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Experts Tell Feds To Sign the DNS Root ASAP

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the digital-john-hancock dept.

Security 147

alphadogg sends along news that the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration has gotten plenty of feedback on its call for comments on securing the root zone using DNSSEC. The comment period closed yesterday, and more than 30 network and security experts urged the NTIA to implement DNSSEC stat. There were a couple of dissenting voices and a couple of trolls.

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rist (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25889685)

fristf

Feds are going to listen and ACT upon this? (4, Funny)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889749)

(Satan unpacking his sno-cone machine)

"'Bout damn time I got to use this thing..."

Trolls equal... (2, Interesting)

Jizzbug (101250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889765)

...something with an uncommon opinion. In my experience, the trolls are usually right.

Re:Trolls equal... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25889919)

In my experience, the trolls are usually right.

"You know, that 13-year-old kid DOES have a point. We should all stretch our anuses and put various large fruits inside our rectal cavities. And what those two ladies are doing with that cup is sheer genius. And I'm certain we can't agree more with his opinion of 'FUCK FUCK FUCK U CUNTS SHIT FUCK DAMN PISS COCK FUCK'. Gentlemen, as usual, we find that the trolls are, indeed, right! To the anus-stretching machines!"

No goatse at NTIA (1)

Jizzbug (101250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890009)

I'm pretty sure if you look through the "comments received" on this issue, you will find NO goatse!

Nevertheless: hahaha

Re:Trolls equal... (1)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890789)

Score:0, Troll

This troll is right.

Re:Trolls equal... (2, Funny)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889939)

Oh the irony is sickening. All he did was state his apparently uncommon opinion and he gets modded troll?

Re:Trolls equal... (5, Funny)

e9th (652576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889979)

Well, by his definition he's really been moderated "right".

Re:Trolls equal... (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890001)

No, he's been moderated as expected. There's no implication that it was "right", correct, or just.

Re:Trolls equal... (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890019)

Touché good sir.

Re:Trolls equal... (2, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891191)

Touch WHAT?

Re:Trolls equal... (3, Insightful)

skrolle2 (844387) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890215)

Except that trolling is taking an uncommon opinion just for the fun of it, to spark debate, to troll for comments, and to just piss people off.

The claim that the trolls are usually right is wrong, they're actually not interested in the factual matters, they're only interested in controversy. ...wait, did I just get trolled? Crap.

Btw, serious question: (1)

Jizzbug (101250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889941)

which "comments received" are being considered trolls?

As you can see, I was right... And I'm being considered a troll because of it.

This is the most troll-like comment I can find:

http://www.ntia.doc.gov/DNS/comments/comment007.pdf [doc.gov]

but he's just being blunt and honest. Not that ICANN isn't corrupt, but he's not wrong about VeriSign!

Personally, I think ISC should be in charge of the keys, but I didn't comment to say so (I would have been considered a troll, prolly).

Re:Btw, serious question: (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890443)

Its not really what you say that makes you a troll( in this case), but how you say it, in this case. That comment isn't wrong, but its not using appropriate language for the forum. If he had just said something like "Verisign has repeatedly acted to maximize its short term profits at the expense, and against the interests of the general internet community. Therefore I feel it would be unwise to give them this additional responsibility."

Re:Trolls equal... (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889949)

Trolls equal... (Score:-1, Troll)
by Jizzbug (101250) on 11-25-08 01:16 PM (#25889765)

...something with an uncommon opinion. In my experience, the trolls are usually right

Luckly, others agree and have modded you appropriately...

Oh, wait...

Re:Trolls equal... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25889953)

um, no, the trolls are not. also, NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER.

(an on-topic troll? wow)

Re:Trolls equal... (1)

icedcool (446975) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890853)

Mod this guy up. He has somewhat of a point...

Just because someone doesn't agree doesn't mean they are a troll, someone that is saying something to insight trouble is a troll.

Re:Trolls equal... (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892365)

I'd consider the guys who DDoS'ed blue frog awhile ago to be trolls of the "Might makes Right" type.

DNSSEC ready for prime time? (3, Interesting)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889843)

Is DNSSEC ready for prime time?

Last I checked (admittedly more than a year ago), they were still working on a good way of refreshing the key; there were also other problems with DNSSEC that made it not quite ready for prime time.

Does anyone know if the people involved have all said "Yep, it's done now, go use it"?

It'd suck to be in the IPv4 situation: there's this thing we want to migrate to as soon as everyone else does as well.

