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ICANN Announces Availability of DNSSEC Root Zone KSK Recommendations

8 March 2016

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A design team consisting of seven independent DNS experts along with representatives from ICANN, Verisign, and NTIA has completed a report with recommendations for changing, also known as rolling, the DNSSEC root zone Key Signing Key (KSK). Rolling the KSK means generating a new cryptographic public and private key pair and distributing the new public component to parties including Internet service and other DNS resolver operators, DNS resolver software developers, integrators, and distributors. The KSK is used to cryptographically sign the Zone Signing Key which is used by Verisign as the Root Zone Maintainer to sign the root zone of the Internet's DNS. Obtaining the new key is essential to ensuring DNSSEC-signed domain names continue to validate following the rollover. The report is published here [PDF, 1 MB].

The KSK rollover operation is being planned by ICANN, in its role as the IANA Functions Operator, in cooperation with the other Root Zone Management (RZM) partners and will incorporate the design team recommendations in developing the operational KSK rollover plan. The RZM partners are Verisign as the Root Zone Maintainer and the US Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), as the Root Zone Administrator. The design team was composed of the following community volunteers:

  • Joe Abley, Snake Hill Labs/DyN, CA
  • Jaap Akkerhuis, NLNetLabs, NL
  • John Dickinson, Sinodun Internet Technologies, UK
  • Geoff Huston, APNIC, AU
  • Ondrej Sury, CZ.NIC, CZ
  • Paul Wouters, No Hats/Red Hat, NL
  • Yoshiro Yoneya, JPRS, JP

ICANN wishes to thank the design team for their efforts.


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. ICANN and its community help keep the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It also promotes competition and develops policy for the top-level of the Internet's naming system and facilitates the use of other unique Internet identifiers.