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Cybersecurity / Featured Blogs

Securing the DNS in a Post-Quantum World: Hash-Based Signatures and Synthesized Zone Signing Keys

In my last article, I described efforts underway to standardize new cryptographic algorithms that are designed to be less vulnerable to potential future advances in quantum computing. I also reviewed operational challenges to be considered when adding new algorithms to the DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC). In this post, I'll look at hash-based signatures, a family of post-quantum algorithms that could be a good match for DNSSEC from the perspective of infrastructure stability. more

Notorious Markets, Scams and Implications for Brands

On January 14, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its 2020 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (the Notorious Markets List, or NML). This publication enumerates online and physical markets that have been reported to engage in trademark, counterfeiting, and copyright infringement at scale. For the first time, the NML documents show how internet platforms play a part in bringing illicit goods into the US. more

Reality Check on the 5G Security MAGAverse

As chance has it, the attempt by NTIA to create a fake Trump Open 5G Security Framework MAGAverse as they headed out the door on 15 January is being followed this week by the global meeting of 3GPP SA3 (Security) to advance the industry's real open 5G security Framework. Designated TSGS3-102e (the 102nd meeting, occurring electronically), it continues the practice of assembling companies, organisations, and agencies from around the world every 8 to 12 weeks to focus on 5G security for current and future releases of 5G infrastructure. more

Securing the DNS in a Post-Quantum World: New DNSSEC Algorithms on the Horizon

One of the "key" questions cryptographers have been asking for the past decade or more is what to do about the potential future development of a large-scale quantum computer. If theory holds, a quantum computer could break established public-key algorithms including RSA and elliptic curve cryptography (ECC), building on Peter Shor's groundbreaking result from 1994. more

WHOIS Record Redaction and GDPR: What's the Evolution Post-2018?

We all use the Internet daily. Practically every element of our reality has its equal in the virtual realm. Friends turn into social media contacts, retail establishments to e-commerce shops, and so on. We can't deny that the way the Internet was designed, to what it has become, differs much. One example that we'll tackle in this post is the seeming loss of connection between domains and their distinguishable owners. more

Verisign Outreach Program Remediates Billions of Name Collision Queries

A name collision occurs when a user attempts to resolve a domain in one namespace, but it unexpectedly resolves in a different namespace. Name collision issues in the public global Domain Name System (DNS) cause billions of unnecessary and potentially unsafe DNS queries every day. A targeted outreach program that Verisign started in March 2020 has remediated one billion queries per day to the A and J root name servers, via 46 collision strings. more

Newer Cryptographic Advances for the Domain Name System: NSEC5 and Tokenized Queries

In my last post, I looked at what happens when a DNS query renders a "negative" response -- i.e., when a domain name doesn't exist. I then examined two cryptographic approaches to handling negative responses: NSEC and NSEC3. In this post, I will examine a third approach, NSEC5, and a related concept that protects client information, tokenized queries. The concepts I discuss below are topics we've studied in our long-term research program as we evaluate new technologies. more

Brand Protection Beyond the "Whack-a-Mole" Approach

I recently shared at a conference how a seasoned brand and fraud expert from one of the world's largest global financial institutions lamented a major attack where multiple fraudulent websites would pop up every single day. All attacks were launched from the same registrar and web hosting company, and no matter how much they reached out to these providers, they received the same reply: "we will pass on your request to the registrant or site owner," and then nothing happened. more

Cryptographic Tools for Non-Existence in the Domain Name System: NSEC and NSEC3

In my previous post, I described the first broad scale deployment of cryptography in the DNS, known as the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC). I described how a name server can enable a requester to validate the correctness of a "positive" response to a query -- when a queried domain name exists -- by adding a digital signature to the DNS response returned. more

The Domain Name System: A Cryptographer's Perspective

As one of the earliest protocols in the internet, the DNS emerged in an era in which today's global network was still an experiment. Security was not a primary consideration then, and the design of the DNS, like other parts of the internet of the day, did not have cryptography built in. Today, cryptography is part of almost every protocol, including the DNS. And from a cryptographer's perspective, as I described in my talk at last year's International Cryptographic Module Conference (ICMC20), there's so much more to the story than just encryption. more

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