The Vulnerability of DNS
Quick Intro to DNSSEC
PIR and DNSSEC Timeline
Friends and Family Program
Some DNSSEC Terminology
OT&E Functionality and Changes
When you visit a web site, send an email, or
download software, can you be sure you are
communicating with the server that you think
The answer is ‘no’, at least not with certainty.
DNSSEC (short for Domain Name System Security
Extensions) adds security to the Domain Name
DNSSEC is designed to protect Internet resolvers
(clients) from forged DNS data, such as that
created by DNS cache poisoning.
Currently, a DNS resolver sends a query out to the
Internet and then accepts the first response it
receives, without question.
If a malicious system were to send back an incorrect
response, the resolver would use this address until
its cache expired.
This is bad enough if a single user's computer gets
this bad data, but it is much worse if it's another
name server that answers queries for an ISP –
affecting thousands of users.
It provides proof that DNS data has not been
modified in transit to the end-user
It does this by providing additional information,
something like a “seal of origin”, that can be verified
as being correct or not.
It is a set of extensions to DNS, which provide:
a) origin authentication of DNS data,
b) data integrity, and
c) authenticated denial of existence.
Each piece of a domain’s DNS information has a digital
signature attached to it.
When a user enters the domain in a browser, the resolver
verifies the signature.
If it does not match, the resolver discards the response and
waits for another.
Only a response with a verified signature will be accepted by
The description above is a common scenario. Please note
that different resolvers may take different actions
** Note: DNSSEC only adds signatures to DNS data. It does not encrypt
anything. It has no effect on increasing the privacy of the DNS, and
information in the DNS is still public information.
End User Benefits
Ensures you are communicating to the correct
End Users that are not DNSSEC aware will not see
any adverse effect.
Mitigates the risk of possible fraud
Greater protection of brand
◦ Significantly decreases the threat of domain hijacking
Ability to meet Registrant demands for increase
security of their domain
Ability to continue to sell domains that are not
secured by DNSSEC for those registrants who are not
Complying with new industry standards
Meeting new industry standards
Ability to meet Registrar demands for increase
security of their portfolio of domains
Top five perceptions of the .ORG Brand*
◦ Valuable Information
We expect to keep it that way!
* Source: e5 Marketing Survey of over 10,000 respondents in an electronic form,
.ORG zone signed June 2, 2009
Registrars can participate in the testing phase
Registrars are encouraged to test in OTE
A certification test will be required
2 registrars have passed their certification test to date
We have selected small set of domains and have
manually inserted the DS records at the Registry
Successful scheduled Key Rollovers
Additional mandatory .ORG DNSSEC OT&E Test
Registrars must pass the OT&E Test to become
PIR will enable DNSSEC functionality for the
Registrar after successful completion of the OT&E
We expect to be done with our internal testing by
Estimated full production timeframe first half of
2010 meaning registrars can submit live
A DNS resolver is the program on a user’s
computer that sends the query to the DNS.
Once a response is received, the resolver returns
the response back to the end user’s application.
A key pair contains two digital keys — a private key
(held only by the .ORG registry) and a public key
(distributed to the public).
The .ORG registry uses the .ORG private key pair to
sign the zone.
End users' validators (or the validators at their ISPs)
use the .ORG public key to validate the signature
once they've asked for it.
If I trust a public key from someone, I can use that key to verify
the signature … and authenticate the source
Make sure the root zone key can be trusted
◦ Pointers in the root zone point to lower zones
◦ Each pointer is validated with the previous validated
When DNSSEC is fully deployed, only the key for the
root zone is needed to validate all the DNSSEC keys
on the Internet
.org authoritative NS
domain.org authoritative NS
User’s PC Resolver Confidential – Copyright
2008 Afilias Limited
DNSSEC DNSSEC .ORG authoritative NS
DNS Server DNSSEC
domain.ORG authoritative NS
User’s PC Resolver Confidential – Copyright
2008 Afilias Limited
A key rollover will occur when the .ORG registry
needs to change its side of a key pair.
This means that the entire pair needs to be
◦ The .ORG zone will need to be re-signed with a
new private key
◦ The public will need to update their validating
resolvers with the new public portion of the .ORG
PIR will be required to do Key Rollovers on a regular
1. If one of the .ORG private keys were compromised
(i.e., stolen) and had to be immediately revoked.
2. For prevention of compromise (see next question
for further information), where a key rollover
would be scheduled at regular intervals.
Digital signatures are not secure all of the time.
They are subject to cryptanalysis.
It is possible for an attacker to learn the private key
in a key pair even though that key has never been
disclosed, either through "brute force" or other
types of attacks.
Since every attack requires time to complete,
periodically changing the key decreases the length
of time an attacker has to attempt the compromise.
