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SAC 001 | DNS Security Reading List

I often get asked for background reading on the Internet's naming and address address allocation systems. So I've started to pull together a collection of links to documents and sites that I've found helpful in discussions about the security/integrity/resilience of the Internet's domain name system, along with some basic primers on Internet architecture. Suggestions and recommendations are avidly invited -- particularly for non-US resources.

-- Andrew

Internet Architecture

  • The Internet's Coming of Age (Committee on the Internet in the Evolving Information Infrastructure, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council) [2001]
    (Great in-depth introduction to how the Internet works & current issues of scaling, assuring integrity, robustness, etc.)
  • RFC 1958: Architectural Principles of the Internet (B. Carpenter, editor) [June 1996]

Domain Name System (DNS):

Root Name Servers:

Name Server Security:

DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC):

Very User-Friendly Introductions to the DNS:

General Internet Security Resources:

Governmental Communications:


Governmental agencies:


Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."