DNS Security

Noteworthy

 Some folks have already asked me if DNSSEC could have prevented Twitter.com traffic from being hijacked. In this case, the answer is, "No".

 DNSSEC technology standards have been stable and mature since 2007, with only updates, clarifications, and new functionality added since then.

 Over the next few years we should expect to see applications leveraging DNSSEC in ways we cannot imagine now.

 The movement is on, DNSSEC, ready set go! Just make sure you are ready when you go!

DNS Security / Recently Commented

Increasing DNSSEC Adoption - What if We Put DNSSEC Provision in the Hands of Registries?

There has been a lot of criticism about the worthiness of DNSSEC. Low adoption rates and resistance and reluctance by Registrars to take on the perceived burden of signing domains and passing-on cryptographic material are at the crux of the criticism. I'm a believer in DNSSEC as a unique and worthwhile security protocol and as a new platform for innovation. It's the reason I've long advocated for and continue to work toward a new model of DNSSEC provisioning. 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»

Diving Into the DNS

If you are at all interested in how the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS) works, then one of the most rewarding meetings that is dedicated to this topic is the DNS OARC workshops. I attended the spring workshop in Amsterdam in early May, and the following are my impressions from the presentations and discussion. What makes these meetings unique in the context of DNS is the way it combines operations and research, bringing together researchers, builders and maintainers of DNS software systems, and operators of DNS infrastructure services into a single room and a broad and insightful conversation. more»

DNSSEC Adoption Part 1: A Status Report

Where is the domain industry with the adoption of DNSSEC? After a burst of well publicized activity from 2009-2011 -- .org, .com, .net, and .gov adopting DNSSEC, roots signed, other Top-Level Domains (TLDs) signed -- the pace of adoption appears to have slowed in recent years. As many CircleID readers know, DNSSEC requires multiple steps in the chain of trust to be in place to improve online security. more»

Call For Participation - ICANN 52 DNSSEC Workshop on 11 Feb 2015 In Singapore

If you will be at ICANN 52 in Singapore in February 2015 (or can get there) and work with DNSSEC or the DANE protocol, we are seeking proposals for talks to be featured as part of the 6-hour DNSSEC Workshop on Wednesday, February 11, 2015. The deadline to submit proposals is Wednesday, December 10, 2015... The full Call For Participation is published online and gives many examples of the kinds of talks we'd like to include. more»

Secure Unowned Hierarchical Anycast Root Name Service - And an Apologia

In Internet Draft draft-lee-dnsop-scalingroot-00.txt, I described with my coauthors a method of distributing the task of providing DNS Root Name Service both globally and universally. In this article I will explain the sense of the proposal in a voice meant to be understood by a policy-making audience who may in many cases be less technically adept than the IETF DNSOP Working Group for whom the scalingroot-00 draft was crafted. I will also apologize for a controversial observation concerning the addition of new root name servers... more»

Microsoft's Takedown of 3322.org - A Gigantic Self Goal?

I will first begin this post by emphasizing that this article is entirely my personal viewpoint and not to be considered as endorsed by or a viewpoint of my employer or any other organization that I am affiliated with. Neither is this to be considered an indictment of the sterling work (which I personally value very highly) that several people in Microsoft are doing against cybercrime. Microsoft's takedown of 3322.org to disrupt the Nitol botnet is partial and will, at best, have a temporary effect on the botnet itself... 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»

NANOG 61 - Impressions of Some Presentations

The recent NANOG 61 meeting was a pretty typical NANOG meeting, with a plenary stream, some interest group sessions, and an ARIN Public Policy session. The meeting attracted some 898 registered attendees, which was the biggest NANOG to date. No doubt the 70 registrations from Microsoft helped in this number, as the location for NANOG 61 was in Bellevue, Washington State, but even so the interest in NANOG continues to grow... more»

Wow! BIND9 9.10 Is out, and What a List of Features!

Today the e-mail faerie brought news of the release of BIND9 9.10.0 which can be downloaded from here. BIND9 is the most popular name server on the Internet and has been ever since taking that title away from BIND8 which had a few years earlier taken it from BIND4. I used to work on BIND, and I founded ISC, the home of BIND, and even though I left ISC in July 2013 to launch a commercial security startup company, I remain a fan of both ISC and BIND. more»

Proceedings of Name Collisions Workshop Available

Keynote speaker, and noted security industry commentator, Bruce Schneier (Co3 Systems ) set the tone for the two days with a discussion on how humans name things and the shortcomings of computers in doing the same. Names require context, he observed, and "computers are really bad at this" because "everything defaults to global." Referring to the potential that new gTLDs could conflict with internal names in installed systems, he commented, "It would be great if we could go back 20 years and say 'Don't do that'," but concluded that policymakers have to work with DNS the way it is today. 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»

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»

DNS Amplification Attacks: Out of Sight, Out of Mind? (Part 2)

This post follows an earlier post about DNS amplification attacks being observed around the world. DNS Amplification Attacks are occurring regularly and even though they aren't generating headlines targets have to deal with floods of traffic and ISP infrastructure is needlessly stressed -- load balancers fail, network links get saturated, and servers get overloaded. And far more intense attacks can be launched at any time. more»

The Challenge of DNS Security

When the domain name system (DNS) was first designed, security was an afterthought. Threats simply weren't a consideration at a time when merely carrying out a function - routing Internet users to websites - was the core objective. As the weaknesses of the protocol became evident, engineers began to apply a patchwork of fixes. After several decades, it is now apparent that this reactive approach to DNS security has caused some unintended consequences and challenges. more»