It's easy to say "let's try out some shit and drop it if it doesn't work" when very few people grow dependent on your work; when the whole world does so, it's a bit more difficult.

Re:DNSSEC ready for prime time? (5, Funny)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890093)

Well, the U.S. owns the internet, right? We should just pass a law for IPv6.

Re:DNSSEC ready for prime time? (1, Insightful)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890437)

Huh? Was that post tongue in cheek, and the mods are just crazy, or am I missing something?

Re:DNSSEC ready for prime time? (1)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890749)

My post was very tongue in cheek. Not sure why I'm +5 informative.... +funny, maybe...

Re:DNSSEC ready for prime time? (0, Redundant)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891577)

Not sure why I'm +5 informative.... +funny, maybe...

Someone wanted to give you a Karma bonus; points for Funny doesn't give you that.

And even if it's mostly funny at first, the point underneath may very well be insightful.

Re:DNSSEC ready for prime time? (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891845)

The US owns the network within their borders.

Every country owns their own portion of the internet.

Saying that the US owns the internet is like claiming the US owns Earth; the US controls the DNS servers, much the way the US has the most power in the world.. but that doesn't change that they only control the part of the internet that's located on US soil.

Re:DNSSEC ready for prime time? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891615)

Actually, I think that would work, if those not converting are punished.

I think the rest of the world will follow suit. There are enough interesting pages on US-based servers that not offering IPv6 transit is a business non-starter.

Would it be a good idea? "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you". I'm not sure what the outcome would be, and I think that outcomes are ultimately that which we should judge governmental actions by.

Re:DNSSEC ready for prime time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25892519)

/s

There fixed that for ya.

Re:DNSSEC ready for prime time? (1, Interesting)

supradave (623574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890449)

Yes, it's ready. Secure64 has a secure operating system that was written from scratch to take advantage of the features of Itanium2 and a TPM, that is immune to rootkits and malware, that can hide the keys and sign the zone. One line in the NSD-like config, 'dnssec-automate: yes' and your zones are signed with 'best practice' key lengths and roll-over times.

But it's not open source. How could anyone trust it? Independent labs have verified the claims. Yes, we're trying to sell a product that solves a problem and we're the only company that has the secure platform to do it with.

It can act as the authoritative signer or it can plug in between your current authoritative and slaves and do a man-in-the-middle signing. No real changes to the infrastructure required.

Nothing stopping people from abusing themselves with doing it manually.

And it's DDoS resistant and does over 100,000 DNS qps, even under a DDoS attack (up to wire saturation).

Re:DNSSEC ready for prime time? (3, Interesting)

arotenbe (1203922) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890517)

It's easy to say "let's try out some shit and drop it if it doesn't work" when very few people grow dependent on your work; when the whole world does so, it's a bit more difficult.

In fact, that was what got us into this mess in the first place. We can't replace any part of the internet without breaking everything, so we just keep tacking on new standards and quick-fix patches. Someone needs to redesign the whole thing with an generalized, expandable security model. But then we would have two internets...

"I think the problem here may be more of a question of getting rid of the bad internets and keeping the good internets."

Re: Two Internets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25891353)

...Someone needs to redesign the whole thing with an generalized, expandable security model. But then we would have two internets...

Two Internets. Hrm, let's see, one Internet for porn, and the other for...well, everything else. Works for me.

If you need me, I'll be watching streaming 1080p HD video on fellatio-artist.com from my 250Mb connection over IPv6...

Re:DNSSEC ready for prime time? (1)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892083)

Your comment made me realize how addicted I have become to World of Goo.

Re:DNSSEC ready for prime time? (2, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890973)

NSEC3 (http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5155) solves most of initial DNSSEC problems. But it's not yet supported by production versions of major DNS servers.

Re:DNSSEC ready for prime time? (3, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891661)

That RFC makes my head hurt. After a few readings I can usually grok most RFC's, but that one is particularly dense with acronyms and references to other DNSSEC concepts not included in the RFC. Also I don't see any provision for multiple signers, my ideal system has each of the ROOT servers having their own key and each zone being signed with each of the keys from the ROOTS they trust. That way if some government or corporation does something you disagree with you can choose to revoke their key as either a signor or a receiver.

Ah! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25889889)

There were a couple of dissenting voices and a couple of trolls.

Were they taking comments via Slashcode?

Why bother? For a CHEAP PKI... (5, Interesting)

nweaver (113078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889895)

With a conventional PKI for your SSL certificates, Verisign or the other CA gets a cut for EVERY server.

