With DNS server being attacked all over the world, The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) believes that there is an ongoing and significant risk to key parts of the Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure.
In the context of increasing reports of malicious activity targeting the DNS infrastructure, ICANN is calling for full deployment of the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC)
across all unsecured domain names. The organization also reaffirms its
commitment to engage in collaborative efforts to ensure the security,
stability and resiliency of the Internet’s global identifier systems.
As one of many entities engaged in the decentralized management of the Internet, ICANN is specifically responsible for coordinating the top-most level of the DNS to ensure its stable and secure operation and universal resolvability.
On 15 February 2019, in response to reports of attacks against key parts of the DNS infrastructure, ICANN offered a checklist
of recommended security precautions for members of the domain name
industry, registries, registrars, resellers, and related others, to
proactively take to protect their systems, their customers’ systems and
information reachable via the DNS.
Public reports indicate that there is a pattern of multifaceted attacks utilizing different methodologies. Some of the attacks target the DNS,
in which unauthorized changes to the delegation structure of domain
names are made, replacing the addresses of intended servers with
addresses of machines controlled by the attackers. This particular type
of attack, which targets the DNS, only works when DNSSEC is not in use. DNSSEC is a technology developed to protect against such changes by digitally 'signing' data to assure its validity. Although DNSSEC cannot solve all forms of attack against the DNS, when it is used, unauthorized modification to DNS information can be detected, and users are blocked from being misdirected.
ICANN has long recognized the importance of DNSSEC
and is calling for full deployment of the technology across all
domains. Although this will not solve the security problems of the
Internet, it aims to assure that Internet users reach their desired
online destination by helping to prevent so-called “man in the middle”
attacks where a user is unknowingly re-directed to a potentially
malicious site. DNSSEC complements other technologies, such as Transport Layer Security (most typically used in HTTPS) that protect the end user/domain communication.
As the coordinator of the top-most level of the DNS, ICANN is in the position to help mitigate and detect DNS-related
risks, and to facilitate key discussions together with its partners.
The organization believes that all members of the domain name system
ecosystem must work together to produce better tools and policies to
secure the DNS and other critical operations of the Internet. To facilitate these efforts, ICANN is planning an event for the Internet community to address DNS protection: The first is an open session during the upcoming ICANN64 public meeting on 9-14 March 2019, in Kobe, Japan.
As we learn more information, updates may be provided. For information about ICANN64, visit https://meetings.icann.org/kobe64.