Internet Protocol

Internet Protocol / Recently Commented

DNS-over-HTTPS: Privacy and Security Concerns

The design of DNS included an important architectural decision: the transport protocol used is user datagram protocol (UDP). Unlike transmission control protocol (TCP), UDP is connectionless, stateless, and lightweight. In contrast, TCP needs to establish connections between end systems and guarantees packet ordering and delivery. DNS handles the packet delivery reliability aspect internally and avoids all of the overhead of TCP. There are two problems this introduces. more

How the Internet Can Be Enormously Accelerated Without Fiber-Optic Cables or LEO Satellites

We got used to it: if we open a website, it's always like stop and go on a high-traffic highway or city traffic jam. At some point, we will reach the destination. The constant stalling is due to a traffic rule for the Internet called TCP (Transmission Control Protocol). The TCP/IP protocol family comes from the American defense industry. It was introduced by DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) in the early 1970s. At that time, no one had the Internet as the need of the masses on the screen. more

A Report on the ICANN DNS Symposium

By any metric, the queries and responses that take place in the DNS are highly informative of the Internet and its use. But perhaps the level of interdependencies in this space is richer than we might think. When the IETF considered a proposal to explicitly withhold certain top-level domains from delegation in the DNS the ensuing discussion highlighted the distinction between the domain name system as a structured space of names and the domain name system as a resolution space... more

A Short History of DNS Over HTTP (So Far)

The IETF is in the midst of a vigorous debate about DNS over HTTP or DNS over HTTPS, abbreviated as DoH. How did we get there, and where do we go from here? (This is somewhat simplified, but I think the essential chronology is right.) Javascript code running in a web browser can't do DNS lookups, other than with browser.dns.resolv() to fetch an A record, or implicitly by fetching a URL which looks up a DNS A or AAAA record for the domain in the URL. more

What Is the Most Secure VPN Protocol?

VPN products vary greatly in convenience, efficiency, and security. If security is a serious concern, an organization needs to pay close attention to the protocols a service supports. Some widely used protocols have significant weaknesses, while others offer state-of-the-art security. The best of the lot today include OpenVPN and IKEv2. What's called a VPN protocol is actually a collection of protocols. There are several functions which every VPN has to manage. more

Creating TLS: The Pioneering Role of Ruth Nelson

As often occurs in networking and cryptographic history, anecdotes and insularity conspire to mask how developments actually occurred, and seminal roles undertaken by women are forgotten or ignored. One of the notable examples of this proclivity occurred in the cybersecurity cryptology arena as it involves a critical platform known as the Transport Layer Security Protocol (TLS) and the pioneering role of Ruth Nelson. more

IPv4 Historical Imbalances and the Threat to IPv6

It is an open secret that the current state of IPv4 allocation contains many accidental historical imbalances and in particular developing countries who wish to use IPv4 are disadvantaged by the lack of addresses available through ordinary allocation and are forced into purchasing addresses on the open market. As most of the addresses for sale are held by organisations based in the developed world, this amounts to a transfer of wealth from the developing world to the developed world, on terms set by the developed world. more

IETF and Crypto Zealots

I've been prompted to write this brief opinion piece in response to a recent article posted on CircleID by Tony Rutkowski, where he characterises the IETF as a collection of "crypto zealots." He offers the view that the IETF is behaving irresponsibly in attempting to place as much of the Internet's protocols behind session level encryption as it possibly can. ... Has the IETF got it wrong? Is there a core of crypto zealots in the IETF that are pushing an extreme agenda about encryption? more

The Internet is Dead - Long Live the Internet

Back in the early 2000s, several notable Internet researchers were predicting the death of the Internet. Based on the narrative, the Internet infrastructure had not been designed for the scale that was being projected at the time, supposedly leading to fatal security and scalability issues. Yet somehow the Internet industry has always found a way to dodge the bullet at the very last minute. more

The IETF's Job Is Complete - Should It Now Scale Up, Down or Out?

My assertion is that the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is an institution whose remit is coming to a natural end. This is the result of spectacular success, not failure. However, continuing along the present path risks turning that success into a serious act of wrongdoing. This will leave a social and political legacy that will tarnish the collaborative technical achievements that have been accumulated thus far. more

Mend, Don't End, the IETF

Is it time for the IETF to give up? Martin Geddes makes a case that it is, in fact, time for the IETF to "fade out." The case he lays out is compelling -- first, the IETF is not really an engineering organization. There is a lot of running after "success modes," but very little consideration of failure modes and how they can and should be guarded against. Second, the IETF "the IETF takes on problems for which it lacks an ontological and epistemological framework to resolve." In essence, in Martin's view, the IETF is not about engineering, and hasn't ever really been. more

Commercial Incentives Behind IPv6 Deployment

The Best Practice Forum (BPF) on IPv6 at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) explored what economic and commercial incentives drive providers, companies and organizations to deploy IPv6 on their networks and for their services. The BPF collected case studies, held open discussions online and at the 2016 IGF meeting, and produced a comprehensive output report. This article gives a high-level overview. 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

Know Someone Who Has Made the Internet Better? Postel Award Nominations Deadline May 18

Do you know of someone who has made the Internet better in some way who deserves more recognition? Maybe someone who has helped extend Internet access to a large region? Or wrote widely-used programs that make the Internet more secure? Or maybe someone who has been actively working for open standards and open processes for the Internet? more

DNS and Stolen Credit Card Numbers

FireEye announced a new piece of malware yesterday named MULTIGRAIN. This nasty piece of code steals data from Point of Sale (PoS) and transmits the stolen credit card numbers by embedding them into recursive DNS queries. While this was definitely a great catch by the FireEye team, the thing that bothers me here is how DNS is being used in these supposedly restrictive environments. more