This is the first in a multi-part blog series on cryptography and the Domain Name System (DNS).
As one of the earliest protocols in the internet, the DNS emerged in an era in which today’s global network was still an experiment. Security was not a primary consideration then, and the design of the DNS, like other parts of the internet of the day, did not have cryptography built in.
Over the past several years, questions about how to protect information exchanged in the Domain Name System (DNS) have come to the forefront.
One of these questions was posed first to DNS resolver operators in the middle of the last decade, and is now being brought to authoritative name server operators: “to encrypt or not to encrypt?” It’s a question that Verisign has been considering for some time as part of our commitment to security, stability and resiliency of our DNS operations and the surrounding DNS ecosystem.
The Domain Name System (DNS) has become the fundamental building block for navigating from names to resources on the internet. DNS has been employed continuously ever since its introduction in 1983, by essentially every internet-connected application and device that wants to interact online.
This week, some of the brightest subject matter experts from across the U.S. and beyond gathered virtually to talk about women in cybersecurity, recognizing that the internet is filled with both opportunities and risks, and that it’s up to all of us to defend, protect and secure critical internet infrastructure.
Data privacy and security experts tell us that applying the “need to know” principle enhances privacy and security, because it reduces the amount of information potentially disclosed to a service provider — or to other parties — to the minimum the service provider requires to perform a service. This principle is at the heart of qname minimization, a technique described in RFC 7816 that has now achieved significant adoption in the DNS.
Verisign has been involved with an initiative known as Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security, or MANRS, since its inception. MANRS, which is coordinated by the Internet Society, focuses on strengthening the security and resiliency of IP networks throughout the world by identifying and providing best practices for mitigating common routing security threats.
MANRS began as a collaboration among network operators and internet exchange providers, with Verisign formally becoming a participant in its Network Operator Program in 2017. Since then, with the help of Verisign and other MANRS participants, the initiative has grown to also include content delivery networks (CDN) and cloud providers.
A year ago, under the leadership of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the internet naming community completed the first-ever rollover of the cryptographic key that plays a critical role in securing internet traffic worldwide. The ultimate success of that endeavor was due in large part to outreach efforts by ICANN and Verisign which, when coupled with the tireless efforts of the global internet measurement community, ensured that this significant event did not disrupt internet name resolution functions for billions of end users.
Recent events1,2 have shown the threat of domain hijacking is very real; however, it is also largely
preventable. As Verisign previously noted3,
there are many security controls that registrants can utilize to help
strengthen their security posture. Verisign would like to reiterate this advice
within the context of the recent domain hijacking reports.
Verisign just released its Q2 2018 DDoS Trends Report, which represents a unique view into the attack trends unfolding online, through observations and insights derived from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack mitigations enacted on behalf of customers of Verisign DDoS Protection Services.