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Google Says Public DNS Intercepted by ISPs in Turkey

Google on Saturday warned that its Public Domain Name System (DNS) service has been intercepted by the majority of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Turkey.

Google’s Public DNS resolution service lets people use the search giant’s DNS servers as an alternative to their DNS provider, often an ISP. The service offers both performance and security benefits over many ISP DNS services.

According to Google’s Steven Carstensen, Turkish ISPs have set up servers that are essentially masquerading as Google’s DNS service.

“We have received several credible reports and confirmed with our own research that Google’s Domain Name System (DNS) service has been intercepted by most Turkish ISPs (Internet Service Providers),” Carstensen wrote in a blog post Saturday afternoon.

“Google operates DNS servers because we believe that you should be able to quickly and securely make your way to whatever host you’re looking for, be it YouTube, Twitter, or any other,” Carstensen wrote.

“But imagine if someone had changed out your phone book with another one, which looks pretty much the same as before, except that the listings for a few people showed the wrong phone number.”

That’s exactly what the Turkish ISPs have done.

On March 27, the Turkish government blocked YouTube, less than a week after it had blocked Twitter.

The moves are apparently to prevent the spread of online videos said to feature the voices of Turkey’s foreign minister, intelligence chief, army general in a state security meeting suggesting that the Turkish military should take action and move into Syria to protect the tomb of Suleiman Shah, the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Dynasty.

Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group have threatened to attack the tomb site.

According to the AFP and other media outlets, the audio recording, which could not be independently verified, features a voice that sounds like that of Turkey's spy chief Hakan Fidan saying: "If needed, we will launch an attack there."

"Between you and me, the prime minister said over the telephone that this (attack) should be used as an opportunity when needed," a voice allegedly belonging to Davutoglu is also heard in the recording.

"Turkey is ready to take any legitimate step under international law if its national security, including the area where the tomb of Suleyman Shah is situated, is threatened," Davutoglu told AFP on Wednesday. 

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.