With DNSSEC, the "CA" only gets a cut per domain. Thus DNSSEC can be used to offer key distribution with far less cost, once the root and the TLDs start signing records.

(Not an original argument, but I agree with it.)

Re:Why bother? For a CHEAP PKI... (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890153)

Congratulation! You've just explained why the DNSSEC will never be implemented on the root server.

Re:Why bother? For a CHEAP PKI... (0)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890429)

I wish I had mod points for you!

Re:Why bother? For a CHEAP PKI... (1)

supradave (623574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890479)

I tend to agree.

Probably means you pay more actually. (5, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890305)

Uh it's just a way for CAs to make money _twice_ (or more times).

You'll still need CAs.

How does DNSSEC stop the browser from giving Joe User a warning box that the https cert is not signed by a recognized CA?

That's the only real reason why you pay CAs to sign your certs - to stop Joe User from being bothered it.

That CA signing bullshit is little to do with security. Because the last I checked:

1) nobody really goes through all the CAs bundled with their browser and says: "Yes I trust this CA, no I don't so I'll delete this". There are tons, do you know who they are and how trustworthy they really are? Do you really care? No all you care is that you don't get that warning.
2) Verisign has proven that they voluntarily do dubious stuff and they've even misissued Microsoft certs (go look under Untrusted Publishers in IE's list of certs ;) ), and yet people _will_ leave the Verisign root certs in - because all you care is you don't that get warning.
3) Do browser makers actually remove CAs who don't comply to some standard? Do they even have some meaningful standard in terms of security?
4) AFAIK browsers don't warn you if the a valid cert changes to a different valid cert (even if it is signed by a different CA).

As you can see, they're not really safer than self-signed certs. To me browsers should do that SSH thing and warn you if the cert has changed (whether it's self-signed or CA signed).

In that light, forgive me if I'm not convinced that DNSSEC is really going to make things more secure :).

It'll just be more of the same. One more way for Verisign and gang to make money for making people feel safe.

Re:Probably means you pay more actually. (1)

klx (458077) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891567)

AFAIK browsers don't warn you if the a valid cert changes to a different valid cert (even if it is signed by a different CA).

They definitely don't warn. Some local users think all unexpected windows are errors and somebody sure as hell needs to answer for them, so spawning a warning there would create a significant number of pointless helpdesk calls per renewal period per server.

I don't really have an opinion on whether a new good cert should pop, except insofar as I have an opinion about the browsers' involvement in the trusted cert racket. Just saying what would happen if it did pop.

Re:Probably means you pay more actually. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25891697)

Actually, DNSSEC is a hierarchical trust scheme through which you could theoretically provide the public key of the servers in your domain, thus rendering CAs obsolete.

Re:Probably means you pay more actually. (4, Informative)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891827)

You'll still need CAs.

How does DNSSEC stop the browser from giving Joe User a warning box that the https cert is not signed by a recognized CA?

That's the only real reason why you pay CAs to sign your certs - to stop Joe User from being bothered it.

You don't need the CAs, once applications are rewritten to grab keys from the DNS instead.

Using DNS as a PKI means that my DNS provider is now my CA. If I grab jonaskoelker.free-dns.com and I start out with only a trusted root key, I can learn free-dns's key and trust them. I can then securely send them my key, which they sign for free, along with my signed records.

Then, when you go to jonas.free-dns.com with a modified firefox, that firefox will trust the DNS key for jonas.free-dns.com as an SSL key for jonas.free-dns.com as well, and you'll trust that the guy whose server you're talking to is the same guy as the one who got the name in the first place.

With a changed Firefox, you won't need a CA.

Now, changing how "we" (meaning our browsers) decide whether to trust a site may not be easy, but it can be done.

If your DNS parent is com, all I can say is "Meet your new CA, same as the old CA" ;)

Re:Why bother? For a CHEAP PKI... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25890311)

You forget there are much, much more domains then there are SSL enabled servers.
Fortunately, DNSSec does not require buying a certificate for each domain.

Re:Why bother? For a CHEAP PKI... (1)

Jizzbug (101250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890375)

Just switch back to the original DNS domain pricing model: $100 per year per domain at InterNIC. The $100 is more than enough to cover any VeriSign-like key management fees.

This would also have the added benefit of taxing domain squatters.

It isn't such a big deal if keys come with the registration of domains. It is a big deal if a single private corporation is getting a cut of every domain sold (as in if VeriSign is given control over the keys).

