The 40th Root Key Signing Key Ceremony, originally scheduled for 12 February 2020 in El Segundo, California, has been postponed. One of the security mechanisms that protects the contents of the secure safes was found to be malfunctioning. The safes contain critical material used in the ceremonies, including but not limited to the hardware security modules that contain the key itself.
The issue was identified yesterday, 11 February 2020, during routine maintenance of the Key Management Facility. Although the malfunction does not pose a threat to the material protected inside the safe, it does trigger a delay in holding the ceremony as scheduled. There is no risk to the secure elements in the facility, and there will be no interruption to Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) service as a result.
Today, we held a briefing with the Trusted Community Representatives to discuss the equipment failure, our proposed approach to correct the fault, and possible dates to reschedule the ceremony. We maintain a complete replica facility in Culpeper, Virginia, and the ceremony may be moved to that location if necessary.
The work to repair the malfunction is scheduled for Friday, 14 February. If this work is successfully completed on time, we expect to hold the Key Ceremony on Saturday, 15 February at 18:00 UTC. If further work is needed, the new date for the ceremony will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
We will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.