DNS Security

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You Don’t Need to Hack Twitter.com to Control All Its Traffic and Email

A big security news event last night and today is that the Twitter.com Web site was hacked and content on the site replaced. TechCrunch reported it and it has been picked up globally. But - was the Twitter.com website really hacked? We now know it was not so. There are four ways that users typing in Twitter.com would have seen the Iranian Cyber Army page. more

The State of DNS Abuse: Moving Backward, Not Forward

ICANN's founding promise and mandate are optimistic -- ensure a stable and secure internet that benefits the internet community as a whole. Recent months, however, have highlighted the uncomfortable truth that ICANN's and the industry's approach to DNS abuse is actually moving backward, ignoring growing problems, abdicating on important policy issues, and making excuses for not acting. Further, the impending failure of ICANN's new WHOIS policy to address cybersecurity concerns will add fuel to the fire, resulting in accelerating DNS abuse that harms internet users across the globe. more

ICANN Fails Consumers (Again)

In its bid to be free of U.S. government oversight ICANN is leaning on the global multistakeholder community as proof positive that its policy-making comes from the ground up. ICANN's recent response to three U.S. senators invokes the input of "end users from all over the world" as a way of explaining how the organization is driven. Regardless of the invocation of the end user (and it must be instinct) ICANN cannot seem to help reaching back and slapping that end user across the face. 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

The Cybersecurity Act of 2009

Four senators (Rockefeller, Bayh, Nelson, and Snowe) have recently introduced S.773, the Cybersecurity Act of 2009. While there are some good parts to the bill, many of the substantive provisions are poorly thought out at best. The bill attempts to solve non-problems, and to assume that research results can be commanded into being by virtue of an act of Congress. Beyond that, there are parts of the bill whose purpose is mysterious, or whose content bears no relation to its title. more

Securing a Domain: SSL vs. DNSSEC

There has been quite a bit of talk lately about the best way to secure a domain, mainly centered in two camps: using Secure Socket Layer (SSL), or using DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC). The answer is quite simple -- you should use both. The reason for this is that they solve different problems, using different methods, and operate over different data. more

The Case Against DNSSEC

I was talking to my good friend Verner Entwhistle the other day when he suddenly turned to me and said "I don't think we need DNSSEC". Sharp intake of breath. Transpired after a long and involved discussion his case boiled down to four points: 1. SSL provides known and trusted security, DNSSEC is superfluous, 2. DNSSEC is complex and potentially prone to errors, 3. DNSSEC makes DoS attacks worse, 4. DNSSEC does not solve the last mile problem. Let's take them one at a time... more

Social Networking and Web 2.0 Creating DNS Performance Issues for Carriers

A revolution is taking place on the Internet, with new sites redefining how we interact online. The next-generation Internet is emerging in collaborative and interactive applications and sites with rich, varied media (images, video, music). As with many revolutions, this one is driven by the younger generation, which is adopting social networking sites like MySpace and video sharing sites like Google's YouTube. But the general shift is not restricted to the young, as more mature consumers and businesses alike are exploring the possibilities of collaborative, media-rich applications. This major shift in Internet applications has its unintended victims. One of them turns out to be the Domain Name System (DNS). more

The US Department of Commerce, the DNS Root, and ICANN

The recent announcement in eWeek titled "Feds Won't Let Go of Internet DNS" (slashdotted here) has some major internet policy implications. The short, careful wording appears to be more of a threat to ICANN than a power grab. In short, the US Department of Commerce's (DOC) National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it was not going to stop overseeing ICANN's changes to the DNS root. ...Of course, they have done next to nothing to support DNSSEC or other proposal for securing the DNS, but it sounds reassuring. The last sentence shows that the Bush administration shares the Clinton administration's lack of understanding of how the internet should evolve... more

On the Time Value of Security Features in DNS

There are some real problems in DNS, related to the general absence of Source Address Validation (SAV) on many networks connected to the Internet. The core of the Internet is aware of destinations but blind to sources. If an attacker on ISP A wants to forge the source IP address of someone at University B when transmitting a packet toward Company C, that packet is likely be delivered complete and intact, including its forged IP source address. Many otherwise sensible people spend a lot of time and airline miles trying to improve this situation... The problems created for the Domain Name System (DNS) by the general lack of SAV are simply hellish. more

IBM Launches Quad9, a DNS-based Privacy and Security Service to Protect Users from Malicious Sites

The new DNS service, called Quad9, is aimed at protecting users from accessing malicious websites known to steal personal information, infect users with ransomware and malware, or conduct fraudulent activity. 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

Preventing Future Attacks: Alternatives In DNS Security Management - Part II

In Part I of this article I set the stage for our discussion and overviewed the October 21st DDoS attacks on the Internet's 13 root name servers. In particular, I highlighted that the attacks were different this time, both in size and scope, because the root servers were attacked at the same time. I also highlighted some of the problems associated with the Domain Name System and the vulnerabilities inherent in BIND. Part II of this article takes our discussion to another level by critically looking at alternatives and best practices that can help solve the security problems we've raised. more

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

Sweden Makes its TLD Zone File Publicly Available

Patrik Wallström writes to report that as of today, IIS (The Internet Foundation In Sweden) has made the zone files for .se and .nu domain names publicly available for the first time. "The underlying reason for making the zone files for .se and .nu available is our endeavour at IIS to promote transparency and openness. IIS has made the assessment that the zone files do not contain any confidential information and, therefore, there is no reason not to make this information available." more