Are you tired of business as usual? Having trouble stopping the kill chain before it even begins? Are you sick of not being able to adequately pivot through a malware attacker’s infrastructure?

Well, LOOK NO FURTHER! OpenDNS is proud to announce the rerelease of OPENDNS INVESTIGATE!



OpenDNS Investigate is a great tool for both Internet Security Researchers and Incident Responders alike for when time is of the essence and you need information NOW! As an employee of OpenDNS, and a proud member of the Security Research Team, I’ve had access to this tool since its creation and I can solemnly say that it has improved my life tenfold and it feels like I’m on vacation every time I use it.

All joking aside, the Investigate tool is a great resource that gives you a top-down view of any domain, IP address, ASN or email address that you wish to review and attain more information about. This wonderful tool draws from OpenDNS’s extensive historical data, which becomes very beneficial for reviewing domains whose information may have changed shortly before the attack evaluation.

OpenDNS Investigate includes information such as geo location, ASN distribution, TTL averages and standard deviations, and IP addresses and Name Servers for a domain, to name a few. There are, however, many other features that are unique to OpenDNS Investigate. For instance, the DNS Query Graph will display the number of queries per hour, specifically pulling from all OpenDNS users over the past 30 days.


Some exclusive features that come with OpenDNS Investigate are the multiple “scores” and colored notification alerts, which are all result dependent. Some of the scores that you will see displayed are as follows:

  • SecureRank2 – The ranking of a domain based on the lookup behavior of the client IP for the domain. This score is designed to identify domain names requested by known infected clients but rarely requested by clean clients.
  • RIP Score – A score given to a domain based on the IP address (or addresses) it resolves to and the reputation score of the IP address (or addresses). If a domain resolves to an IP or IP range that is considered to have a poor reputation, it will be reflected in this score.
  • ASN Score – Similar to the RIP Score, however it pertains specifically to ASNs
  • Requester Geo Distribution – A score representing the number of queries from clients visiting the domain, broken down by country.
  • DGA Score – This score is generated based on the likeliness of the domain name being generated by an algorithm rather than a human. This algorithm is designed to identify domains, which have been created using an automated randomization strategy.
  • Security Graph Score – A mathematical computation based on the security features and scores that pertain to a domain. Think of this as an overall score based on the rest of the scores listed.


In addition to the scores, one can also view the Domain Query Handling information for a domain, which shows which types of DNS responses the OpenDNS resolvers provided for the domain in question.

And if I may interject, one of my favorite attributes to look at when reviewing a domain are the Co-Occurrences and Related Domains. The Co-Occurrence domains are domains that have been visited before and after the domain in question. The Related Domains are the domains requested around the same time (up to 60 seconds before or after) as the given domain name, but that are not frequently associated with other domain names. Essentially, it’s the domains that are visited both before and after the domain you’re reviewing.

co and related

The interface for reviewing IP addresses is slightly different, but still comprehensive. The IP Address view is displayed whenever you search on an IP, or when you link to an IP from the Domain View. Generally, the first thing that’s displayed, is information regarding the amount of malicious domains hosted on the IP for the previous week. However, if the IP isn’t hosting any malicious domains, this is also reflected in the results.


The IP view will also display many other fields such as the LD2 and LD3 domains count (as well as some diversity scores relating to these domains) and the ASNs associated with the IP address. In addition, if the IP address ends up being a Name Server, OpenDNS Investigate will also list the first 1000 domains that the IP is hosting.


The Investigate tool has officially announced the inclusion of WHOIS information! The WHOIS information listed in Investigate is not gathered by performing a real time WHOIS lookup against another database, but rather from the extensive database maintained by OpenDNS within Investigate. The WHOIS information will show the standard output of registered users or assignees for the domain queried, along with a full range of typical WHOIS data for a domain. When a domain is malicious, additional domain details are displayed regarding the malicious categorization. These are intended to call out attention to particular information that may be useful or relevant to the particular domain that you are researching. A good friend and colleague of mine, Anthony Kasza, recently posted a blog about why WHOIS information is an important factor to consider when researching the validity of a domain.


OpenDNS Investigate is a great addition to any business looking to increase their visibility into internet research. I never leave home without mine! If you’re interested in obtaining this masterpiece apparatus, let us know!

RIP Billy Mays.

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