DNS (5, Funny)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889935)

Are you troubled by DNS cache poisoning...well don't worry!

I wrote a song about it!

Your domain will be safe,
You'll be well on your way
With DNS-SEC security!

Signing is a breeze,
Bring hackers to their knees
With DNS-SEC security!

I know you're grown attached to old
Ways of doing things
But when you update BIND
Your heart will race to sing!

DNS-SEC implementation
Put the spammers on permanent vacation
DNS-SEC implementation
I hear it's got great documentation!

Bind me, baby!

(GUITAR SOLO)

Re:DNS (4, Funny)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890095)

You don't have a job do you?

Re:DNS (4, Funny)

mrjohnson (538567) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890397)

Your domain will be safe,
You'll be well on your way
With DNS-SEC security!

For some reason I heard Cartman's voice. Securi-tay

Nice way to end the song... (4, Funny)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890593)

Bind me, baby!

The S in S&M does not stand for Security.

Re:DNS (4, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890911)

I have written a song for you too:

Your musical ability
Is sure to wisk you merrily
From this shallow pool of genes
For with music like that my friend,
you'll never get laid,
You'll never get laid.

(Git-ar solo)

Re:DNS (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891603)

>Git-ar

Everyone uses git nowadays, but who uses ar? ... I think .deb does.

Does this have something to do with git-buildpackage?

Re:DNS (1)

callinyouin (1138469) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891017)

I think you should change,
"Bring hackers to their knees"
to...
"Bring hackers to their fucking knees"

It just flows better.

not so fast (5, Interesting)

ejtttje (673126) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889955)

I wouldn't be so quick brush aside dissension on this issue. This comment in particular:
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/DNS/comments/comment034.pdf [doc.gov]
seemed well thought out, and at the end suggests several other workarounds with fewer issues. Namely, switch to using TCP instead of UDP so there's a handshake involved instead of blindly accepting incoming datagrams. It's not that the bug shouldn't be addressed, but maybe DNSSEC is the wrong answer.

exactly (1)

Jizzbug (101250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890231)

This is the most troll-like comment I can find:

http://www.ntia.doc.gov/DNS/comments/comment007.pdf [doc.gov]

but he's just being blunt and honest. Not that ICANN isn't corrupt, but he's not wrong about VeriSign!

Personally, I think ISC should be in charge of the keys, but I didn't write in to say so (I would have been considered a troll, prolly).

[This is a repost of my "serious question" to my "troll's are usually right" thread which was modded "Troll" below.]

Re:exactly (2, Interesting)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890729)

Let everyone be in charge of their own keys. There doesn't need to be a key. We can have Verisign do this and the feds and you and me.

Re:not so fast (2, Interesting)

Intron (870560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890537)

Unfortunately, the comment is wrong. The Kaminsky bug is not cache poisoning by fraudulent UDP packets (which is a concern), it is using glue records to provide false NS address. Example:

You visit a website which pulls an image from subdomain.malicious.example.com. To get that, you need to know its nameserver. So you ask malicious.example.com who tells you that the nameserver is ns.citibank.com and oh, BTW that address is 666.666.666 (glue record). Now your cache has a phony address for ns.citibank.com. This would be the same whether you were using TCP, UDP or carrier pigeon. Glue records are part of the DNS protocol.

The way to fix the Kaminsky bug is not to switch to TCP or DNSSEC, it is to not cache glue records.

Re:not so fast (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891335)

You visit a website which pulls an image from subdomain.malicious.example.com. To get that, you need to know its nameserver. So you ask malicious.example.com who tells you that the nameserver is ns.citibank.com and oh, BTW that address is 666.666.666 (glue record).

And you throw away the glue record 'cos ns.citibank.com is not inside malicious.example.com.

Baliwick, right?

Re:not so fast (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891741)

That was brought up when the flaw was released and the reason it doesn't work is that the glue records were a workaround for another DNS flaw (which I can't remember at the moment).

Re:not so fast (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892947)

uhh... no, but thanks for playing.

Re:not so fast (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892623)

seemed well thought out

It does, although I have some additions and disagreements.

They characterize the spoofability of DNS replies as a flaw in UDP. I think that's incorrect. UDP isn't marketed as a data integrity protocol, it's marketed as a transport protocol. That job it does fine. TCP is the same thing: a transport protocol.

