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DNS Security Facilitation Initiative Technical Study Group Interim Update

20 May 2021

Merike KäoMerike Käo

It's been a busy few months for the Domain Name Security Facilitation Initiative Technical Study Group (DSFI-TSG). We've made great progress in our efforts to investigate mechanisms to strengthen collaboration and communication on security and stability issues related to the Domain Name System (DNS).

The TSG has explored ideas around what ICANN can and should be doing to increase the level of collaboration and engagement with DNS ecosystem stakeholders to improve the security profile for the DNS. We have identified and prioritized many of the attack vectors used in malicious campaigns and have identified the mitigation techniques that exist for each vector. We have also determined whether there are technical, operational, or process gaps in mitigation deployments and noted where mitigation techniques do not appear to exist.

To get to the heart of the complexities that exist and to identify where industry stakeholders have a role to play in mitigation takes time. Over the past few months, the TSG has held bi-weekly, three-hour virtual working sessions to ensure that we are thorough in our evaluation and consideration. The cross-functional nature of the TSG (incident response, technical standards, existing ICANN community policies and processes, operational realities, etc.) gives us a variety of perspectives, which makes for informative and well-rounded discussions.

The TSG has reached the point where it can now develop recommendations. As we consider each specific recommendation, we will ask ourselves these central questions:

  1. Who would it help?
  2. Who would implement it?
  3. What challenges exist to those who need to implement it?
  4. Who would be in a position to assist with those challenges?
  5. What role can ICANN play in assisting with those challenges?

As the recommendations are being formulated, the TSG is also taking into account where standards may be necessary, whether there is a need for policy-making and how we can best educate and create awareness. The resulting, refined recommendations will be given to the ICANN CEO for his consideration.

The TSG will present an update of its work in panel discussion during the ICANN DNS Symposium, on 25 May 2021 at 14:45-15:45 (CEST). To register for the event, visit https://www.icann.org/ids.