Domain Generation Algorithm (DGA) Detection

Learn about the DGA detection features of the DNS Security Service.
Domain generation algorithms (DGAs) are used to auto-generate domains, typically in large numbers within the context of establishing a malicious command-and-control (C2) communications channel. DGA-based malware (such as Pushdo, BankPatch, and CryptoLocker) limit the number of domains from being blacklisted by hiding the location of their active C2 servers within a large number of possible suspects, and can be algorithmically generated based on factors such as time of day, cryptographic keys, or other unique values. While most domains generated by a DGA do not resolve as a valid domain, they must all be identified to fully defend against a given threat. DGA analysis determines whether a domain is likely to have been generated by a machine, rather than a person, by reverse-engineering and analyzing other frequently used techniques found in DGAs. Palo Alto Networks then uses these characteristics to identify and block previously unknown DGA-based threats in real-time.
You can analyze the sinkholed DNS queries by viewing the threat logs (
Monitor > Logs
, then select the log type from the list):

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