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DNSSEC Deployment at the Root

The DNSSEC is a security protocol for providing cryptographic assurance (i.e. using the public key cryptography digital signature technology) to the data retrieved from the DNS distributed database (RFC4033). DNSSEC deployment at the root is said to be subject to politics, but there is seldom detailed discussion about this "DNS root signing" politics. Actually, DNSSEC deployment requires more than signing the DNS root zone data; it also involves secure delegations from the root to the TLDs, and DNSSEC deployment by TLD administrations (I omit other participants involvement as my focus is policy around the DNS root). There is a dose of naivety in the idea of detailing the political aspects of the DNS root, but I volunteer! My perspective is an interested observer. more

DNSSEC: Will Microsoft Have Enough Time?

I have previously pointed out the shortcomings of good and user friendly support for DNSSEC in Microsoft's Server 2008 R2. During the period just after I wrote the post, I had a dialogue with Microsoft, but during the last months there has been no word at all. The reason I bring this up again is that more and more Top Level Domains (TLDs) now enable DNSSEC and also the fact that within six months the root will be signed. more

Commercial DNSSEC?

Seems that DNSSEC is being subjected to what an old boss of mine used to call the "fatal flaw seeking missiles" which try to explain the technical reasons that DNSSEC is not being implemented. First it was zone walking, then the complexity of Proof of Non-Existence (PNE), next week ... one shudders to think. While there is still some modest technical work outstanding on DNSSEC, NSEC3 and the mechanics of key rollover being examples, that work, of itself, does not explain the stunning lack of implementation or aggressive planning being undertaken within the DNS community. more

HTTPS Web Hijacking Goes From Theory to Practice

I've been privately talking about the theoretical dangers of HTTPS hacking with the developers of a major web browser since 2006 and earlier last month, I published my warnings about HTTPS web hacking along with a proposed solution. A week later, Google partially implemented some of my recommendations in an early Alpha version of their Chrome 2.0 browser... This week at the Black Hat security conference in Washington DC, Moxie Marlinspike released a tool called SSL Strip... more

COICA and Secure DNS

As a strong proponent of the private right of action for all Internet endpoints and users, I've long been aware of the costs in complexity and chaos of any kind of "blocking" that deliberately keeps something from working. I saw this as a founder at MAPS back in 1997 or so when we created the first RBL to put some distributed controls in place to prevent the transmission of unwanted e-mail from low reputation Internet addresses. What we saw was that in addition to the expected costs (to spammers) and benefits (to victims) of this new technology there were unintended costs to system and network operators whose diagnostic and repair work for problems related to e-mail delivery was made more complex because of the new consideration for every trouble ticket: "was this e-mail message blocked or on purpose?" more

The Extent of DNS Services Being Blocked in China

The most recent episode of The Ask Mr. DNS Podcast offers up some disturbing corroborating evidence as to the extent of DNS filtering and outright blocking occurring in China. VeriSign's Matt Larson and InfoBlox's Cricket Liu, who co-host the geeky yet engaging and extremely informative show, held a roundtable discussion including technical experts from dynamic name service providers (better known as "managed DNS" services) DynDNS, TZO, No-IP, and DotQuad, as well as Google and Comcast. more

DNSSEC No Longer Pie-in-the-Sky: Time to Develop a Strategy

You may have seen media reports a few weeks ago describing how servers behind the so-called Great Firewall of China were found delivering incorrect DNS information to users in the rest of the world, thereby redirecting users to edited Web pages. Reports indicate that this apparently occurred due to a caching error by a single Internet Service Provider. While the problem was fairly limited in scope, it could have entirely been prevented in a world where DNSSEC was fully deployed. more

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2017

It is once again time for our annual review of posts that received the most attention on CircleID during the past year. Congratulations to all the 2017 participants for sharing their thoughts and making a difference in the industry. 2017 marked CircleID's 15th year of operation as a medium dedicated to all critical matters related to the Internet infrastructure and services. We are in the midst of historic times, facing rapid technological developments and there is a lot to look forward to in 2018. more

Root Scaling Study Report is Out

Earlier this year, ICANN began to seriously consider the various effects of adding DNS protocol features and new entries into the Root Zone. With the NTIA announcement that the Root Zone would be signed this year, a root scaling study team was formed to assess the scalability of the processes used to create and publish the Root Zone. Properly considered, this study should have lasted longer than the 120 days -- but the results suggest that scaling up the root zone is not without risk -- and these risks should be considered before "green-lighting" any significant changes to the root zone or its processes. I, for one, would be interested in any comments, observations, etc. (The caveats: This was, by most measures, a rush job. My spin: This is or should be a risk assessment tool.) Full report available here [PDF]. more

Internet.nl - A New Site to Easily Test Your Use of IPv6, DNSSEC, TLS and DKIM

"Is Your Internet Up-To-Date?" Does your existing Internet connection work with IPv6 and DNSSEC? Do your web sites support IPv6, DNSSEC and TLS? Is there a quick way to find out? Earlier this month a new site, Internet.nl, was launched to make this all easy for anyone to test. All you do is visit the site at en.internet.nl (also available in Dutch) and just follow the very easy links. more

ICANN Gets the Root Zone, Too

A small but intriguing paragraph in the VeriSign settlement says that ICANN gets to maintain the root zone. I thought they did now, but I guess VRSN does, following advice from ICANN. This has two and a half effects. The most obvious is political -- if ICANN rather than VRSN is distributing the root zone, it removes the symbolic significance of VeriSign's A root server. The second is DNSSEC key management. Until now, the contents of the root zone have been pretty boring, a list of names and IP addresses of name servers. If DNSSEC is deployed in the root, which is not unlikely in the next few months, ICANN rather than VeriSign will hold the crypto keys used to sign the root zone. If a tug of war develops, whoever holds the keys wins, since without the keys, you can't publish a new version of the root with changed or added records unless you publish your own competing set of keys and can persuade people to use them. more

Domain Name System (DNS) Security Should Be One of Your Priorities

Most people, even seasoned IT professionals, don't give DNS (the Domain Name System) the attention it deserves. As TCP/IP has become the dominant networking protocol, so has the use of DNS... Due to the reliability built into the fundamental RFC-based design of DNS, most IT professionals don't spend much time worrying about it. This can be a huge mistake! more

Paul Vixie on How the Openness of the Internet Is Poisoning Us

In a video interview conducted during the NSCS ONE conference, Paul Vixie CEO of Farsight Security further discusses the topic of his presentation titled: "Defective by Design -- How the Internet's Openness is Slowly Poisoning Us". more

DNSSEC Update from ICANN 42 in Dakar

While the global rollout of DNSSEC continues at the domain name registry level - with more than 25% of top-level domains now signed - the industry continues to focus on the problem of registrar, ISP and ultimately end-user adoption. At the ICANN meeting in Dakar in late October, engineers from some of the early-adopting registries gathered for their regular face-to-face discussion about how to break the "chicken or egg" problems of secure domain name deployment. more

DNSChanger Disruption Inevitable, ISPs Urged to Bolster User Support

Up to 100,000 customer modems are at risk of losing their internet connection from July 9 when the FBI disables rogue DNS servers seized late last year. The affected customer modems make up about a third of the 350,000 to 400,000 internet users believed to still have the DNSChanger malware on either their modems or Windows computers. more