A blind attacker against UDP has to guess a source port and a transaction ID. A blind attacker against TCP has to guess an initial sequence number as well. If you use SYN cookies (http://cr.yp.to/syncookies.html), that means 24 extra bits of randomness, for 56 in total. It's better than 32 (which takes 10 hours), but again: this is against blind attackers [those not in the middle].

If you worry about men in the middle (as the paper does), TCP offers you no bonus: the man in the middle simply spoofs the receiving server's SYN+ACK and DNS reply.

As an addition: with any DNS, you have to trust not only that the servers you get replies from are those you should be getting replies from, but also that they act how their customers want them to.

That is, you have to trust them to give the right answers. DNSSEC doesn't ensure that when .com gives you the key for google.com, it really is the key google wanted .com to give you. It only gives you a key for google.com which you can check has been used to sign the records for google.com; .com could easily give you their key and the altered google.com records signed with th .com key.

That taken into consideration, we have to trust the DNS servers. If we have authentic communication with them (through DNSCurve), we don't need the records to be stored in signed form, since they are signed during the transit and we trust the servers to give us the correct records.

However, we still need some way of knowing the public key for the DNS servers we wish to contact.

In summary:

  • Using UDP currently makes the easiest form of attack not too easy; moving to TCP makes it quite hard, but ultimately won't fix that problem.
  • Moving to TCP won't fix the man-in-the-middle
  • Using DNSCurve doesn't fixed the most important issue: that if we only have one CA (the root), we have all the problems of only having a single CA
  • I think the latter point is more problematic.

    The attacks worth carrying out to a degree where it causes people real problems are either against single big targets (DDos or break-in), or those easy to carry out in big numbers where you can extract money from your victim (Web Bank Phishing). The first doesn't affect individual citizens, and the second is handled through SSL. What's left to fix in DNS again?

    A cute side-note about DNSCurve: it uses the disemvoweled base32 alphabet (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Base32 [wikipedia.org] , grep for NVRAM and nintendo), but it allows 'u' instead of, say, '-' (which is a valid DNS character). I would like to use the public key fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.jonaskoelker.some-dns.com ;)

Re:not so fast (1)

leto (8058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892685)

you want a 3-way handshake per dns lookup? Are you crazy? Do you even know how many dns lookups your browser creates on average.

You'd be looking at 10 seconds delay for a webpage like slashdot easilly

Re:not so fast (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892875)

TCP? are you insane? you will bloat the DNS system tremendously and it will then become susceptible to the sockstress attack performed on TCP stacks which exploits the way TCP is suppose to work.

Re:not so fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25892999)

Just like everything else, thwart the actual issue and side step it with a new technology. This is why I HATE microsoft software, they never fix stuff, they just break it a different way.

Centralized DNS really the answer? (3, Interesting)

NinthAgendaDotCom (1401899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889973)

It's funny how a regulated DNS still has so many security problems. I wonder if a distributed, non-governmental DNS that used a web of trust / trust ratings would work better for domain resolution.

Re:Centralized DNS really the answer? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890031)

Yeah, lets do that.
I for one welcome our soon-to-be DNS bombing, v1agr@ providing overlords.

Re:Centralized DNS really the answer? (1)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892239)

I can't imagine a way that this would work that would be anything but a total disaster. Since there would (presumably) be no central authority, you have no way of knowing that http://example.com/ [example.com] is the same http://example.com/ [example.com] that someone else is looking at. How would you share links? How would a bank advertise its URL? How would domain registrations work? How would SSL certificate registrations be vetted? If you try to distribute the SSL function as well, now you have no idea if https://example.com/ is the same https://example.com/ [example.com] that someone else is looking at.

The only way I can see this working is if we switched to a non-hierarchical (hierarchy requires an authority at the root) system, using GUIDs or some other mechanism that has some guarantees about uniqueness. But now you have two problems: 1) the label is useless, because you can't remember it or give it out in a TV commercial; and 2) you'd have store all of those labels someplace in a big, flat database.

A need exists for a set of (reasonably) persistent, unique, meaningful identifiers for services on the Internet, and in order to ensure this, you need a central registry.

Re:Centralized DNS really the answer? (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892849)

If you know how to do it, do it. Even if you aren't comfortable with network programming, if you can specify a distributed DNS system that works, people will implement it for you. But it's awfully hard to argue that something that no-one has managed to implement is a better solution to a problem with an existing popular solution.

An explanation please? (4, Interesting)

PhysicsPhil (880677) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889993)

For those of us who trust that this is something that matters, but aren't nerdy enough to understand. What is the problem that the experts were being consulted about?

