Domain Name Security Extensions (DNSSEC) are extensions to the Domain Name System (DNS) that provide:
- Authentication of the origin of DNS data
- Integrity of data
- Authentication of denial of existence
What is the DNS and why do we need to secure it?
The DNS is a hierarchical distributed naming system that translates easy to remember names (that are meaningful to people) into the IP numbers required for devices to network across the Internet. Likewise, it also provides the opposite (numbers to names) lookup, called Reverse DNS.
Each DNS lookup — the process of looking for web addresses using a domain name — occurs over several stages, and each stage is vulnerable to hijacking as the DNS does not include security in its native form.
DNSSEC tries to prevent someone from injecting false information into this DNS lookup by providing a set of extensions that digitally sign data so end users can be assured it is valid. Essentially, DNSSEC attests to the validity of the web address you want to visit.
How does it work?
When the DNS looks up particular information (DNS lookup), the answers are digitally signed allowing the DNS client (resolver) to check if the information is identical to the information on the authoritative name server. It provides a validation path for records and follows a chain of trust up to the root. It’s important that DNSSEC is deployed across all domains to complete the chain of trust. This ensures that outgoing Internet traffic is always sent to the correct servers. New record types were created to facilitate this:
- RRSIG – Resource Record Signature
- DNSKEY – DNS Public Key
- DS – Delegation Signer
- NSEC – Next Secure
How APNIC is participating
APNIC has signed its own zones (stg.apnic.net), the reverse address zones under in-addr.arpa and ip6.arpa, and has introduced Member DNSSEC data. Members can activate DNSSEC protection to their reverse zones by updating the “ds-rdata’ attribute of domain objects in the APNIC Whois Database. The value of the DS resource records from the zone file is used for the “ds-rdata” attribute. A successful update of the domain objects will result in updating the parent zone data that is stored in APNIC’s name servers.
APNIC Labs measures the use of DNSSEC globally and provides DNSSEC-related research to the technical community.
What you need to do
You can update domain objects in MyAPNIC by adding an optional attribute field “ds-rdata” to your domain object and enter your DS resource records. To update multiple domain objects, you can use the bulk update form. APNIC only supports updates of this information through the use of the MyAPNIC portal which is secured by Member certificates.
Updating domain objects in MyAPNIC
Using the Whois template to update a single domain object
Add an optional attribute field ‘ds-rdata’ to your domain object and enter your DS resource records.
Using the Bulk update form to update multiple domain objects
Attach your plain text zone file containing your Name Server and/or DS resource records:
113.0.203.in-addr.arpa. 86400 IN NS ns1.example.com. 113.0.203.in-addr.arpa. 86400 IN NS ns2.example.com. 113.0.203.in-addr.arpa. 86400 IN DS 33736 13 2 B1E76175EC4F7AEF17EC5DBD3BA24EA19728C96FAC 8713C008030EBB FD7A28FC
APNIC operational settings
The following values are the operational parameters used by APNIC for its DNSSEC:
|Key Algorithm||KSK is ECDSAP256SHA256 ZSK is ECDSAP256SHA256|
|Key sizes||KSK is 256-bit ZSK is 256-bit|
|Roll-over frequency||KSK – mid-May after 02:00 (UTC +10) ZSK – monthly on the 1st of the month after 02:00 (UTC +10)|
|Zone re-sign frequency||Daily at 00:00 (UTC +10)|
|Signature validity||RRSIGs are valid for 30 days|
DNS Root Zone KSK Rollover
ICANN rolled, or changed, the ‘top’ pair of cryptographic keys used in the DNSSEC protocol, commonly known as the Root Zone KSK (Key Signing Key) on 11 October 2018.
This was the first time the KSK has been changed since it was initially generated in 2010. It is an important security step, in much the same way that regularly changing passwords is considered good practice by any Internet user.
Changing the key involved generating a new cryptographic key pair and distributing the new public component to all DNSSEC-validating resolvers globally.
This was a significant change as every Internet query using DNSSEC depends on the root zone KSK to validate the destination.
Once the new keys were generated, network operators performing DNSSEC validation had to update their systems with the new key so that when a user attempts to visit a website, it validated it against the new KSK.
Maintaining an up-to-date KSK is essential to ensuring DNSSEC-validating DNS resolvers continue to function following the rollover.
Failure to have the current root zone KSK will mean that DNSSEC-validating DNS resolvers will be unable to resolve any DNS queries.
The KSK rollover occurred over several months, with the key milestones noted below:
|11 July 2017||New KSK published in DNS|
|19 September 2017||Size increase for DNSKEY response from root name servers|
|1 February 2018||Public comment period for plan to resume the KSK rollover began; ended 2 April 2018|
|23 April 2018||Staff report on the Draft Plan Comments published|
|13 May 2018||ICANN Board requested RSSAC, SSAC and RZERC advice on draft plan|
|11 October 2018||KSK rollover|
It’s time to look at the data to see what we can learn from the first roll of the root zone’s KSK.
The 29th DNS-OARC workshop was a remarkably effective DNS meeting, with a wealth of operational experience and engagement.
APNIC Labs has been assisting with measuring how ready the Internet is for the DNS Root Zone KSK rollover.
While there are a number of approaches to DNS measurement, all have their own forms of potential bias and uncertainty.
APNIC Labs attempts to validate the proportion of resolvers reporting trust in KSK-2017 ahead of the restart of the Root Zone DNS key roll process.
Since 2016, APNIC Labs has observed a drop in global DNSSEC adoption. Have we passed the point of peak use of DNSSEC?
Guest Post: ICANN has announced that it will not roll the root zone KSK in the first quarter of 2018. Read why.
Some of the highlights from DNS-OARC 27 held in San Jose from 29 September to 3 October 2017.
Why has the DNS Root Zone KSK roll been postponed? Geoff Huston digs into the data to explain.
Automating DNSSEC key management and validating issues with the KSK roll where two of the many novel discussions had during the recent IEPG meeting in Prague.
IEPG has moved to a new day in the IETF agenda, but it's still a very useful conversation between the operations and engineering community.
APNIC participated at the fourth Bhutan Network Operators Group (BhutanNOG 4) meeting on 5 June 2017.
Geoff recaps some highlights from the technical presentations at RIPE 74.
Guest Post: Here's how you can ready your network for the DNSSEC Root Zone KSK rollover this October.
The Root Zone KSK rollover is coming. Are your systems ready?
ICANN recently announced the operational plans to "roll" the Root Zone Key Signing Key, an essential part of DNSSEC.
After five years of operation, where are we with rolling over the Key Signing Key of the DNS Root Zone?
ICANN signed the Root Zone of the DNS in 2010. Five years on, it's time to update the Key-Signing Key - and it isn't a trivial exercise.
How to get help
If you need technical support, your DNS software provider is the best place to start. Below is support information for some of the popular providers.
NLnet Labs Unbound
Secure64 DNS Signer
Ask a Question
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “KSK Rollover” in the subject line to submit your questions.