that mimics a trustworthy brand login, and provides form fields where users enter their password, username, and potentially credit card data. The hacker then absconds with this data, leaving the user confused and exposed. Our AI-tool scans the UX of domains and includes logo matching, identifying when logos are being used on sites where they do not belong, ensuring that man-in-the-middle sites are quickly found, cataloged, and blocked.

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Content filtering for end-user protection. Block security threats and inappropriate content with DNSFilter.