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The application developed by CERT-EE protects against phishing and malware

For Apple smart devices, the application called Encrypted DNS (by RIA) must first be downloaded from the AppStore and then activated.
For Apple smart devices, the application called Encrypted DNS (by RIA) must first be downloaded from the AppStore and then activated.

The Incident Response Department (CERT-EE) of the Information System Authority (RIA) has created a solution that protects smart devices from malicious web links and malware. 

‘We got the idea for the solution in the beginning of 2021 and made the first version available on 18 June of the same year. After that, we tested and updated the application and added new information to the Domain Name System (DNS) behind it. Figuratively speaking, we supplemented the Internet address book, which directs requests to the correct servers. If we have told the solution that a certain address contains a virus, a phishing page, or something else malicious, then the smart device will detect the dangerous link and will not open it,’ said Tõnu Tammer, the head of CERT-EE.
 
The solution can protect against domains containing malicious content on which the RIA has information. ‘Every day, CERT-EE receives information from both the Estonian people and partners about thousands of cyber threats that in one way or another want to undermine the cyber security of people and companies. Therefore, we developed a way to use the information we have in the most efficient way and to burden the owners of smart devices as little as possible,’ added Tammer, the author of the idea. 
 
The application blocks malware and phishing attempts and uses DNS to filter out malicious links for the user.

The solution operates on smart devices running both on iOS (iOS 14 and later) and Android (Android 9 and later) operating systems. For Apple smart devices, the application called Encrypted DNS (by RIA) must first be downloaded from the AppStore and then activated. To do this, go to Settings – General – VPN & Device Management – DNS and select Encrypted DNS.  

A similar application is built into Android and does not need to be downloaded separately. To use the solution, you must activate Private DNS under the network settings and set the location of the service to dns.cert.ee. NB! The solution does not work on Android devices if you want to use a private DNS and VPN service at the same time.
 
In the solution, the DNS requests are encrypted, i.e. third parties will not know which domains the smart device wants to visit. ‘The application systems do not have access to user traffic. When using the service, only the name resolution is inquired from our DNS server that protects the user from cyber threats’ Tammer explained its structure.
 
The service works both in Estonia and abroad. ‘We will continue to develop the service in order to offer users the opportunity to better protect themselves and prevent the success of certain cyber incidents,’ added the head of CERT-EE.

The trilingual application was developed by experts of the RIA and its development took more than a year. To date, more than 5,000 Apple users have downloaded the application.

 

Seiko Kuik
Press Officer of the Information System Authority
5851 7028

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