DNS Security


DNS Security / Most Commented

ICANN Complaint System Easily Gamed

ICANN's WDPRS system has been defeated. The system is intended to remove or correct fraudulently registered domains, but it does not work anymore. Yesterday I submitted a memo to the leadership of the ICANN At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the greater At-Large community. The memo concerns the details of a 214-day saga of complaints about a single domain used for trafficking opioids. more»

An Authenticated Internet

Discussions around DNSSEC are so often focused on the root, the attacks, what DNSSEC does and doesn't do and so on -- and these are all valid and important points. But there is far less attention focused on the opportunities that will surface from an authenticated internet. ...DNSSEC is becoming more of a reality now -- rather than a technical discussion which has been stuck in the mud for 15 years. We can now begin to think about new opportunities to build from a secure DNS, opportunities that build on the certainty that you have arrived at the correct website. Today, you can't be sure. more»

Technical Comments on Mandated DNS Filtering Requirements of H. R. 3261 ("SOPA")

About two months ago, I got together with some fellow DNS engineers and sent a letter to the U. S. Senate explaining once again why the mandated DNS filtering requirements of S. 968 ("PIPA") were technically unworkable. This letter was an updated reminder of the issues we had previously covered... In the time since then, the U. S. House of Representatives has issued their companion bill, H. R. 3261 ("SOPA") and all indications are that they will begin "markup" on this bill some time next week. more»

Most Abusive Domain Registrations are Preventable

As the WHOIS debate rages and the Top-Level Domain (TLD) space prepares to scale up the problem of rogue domain registration persists. These are set to be topics of discussion in Costa Rica. While the ICANN contract requires verification, in practice this has been dismissed as impossible. However, in reviewing nearly one million spammed domain registrations from 2011 KnujOn has found upwards of 90% of the purely abusive registrations could have been blocked. more»

The Problem With HTTPS SSL Runs Deeper Than MD5

The recent research highlighting the alarming practice of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate Authority (CA) vendors using the MD5 hashing algorithm (which was known to be broken since 2005) has shown a major crack in the foundation of the Web. While the latest research has shown that fake SSL certificates with MD5 hashes can be forged to perfection when the CA (such as VeriSign's RapidSSL) uses predictable certificate fields, the bigger problem is that the web has fundamentally botched secure authentication. more»

Why Not an Interim Step Until DNSSEC is Ready?

I'm interested in CircleID community's take on NeuStar's recent announcement of Cache Defender. While only effective for domains the company is authoritative for, that does cover a large number of big Internet brands and financial institutions. Why wouldn't an ISP deploy this now, while waiting for all the myriad issues involved in DNSSEC to be resolved? more»

DNSSEC: Once More, With Feeling!

After looking at the state of DNSSEC in some detail a little over a year ago in 2006, I've been intending to come back to DNSSEC to see if anything has changed, for better or worse, in the intervening period... To recap, DNSSEC is an approach to adding some "security" into the DNS. The underlying motivation here is that the DNS represents a rather obvious gaping hole in the overall security picture of the Internet, although it is by no means the only rather significant vulnerability in the entire system. One of the more effective methods of a convert attack in this space is to attack at the level of the DNS by inserting fake responses in place of the actual DNS response. more»

About Those Root Servers

There is an interesting note on the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit Newslog about Root Servers, Anycast, DNSSEC, WGIG and WSIS about a presentation to ICANN's GAC. (The GAC website appears to be offline or inaccessible today.) The interesting sentence is this: Lack of formal relationship with root server operators is a public policy issue relevant to Internet governance. It is stated that this is "wrong" and "not a way to solve the issues about who edits the [root] zone file." Let's look at that lack of a formal relationship... more»

Verisign Doesn't Think the Net Is Ready for a Thousand New TLDs

Yesterday Verisign sent ICANN a most interesting white paper called New gTLD Security and Stability Considerations. They also filed a copy with the SEC as an 8-K, a document that their stockholders should know about, It's worth reading the whole thing, but in short, their well-supported opinion is that the net isn't ready for all the new TLDs, and even if they were, ICANN's processes or lack thereof will cause other huge problems. more»

DNSSEC - Failure to Launch

DNSSEC is a mechanism where clients can verify the authenticity of the answers they receive from servers. There are two sides here. The server must supply signed answers, and the client must verify the signatures on those answers. The validation/verification side is widely implemented, but there are very few signed zones... However, if no one signs their zones, those validating resolvers don't have many signatures to check. more»

First gTLD Signed: Dot Gov

Today is a historic day as the first generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) has been signed. Only a few other top level domains, all of which are country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs), have been signed to date. This step is part of the first phase of adoption. Authoritative DNS servers need to sign and publish their zones. The second part is for the resolvers on the Internet to validate the keys. Both systems working together will provide security in the DNS. more»

DNS Reflection/Amplification Attack: Proved

Last year there was a "threat" by anonymous group to black out Internet by using DNS Reflection/Amplification attack against the Internet DNS Root servers. I even wrote a little article about it: "End of the world/Internet". In the article I was questioning if this was even possible and what was needed as general interest and curiosity. Well, looking at the "stophaus" attack last week, we are getting some answers. more»

DNSSEC is But One Link in the Security Chain

As the implementation of DNSSEC continues to gather momentum and with a number of ccTLDs, and the '.org' gTLD having deployed it into their production systems, I think it is worth pausing to take a look at the entire DNSSEC situation. Whilst it is absolutely clear that DNSSEC is a significant step forward in terms of securing the DNS, it is but one link in the security chain and is therefore not, in itself, a comprehensive solution to fully securing the DNS system. more»

Refutation of the Worst IANA Transition FUD

Of all the patently false and ridiculous articles written this month about the obscure IANA transition which has become an issue of leverage in the partisan debate over funding the USG via a Continuing Resolution, this nonsense by Theresa Payton is the most egregiously false and outlandish. As such, it demands a critical, nearly line by line response. more»

DNSSEC Happy Talk Enters a New Era

So we finally have a signed root zone. Now when is someone going to answer the question I first asked over five years ago and have still not had an answer to: How do the domain name owner's keys get into the TLD? Before we have a system people can use there have to be technical standards, validation criteria and a business model. Where are they? more»