A domain generation algorithm (DGA) is a computer program that creates slightly different variations of a given domain name.
If a website owner wants to use the domain name mysite.com for example, and a search on a domain-name registrar’s site revealed that the desired domain name was not unavailable, a DGA running in the site’s background might return suggestions for fifty similar site names that actually were available.
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Botnet operators have discovered that DGAs can be used to hide the operator’s command and control (C&C) server and evade detection by blacklists, signature filters, reputation systems, intrusion prevention systems, security gateways and other security methods. The scheme, which is called domain fluxing, is similar to hiding a needle (the C&C server) in a haystack (a long list of IP addresses).