Re:An explanation please? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25890455)

It's about the DNS poisoning attacks from a few months ago. DNS Sec works properly when the top servers can vouch for the next server down the tree, but this only works if the top servers are secured with a well known public key.

The issue is that the Federal bureau in charge of the root servers felt it had to go through the same bureaucratic process of getting consent, comments and so on and so forth that all federal regulations have to go through, by law. This takes a while, and a lot of people think they should have just done it.

John Roth

Re:An explanation please? (2, Insightful)

supradave (623574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890619)

The problem is that DNSSEC is a manually intensive proposition. Keys have to be rolled daily and those keys have to be generated on a machine that is not connected to a network, i.e. sneaker net. The problem stems from current OS implementations that allow you to have access to all the memory. If I could compromise your signing keys, I could sign your zone with my keys and probably get away with further damage as people would inherently trust DNS. The issue is automation. Since you cannot, on Linux or Windows or other OS, have it online and sign the keys automatically, the manual process takes a back seat. It would be a very time consuming job to handle more than a small zone. Plus the NIST manual is about 120 pages on how to do it to what the NIST standards would require. It not a trivial proposition. Since the keys from the signing box are in the clear, as well, they could be thefted by a crafty thief. Or they could walk out with the thumb drive that they were stored on for the sneaker net transaction.

Re:An explanation please? (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892273)

Why would it be any more difficult than running an automated CA? It's basically the same problem, and automated CAs manage to issue certificates in real time without too much trouble.

Re:An explanation please? (1)

supradave (623574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892635)

The problem with CA's is that, in general, when people get to a site with SSL that doesn't have a valid CA, people will tend to click through. I know I do it and I know the risks. I know not to do that if I'm going to a site that I exchange money with, but other sites I click through. Also, when phished, you may get to a duplicate site where you type in your username and password and then get forwarded back to your intended site, but the phisher now has your username and password. The problem with CA's is that if you cannot trust that you are actually getting to the site you expect to be at, what's the point? If you're not certain, you can be violated (taken for a ride, robbed, etc.). And who's to say that there aren't malicious cert providers that will provide a valid cert to a malicious site. Nobody is saying that CA's aren't valid, but if you cannot be sure you're going where you think you're going, no amount of extra security is going to help in every instance.

With signed zones, you can verify that you are really talking to someone's email server and that they are talking to you. spam could be reduced. I'd welcome that.

Gotten? (1)

kick_in_the_eye (539123) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890187)

| Administration has gotten plenty of feedback

WTF?

try "received"

Administration has received plenty of feedback

Much better.

Re:Gotten? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25890473)

feedback get!!!

Re:Gotten? (4, Funny)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890847)

Gotten is standard in American English.

Re:Gotten? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892163)

Ok, that does it. Gotten is legit American English? I'm going to patent the English language and sue Websters.

Re:Gotten? (1)

Jizzbug (101250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891029)

Also,

It's spelled "imfamous" and "dilemna", regardless of what your st00pid spellchecker says.

Why would the establishment prefer DNSSEC (4, Insightful)

Burz (138833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890243)

...over ubiquitous use of SSL?

Almost all of the extra overhead for crypto and/or signing is in processing the initial public key. So DNSSEC seems to make our systems work about as hard, without the benefit of encrypted data.

OTOH, having an Internet trend set in with most servers switching to SSL (i.e. HTTPS, etc) keeps the government (and corps providing its "security" snooping services) from profiling people based on their everyday choices of art, books, and ways of socializing. It takes ISPs out of the loop as far as acting as surrogate cops snooping on peoples' data.

If I wanted to further a police surveillance state, I would try to set a trend with DNSSEC instead of a different public key scheme that provides encryption along with verification for the same price... especially if the tools to implement the latter were already on everyone's system waiting to be fully used.

Re:Why would the establishment prefer DNSSEC (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890423)

With secure DNS, key distribution for e.g. IPSEC or TLS becomes easier.

Re:Why would the establishment prefer DNSSEC (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890813)

With secure DNS, key distribution for e.g. IPSEC or TLS becomes easier.

Whereas with existing schemes like HTTPS, the client simply caches the acquired symmetric keys as needed. And non-browser applications could poll the default browser on a system in order to use its CA-based verification; that would allow such apps to distribute their own keys safely. (That is, if you're programming in a framework that doesn't already have PKI functionality.)

