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DNSSEC Surpasses 50%!

Through the hard work of many in the Internet community, the majority of top-level domains in the root now deploys DNSSEC.

DNS Security Extensions provide the biggest security upgrade to Internet infrastructure in more than 20 years. By deploying cryptographic records alongside existing DNS records, DNSSEC-enabled systems can verify that the information received from the DNS has not been modified in transit and is what was intended by the Registrant who sent it.

The 50% milestone complements a long list of successful efforts by the community and ICANN that have brought us to this point. Starting with the development of the protocols to secure the DNS in the mid-90s, trendsetting deployment by security-conscious TLDs (e.g., .se), government requirements, public vulnerability discoveries (e.g., Kaminsky), deployment at the root by an international team; to ISP and DNS operator (e.g., Google) support – the trend is clear.

We have also witnessed and benefited from widespread deployment and support of DNSSEC by some Registrars in some countries (e.g., .nl, .se). And with DNSSEC support required of the over 1000 new gTLDs, we shall continue to enjoy widespread implementation of DNSSEC at the infrastructure level.

But we still have a way to go. Without widespread deployment by Registrants on their domain names, end users and content providers cannot benefit from all of the security, and new and innovative opportunities that DNSSEC will bring. However, with the help of Registrars, DNS operators, vendors, ISPs, as well as the awareness and training efforts that ICANN and other organizations provide, we hope that securing Registrant DNS content, whatever it is, will become widespread and that Internet users may one day enjoy the simple trusted experience that using the ‘Net once was.

Rick Lamb
SR. PROGRAM MANAGER, DNSSEC

Comments

    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."