Free security tool protects Internet users through DNS

IBM Security, Packet Clearing House (PCH) and The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) launched a free service designed to give consumers and businesses added privacy and security protection as they access the Internet. The new Quad9 Domain Name System (DNS) service helps protect users from accessing millions of malicious internet sites known to steal personal information, infect users with ransomware and malware, or conduct fraudulent activity.

Quad9

Businesses and consumers can safeguard their online privacy as the Quad9 (9.9.9.9) DNS service is engineered to not store, correlate or otherwise leverage any personally identifiable information (PII) from its users. In contrast, other DNS services often capture Information about the websites consumers visit, devices they use and where they live for marketing or other purposes.

To take advantage of the security and privacy of Quad9, users simply need to reconfigure a single setting on their devices to use 9.9.9.9 as their DNS server.

The protections delivered via Quad9 cover not only traditional PCs and laptops but can also be extended to internet connected devices or IoT technologies such as smart thermostats and connected home appliances. These devices often do not receive important security updates and are also difficult to secure with traditional anti-virus tools, yet remain connected to the internet leaving them vulnerable to hackers.

How Quad9 works

Quad9 makes using security threat intelligence a hands-off effort and designed to give users “automated immunity” from known internet threats by automatically blocking access to known malicious websites.

Whenever a Quad9 user clicks on a website link or types an address into a web browser, Quad9 checks the site against IBM X-Force’s threat intelligence database of over 40 billion analyzed web pages and images. The service also taps feeds from 18 additional threat intelligence partners including Abuse.ch, the Anti-Phishing Working Group, Bambenek Consulting, F-Secure, mnemonic, 360Netlab, Hybrid Analysis GmbH, Proofpoint, RiskIQ, and ThreatSTOP.

Quad9

Quad9 provides these protections without compromising the speed that users expect when accessing websites and services. Leveraging PCH’s expertise and global assets around the world, Quad9 has points of presence in over 70 locations across 40 countries at launch. Over the next 18 months, Quad9 points of presence are expected to double, further improving the speed, performance, privacy and security for users globally.

“Protecting against attacks by blocking them through DNS has been available for a long time, but has not been used widely. Sophisticated corporations can subscribe to dozens of threat feeds and block them through DNS, or pay a commercial provider for the service. However, small to medium-sized businesses and consumers have been left behind – they lack the resources, are not aware of what can be done with DNS, or are concerned about exposing their privacy and confidential information,” said Philip Reitinger, President and CEO of the Global Cyber Alliance. “Quad9 solves these problems. It is memorable, easy to use, relies on excellent and broad threat information, protects privacy, and security and is free.”