I read on this Cloudflare's blog post that hackers use misconfigured DNS servers to amplify their attacks. The principle is to flood the DNS with queries, and "ask" the DNS to forward their answer to the victim to DDOS.

I planned a DDOS stress test at my company (with the agreement of my boss).
I am pretty sure abusing DNS servers for my private audit is illegal,
but I cannot find terms and conditions for these DNS providers,
so are there laws regulating the use of these services, to limit abuses.?

I am under the french jurisdiction, but if you have foreign example it may be interesting.

  • " but I cannot find terms and conditions for these DNS providers..." Who are these DNS providers? Add the IP or Domain to your question or respond in these comments. Jul 13, 2017 at 14:06
  • I guess I would use indonesian DNS, like the one listed on public-dns.info. There are many DNS servers, and that is why I asked if there was a global law on the subject!
    – tux lu
    Jul 13, 2017 at 14:27

1 Answer 1


"Public" DNS servers are public in the sense that they are available for the public to use by the adminstrator of each server. But each DNS server is run by either a government entity (or semi-government, such as a university or a government run corporation) or a private telecom company. And as such, each entity that runs a DNS server will have TOS (terms of service) that dictates the use of that server.

And each - I'd assume - forbids DNS access in for form of high-volume, repeated accesses such as would be used in a DDOS stress test.

You should find the administrative domain and website of the DNS server you want to use - i.e., you mentioned Indonesia, so kemdikbud.go.id or telkom.net.id, etc., from public-dns.info - and read their TOS to determine their policies about access to their DNS services.

But there are many other factors involved in a DDOS stress test other than the one DNS service: you need to consider each ISP, each upstream provider, each network between the DNS service and the target server, in each country, as a DDOS attack - even a controlled stress test - creates huge amounts of traffic all across each network and as such costs time and money to each. And each services' TOS may very well forbid such use for a DDOS stress test.

So even though you have the approval of your boss for the test, I doubt very much he has approval from all of the necessary networks to use their services for a stress test.

In the US at least, DDOS attacks are illegal: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1030#a_5

AFAIK, there is no global law regarding DNS server abuse; governance of the DNS system falls under ICANN https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICANN

  • How is a DNS TOS expected to be transmitted?
    – user4460
    Jul 13, 2017 at 19:21
  • It's not and doesn't have to be in order to present a TOS; you read the TOS at the administrative domain for the company/entity that controls the DNS server. i.e., Open DNS (Owned by Cisco) opendns.com/website-terms-of-use Jul 13, 2017 at 19:48

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