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Annual IANA Functions, DNSSEC Audits Validate ICANN Systems Controls

LOS ANGELES – 2 March 2017 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has completed audits of the IANA registry management systems and the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) services it provides. International accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted the audits for the period of 1 December 2015 through 30 September 2016.

For the fourth consecutive year, a Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 audit of the IANA registry maintenance systems shows that ICANN has the appropriate controls in place to ensure the security, availability and processing integrity of IANA functions transactions.

For the seventh consecutive year, ICANN has achieved SOC 3 certification for its management of the DNSSEC root key signing key, which is the trust anchor of the domain name system. SOC 3 certification demonstrates that ICANN's root key signing key processes contain appropriate security measures, and that these processes have been executed as planned. The certificate is publicly available at http://iana.org/audits.

During the period, ICANN upgraded the physical security systems of the Key Management Facilities. "Physical security is an important line of defense to protect the root key signing key," said Elise Gerich, ICANN's Vice President of IANA and Technical Operations. "The upgrade helped us stay SOC compliant and promotes the prevention and detection of unauthorized access." Gerich also serves as President of Public Technical Identifiers, an affiliate of ICANN.

SOC audits evaluate an organization's controls in relation to "trust services principles and criteria" managed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

About ICANN

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. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."