What would happen if end users do not update their
validating resolvers with the new .ORG zone key?
Once the old key is purged, domains in the .ORG
zone that were signed would no longer resolve for
those people who did not use the new .ORG key.
It would not affect people that are not using
DNSSEC – they would continue to see the domain
A key rollover will be announced on the PIR Web
site prior to the scheduled event
Anyone using DNSSEC will have to watch for these
announcements, specially ISPs, registrars, and
people using DNSSEC in applications.
Changes have been made to support the DNS
Built New Registrar Tool Kit for DNSSEC
◦ Adds DNSSEC EPP transactions (RFC 4310)
EPP server has been modified for DNSSEC
Adds DNSSEC EPP transactions (as per RFC 4310)
Changes to the Registry Database to now Store DS
Covered in the ORG manual: Extensible Provisioning
Protocol (EPP) v1.0 ORG DNSSEC Registrar Acceptance
Registrars must test the basic operations that their
client application can perform in the ORG DNSSEC
registry environment including:
◦ Create Domain
◦ Create Domain with Optional Key Data
◦ Query Domain
◦ Query Domain with Optional Key Data
◦ Update Domain – Adding DS Data
◦ Update Domain – Changing DS Data
◦ Update Domain – Change to Include Optional Data
◦ Update Domain – Removing DS Data
DNSSEC adds four new resource record types:
1. Resource Record Signature (RRSIG)
Signature over RRset made using private key
2. DNS Public Key (DNSKEY)
Public key, needed for verifying a RRSIG
3. Delegation Signer (DS)
‘Pointer’ for building chains of authentication
4. Next Secure (NSEC, NSEC3)
As an alternative to NSEC, NSEC3 (defined in RFC 5155) can
prevent walking of DNSSEC zones and permits optional
gradual expansion of delegation-centric zones.
NSEC: Indicates which name is the next one in the zone and which
type-codes are available for the current name
The DNSSEC Data Fields
Keytag • Contains the key tag value of the DNSKEY RR that validates this signature, in
network byte order
• Provides a mechanism for selecting a public key efficiently.
Algorithm • Identifies the public key's cryptographic algorithm and determines the format of
the Public Key field
Digest Type • Identifies the algorithm used to construct the digest
Digest • The DS record refers to a DNSKEY RR by including a digest of that DNSKEY
Maximum • Specifies a validity period for the signature
Flags • Identifies whether or not the DNSKEY record holds a DNS zone key
Protocol • The Protocol Field MUST have value 3, and the DNSKEY RR MUST be treated
as invalid during signature verification if it is found to be some value other tan 3.
Confidential – Copyright
Public Key • Holds the public key material 2005 Afilias Limited
The following EPP commands will now contain the
optional DNSSEC data:
1. Session Mgmt. 2. Object Query 3. Object
<login> <check> Transform
<logout> <info> <create>
<poll > <delete>
Create Domain is changed because a DNSSEC
secure domain must be created with a DS record
attached to it
Registrar needs to be accredited for creating
domain names with DS records
If they are not, the system will reject the domain
create command and throw a validation error – You
are not authorized to perform this action.
If the maxSigLife is not entered for a <create>
domain name with DS records, the system will set it
to the default value (40 days)
If the user provides empty tags for the following
parameters, the domain will not be created and an
error message will be returned:
<update> domain command is now changed as DS
information can be added or changed for each domain
If the Registrar is not accredited for creating domain
names with DS records and attempts to add DS data to
an existing domain name, the system will reject the
domain update command and return an error
If the domain name already has 10 DS records and the
sponsoring Registrar attempts to add another, the
system will reject the domain update command and
return an error per EPP RFC 3730.
If the maxSigLife is not entered for a domain name with
DS records, the system will set it to the default value
The following fields will be appended to the WHOIS
output for a domain name with DS records –
◦ DNSSEC (Can be Signed or Unsigned) – To denote if the
domain name is digitally signed.
◦ DS Created – Time stamp that the record was created in
◦ DS Maximum Signature Life - Maximum Signature Life
associated with this DS record
If a domain name has more than one DS record
associated with it, the DS record information for all
the records will be displayed one after the other as
displayed in the screenshot (above) If a domain
name does not have any DS records associated with
it, the DNSSEC value displayed will be Unsigned
.ORG OT&E Test Criteria
ORG manual: Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP)
v1.0 ORG DNSSEC Registrar Acceptance Criteria
Registrar Tool Kit (RTK – Addon) including the
DNSSEC extensions is available for download from:
The Domain Name System Security Extensions
(DNSSEC are described in these IETF documents:
◦ RFC 4033: DNS Security Introduction and Requirements
◦ RFC 4034: Resource Records for the DNS Security
◦ RFC 4035: Protocol Modifications for the DNS Security
DNSSEC related information website