I don't believe that whatever ease is gained in key distribution outweighs the technical problems and risk of abuse that DNSSEC carries. It all seems very specious to me, replacing an established address verification system with a less functional one.

Re:Why would the establishment prefer DNSSEC (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891229)

Whereas with existing schemes like HTTPS, the client simply caches the acquired symmetric keys as needed.

The way it gets the public key of the site today is ridiculously insecure. It trusts a bunch of organizations, several of which have proven to be completely untrustworthy.

You can used self-signed keys, but then the security is basically non-existent. There is no GPG-like system for the web.

It all seems very specious to me, replacing an established address verification system with a less functional one.

If you turn off DNSSEC in your resolver, nothing changed. I don't see how it can be less functional then.

Re:Why would the establishment prefer DNSSEC (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892335)

The way it gets the public key of the site today is ridiculously insecure. It trusts a bunch of organizations, several of which have proven to be completely untrustworthy.

I'm pretty sure that the same organizations would be in the chain for DNSSEC.

Re:Why would the establishment prefer DNSSEC (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892569)

There is no GPG-like system for the web.

There could be [gnu.org] , if we'd just put it into the browsers.

Re:Why would the establishment prefer DNSSEC (1)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890591)

Because changing DNS to TCP globally would cause a lot of networks to grind to a halt. I believe DNSSEC allows you to keep things UDP and fast.

Re:Why would the establishment prefer DNSSEC (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891049)

Because changing DNS to TCP globally would cause a lot of networks to grind to a halt. I believe DNSSEC allows you to keep things UDP and fast.

I don't mean DNS over TCP. I'm talking about protocols like HTTPS making attacks on regular DNS futile.

Re:Why would the establishment prefer DNSSEC (1)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891113)

It doesn't make those attacks futile. You can detect them, sure, but if you're getting bogus information from your DNS server, that's still a denial of service (because you can't get the real address of the site).

Plus all that an adversary would need to do is watch the DNS requests as they come in to find out where people are going.

Re:Why would the establishment prefer DNSSEC (1)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892001)

SSL is TCP only, DNSSEC is kind of like UDP-SSL for DNS. IIRC there is a proposal for TLS over UDP which would accomplish a similar thing, but I think the specific answer of DNSSEC accounts for all of this.

Re:Why would the establishment prefer DNSSEC (1)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890613)

OTOH, having an Internet trend set in with most servers switching to SSL (i.e. HTTPS, etc) keeps the government (and corps providing its "security" snooping services) from profiling people based on their everyday choices of art, books, and ways of socializing. It takes ISPs out of the loop as far as acting as surrogate cops snooping on peoples' data.

If only you can mod higher than +5...
Everything on the Internet SHOULD be encrypted. I really really wish that I could encrypt every piece of data I send and receive regardless of its content. The only current solutions for constant encryption are things like TOR which uses proxies and there's still a point for failure (the proxy itself to the destination), and can be LAGGY as hell...

Re:Why would the establishment prefer DNSSEC (1)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891207)

You can not do this with TCP/IP. The destination of where your packet is going has to be visible, whether this is the address of a proxy that will later forward your packet or the address of a IPSec gateway that will forward your packet or of the ultimate destination for your packet. Otherwise it will never get there. Now, you can encrypt the payloads (see IPSec), but you can't encrypt the destination address.

Re:Why would the establishment prefer DNSSEC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25890951)

I am by no means an expert, I am however the DNS admin for a mid sized business. From my limited reading it seems that setting up the ROOT servers with DNSSEC would provide a method by which I can authenticate the validity of the root responses without necessarily setting up my zones to do the same. I am much more concerned with root responding properly than with the minor chance someone would man in the middle our domains. Setting up DNSSEC for my zones will go on my list of todo's of course, but if I cant trust root whats the point.

As for your SSL theory, who exactly is going to act as the super CA in your scenario? Seems like the corps you are so worried about are the ones validating the SLL certs to begin with. government interference would actually be EASIER with only a few master CA's. If you want privacy, use a proxy, dont mess with my dns.

In regards to swapping from UDP to TCP, does anyone have numbers on the % increase in packet/byte traffic if you jump from UDP to TCP?

Re:Why would the establishment prefer DNSSEC (2, Informative)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891395)

Because SSL and DNSSEC solve two different problems. Unless you're doing DNS-over-SSL, which means running DNS in TCP mode.

Dissenting voices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25890439)

On behalf of the Association of Spammers, Scammers, and Dirty Crooks, they respectively vote no on strengthening our nation's DNS services.

