DNS Security

DNS Security / Featured Blogs

The Ever-Evolving Problem of DNS Abuse

For several years, many within ICANN circles have raised concerns about the escalating nature of domain name system (DNS) abuse. While some strides were made toward a safer DNS, new data - this time from a comprehensive study of DNS abuse by the European Union - demonstrates that abuse remains a frustratingly obstinate problem that requires urgent attention. We've seen some registries and registrars testing innovative industry-led initiatives in an effort to address the issues. more

Decentralizing Cybersecurity Via DNS

Decentralization is a big trend in IT, and everyone has their own definition of what "decentralization" really means. With more organizations fully embracing a work-from-anywhere culture, decentralization has moved past being a fad and turned into a necessity. Decentralized cybersecurity is nothing new. Many of us have been doing it since before the pandemic. more

Some Thoughts on DNS4EU – the European Commission’s Intention to Support the Development of a New European DNS Resolver

The last few decades have not been a story of unqualified success for European technology enterprises. The European industrial giants of the old telephone world, such as the former stalwarts Alcatel, Siemens, Philips, Ericsson and Nokia, have found it extraordinarily difficult to translate their former dominant positions in the telco world into the Internet world. To be brutally frank, none of the current generations of major players in the digital environment are European. more

Observations on Resolver Behavior During DNS Outages

When an outage affects a component of the internet infrastructure, there can often be downstream ripple effects affecting other components or services, either directly or indirectly. We would like to share our observations of this impact in the case of two recent such outages, measured at various levels of the DNS hierarchy, and discuss the resultant increase in query volume due to the behavior of recursive resolvers. more

ICANN DNS Resolver Symposium – the Session Had Several Interesting Presentations That I Would Like to Comment On

ICANN hosted a Resolver Operator Forum in mid-December, and the session had several interesting presentations that I would like to comment on here... The first presentation in this forum was from Paul Mockapetris. He pointed to the original academic published paper, Development of the Domain Name System, by Paul Mockapetris and Kevin Dunlap, published in the proceedings of ACM SIGCOMM’88. The paper noted that by 1983 it was obvious that the shared HOSTS.TXT file was not a scalable solution... more

Ongoing Community Work to Mitigate Domain Name System Security Threats

For over a decade, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and its multi-stakeholder community have engaged in an extended dialogue on the topic of DNS abuse, and the need to define, measure and mitigate DNS-related security threats. With increasing global reliance on the internet and DNS for communication, connectivity and commerce, the members of this community have important parts to play in identifying, reporting and mitigating illegal or harmful behavior, within their respective roles and capabilities. more

Registrar Influence on the Domain Security Posture of the Forbes Global 2000

In the 2021 Domain Security Report, we analyzed the trend of domain security adoption with respect to the type of domain registrar used, and found that 57% of Global 2000 organizations use consumer-grade registrars with limited protection against domain and DNS hijacking, distributed denial of service (DDoS), man-in-the-middle attacks (MitM), or DNS cache poisoning. On average, the adoption of domain security controls is two times higher for enterprise-class registrars than for those using consumer-grade registrars. more

Cryptocurrency and DNS: Phishing Domains, Cryptomining and More

When we look at the intersection of cryptocurrency and domain data, we see something insidious: The prevalence of crypto-related threats. And it's not just cryptojacking. It's not even the use of cryptocurrency which has made ransomware attacks easier for threat actors to commit and all the more widespread. As with nearly every trend, there is always someone looking to capitalize on it and use it for their own, personal gain. Ever since cryptocurrency became the pandemic hobby of choice, threat actors have begun to target crypto novices for their schemes. more

What Is the Domain Name Expiry Cycle and Why Should You Know About It?

Domain names are registered by the thousands every day. In July 2021, 236,336 domains were newly registered daily on average across all top-level domains (TLDs). Tens of thousands were also newly expired. Other months could be just as busy. "Newly registered" and "newly expired." Those are two terms I often get questions about. Newly registered domains are domains that someone just reserved, typically through a registrar or web hosting company. Newly expired domains, meanwhile, are those domains that someone had reserved but decided to let go for one reason or another. more

DNS Abuse Definition: Attributes of Mitigation

A substantial amount of DNS community discussion on the topic of DNS Abuse is focused on defining what is or is not DNS Abuse. The definition adopted by ICANN contracted parties, as well as the DNS Abuse Institute, is straightforward: DNS Abuse is malware, botnets, pharming, phishing, and spam where it's a vehicle for the preceding harms. There is, of course, some fuzziness on the margins, where technical harms are also using content. more