This is the final in a multi-part series on cryptography and the Domain Name System (DNS).
In previous posts in this series, I’ve discussed a number of applications of cryptography to the DNS, many of them related to the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC).
In this final blog post, I’ll turn attention to another application that may appear at first to be the most natural, though as it turns out, may not always be the most necessary: DNS encryption. (I’ve also written about DNS encryption as well as minimization in a separate post on DNS information protection.)
A name collision occurs when a user attempts to resolve a domain in one namespace, but it unexpectedly resolves in a different namespace. Name collision issues in the public global Domain Name System (DNS) cause billions of unnecessary and potentially unsafe DNS queries every day. A targeted outreach program that Verisign started in March 2020 has remediated one billion queries per day to the A and J root name servers, via 46 collision strings. After contacting several national internet service providers (ISPs), the outreach effort grew to include large search engines, social media companies, networking equipment manufacturers, national CERTs, security trust groups, commercial DNS providers, and financial institutions.
The COVID-19 pandemic, when it struck earlier this year, ushered in an immediate period of adjustment for all of us. And just as the challenges posed by COVID-19 in 2020 have been truly unprecedented, Verisign’s mission – enabling the world to connect online with reliability and confidence, anytime, anywhere – has never been more relevant. We are grateful for the continued dedication of our workforce, which enables us to provide the building blocks people need for remote working and learning, and simply for keeping in contact with each other.
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.