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First Root KSK Rollover Successfully Completed

LOS ANGELES – 15 October 2018 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has determined that the first-ever changing of the cryptographic key that helps protect the Domain Name System (DNS) has been completed with minimal disruption of the global Internet. It was the first time the key has been changed since it was first put in use in 2010.

After evaluation of the available data, there does not appear to be a significant number of Internet end-users who have been persistently and negatively impacted by the changing of the key.

The few issues that have arisen appear to have been quickly mitigated and none suggested a systemic failure that would approach the threshold (as defined by the ICANN community) to initiate a reversal of the roll. In that context, it appears the rollover to the new Key Signing Key, known as KSK 2017, has been a success.

At this point, there are no indications it is necessary to back out of the rollover and ICANN will now proceed to the next step in the rollover process: revoking the old KSK, known as KSK 2010 during the next key ceremony in the first quarter of 2019.

"This successful exercise of the infrastructure necessary to roll the root zone's key has demonstrated it is possible to update the key globally," said David Conrad, ICANN's Chief Technology Officer. "It also provided important insights that will help us with future key rolls,"

The final decision to roll the root zone Key Signing Key (KSK) was made by ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby after reviewing the outcomes of the efforts of ICANN and others, particularly in the Domain Name System (DNS) technical community. These outcomes were the result of significant global outreach efforts, in consultation with the ICANN community, and after extensive analysis of available data. 

With the final approvals in place, ICANN implemented the 16 September 2018 resolution of ICANN's Board. The resolution stated that the organization should proceed with its revised plans to change or "roll" the key for the DNS root on 11 October 2018.

To learn more about the Root KSK Rollover, visit its dedicated webpage and primary source of information: http://www.icann.org/kskroll

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must 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 with a community of participants from all over the world.


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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."