Re:Dissenting voices (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891927)

On behalf of the Association of Spammers, Scammers, and Dirty Crooks, they respectively vote no on strengthening our nation's DNS services.

I dunno about that... Most of them voted to renew that patriot act....

Why only one CA? (And it's the feds?!) (5, Interesting)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890667)

I love beating this dead horse: OpenPGP is the one scheme that authentication right, and DNS is Yet Another great example where OpenPGP should be used instead of the obsolete X.509.

Why would I trust the feds as an introducer? We already know that they do attempt MitMs sometimes, and there's already a history of DNS abuses ordered by presumably well-intentioned courts. But even if this organization had a good reputation, it's just plain dumb to put all your eggs in one basket. There should be provisions multiple certifiers of an identity, so that users decide who is trustworthy and who isn't.

If the feds are going to sign, I hope they use an OpenPGP [ietf.org] signature (which apparently the spec allows!), but I somehow doubt they would want to lend any legitimacy to a scheme that actually lets people authenticate identities, instead of the one intended to create monopolies and single points of failure.

I have no problem with the feds helping out on this, but we shouldn't completely trust them, and we have the technology so that we don't have to. PRZ gave it to us a couple decades ago.

Re:Why only one CA? (And it's the feds?!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25891899)

They mentioned KSK held by more than one RKO in proposal 6 but it seems the heavyweights are leaning towards prop4.

Re:Why only one CA? (And it's the feds?!) (3, Insightful)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892457)

This is a case where you're right, everyone who has thought about it agrees that you're right, and that's still not the design decision that's going to be made.

The issue here is a disagreement on goals. You want to make it so that someone who goes to the necessary effort can be secure against an arbitrary attacker. Others want to make it so that someone who goes to no effort will be secure from one step technical attacks by poorly funded attackers. People who are interested in the second case, which includes all major application developers including Mozilla, dismiss the proof of your point ("what about malicious CAs") as being out of scope.

The only solution to this problem that I can see is to try to provide real security and decentralized infrastructure in as many cases as possible. Why don't we have a Mozilla plugin that uses OpenPGP for SSL with a revolutionary UI that makes it practically useful? Why don't we have distributed DNS? Once we have proof of concept and working code, it'll be much easier to argue that we should be doing these things correctly.

Re:Why only one CA? (And it's the feds?!) (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892909)

that's still not the design decision that's going to be made.

I'm not so idealistic as to disagree, but..

People who are interested in the second case, which includes all major application developers including Mozilla, dismiss the proof of your point ("what about malicious CAs") as being out of scope

..the solution for the first case can also achieve the goals of the second. If they want to include a trusted-by-default OpenPGP public key with Firefox, they could.

I don't think they'll listen, but I think it's a good idea to keep mentioning it, if for no other reason than to be able to say "told you so" later.

Re:Why only one CA? (And it's the feds?!) (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892963)

If they want to include a trusted-by-default OpenPGP public key with Firefox, they could.

How would that help? Either they'd have to then use that OpenPGP certificate to sign site certificates (and thus either become a CA or create a new class of OpenPGP CAs out of the certificates that they did sign).

why only one CA (4, Interesting)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890963)

I don't see why any nameserver (especially the root nameservers) could not carry signatures from multiple CAs. Maybe that's not DNSSEC (I can't be bothered to read the RFCs !) but it's certainly a technical possibility.

Also, I think any device looking up any DNS record can chose to ignore the signatures if it wants to anyway (most will).

So I fail to see what all the conspiracy issues are surrounding the signature of the root name servers. It seems a far cry from implementing a system to roll dnssec out to every nameserver and if a better solution comes along later, or DNSSEC gets better, the new ideas can probably get bolted on.

new ideas can probably get bolted on (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892113)

That is how Frankenstein's monster got his head, it was bolted on later as an afterthought. And man was it an ugly hack!

Re:why only one CA (1)

leto (8058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892721)

indeed. you can ignore what you want. You can only create your own "secure entry point" that override a parental DNSKEY if you would want to (Think China removing .tw entries). Anyone who controls a resolver can do this. It's a one line configuration change.

The root key is not Sauron's Ring

Use Shamir's Secret Sharing algorithm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25891497)

Keep your passwords in a password locker, encrypt your master password using: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamir's_Secret_Sharing

Distribute the fragments among trusted friends, lawyers, etc with instructions to recover your master password upon your death.

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