Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Application Security

11/20/2019
06:00 AM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
50%
50%

MSFT Jumps on DoH

Microsoft has announced that an upcoming version of Windows 10 will have support for DNS over HTTPS.

Microsoft has announced that an upcoming version of Windows 10 will have support for DNS over HTTPS (also called DoH) built into the Windows DNS client. This is a major change in how Domain Name System queries will be handled by the OS, and fits in with some evolving efforts that are going on industry-wide.

DNS over HTTPS proposals that have seen light will have the effect of preventing on-path eavesdropping, spoofing and blocking of DNS requests.

Domain Name System (DNS) is the Internet's naming protocol. It translates names like example.com into the actual numeric IP address of a destination server. Currently, this is done in plaintext which can -- for example -- be recorded by an internet service provider and ascribed to a user. Indeed, some ISPs have found the compiling of this data to be a major revenue stream for them.

But ISPs say that they are concerned that DoH use will complicate the use of captive portals, which are used to intercept connections briefly to force users to log on to a network, and will make it more difficult to block content at the resolver level.

The ISPs are also concerned that browser makers will cut them out of the future DNS action by directing DNS traffic to specific resolvers that the makers can choose. This would contribute to the centralization of Internet infrastructure, as thousands of DNS resolvers used for web requests would be replaced by a small handful. DoH advocates, like Mozilla and the EFF, have responded by suggesting the ISPs create the DoH DNS resolution servers themselves, and by including in DoH proposals a way to allow users to choose specific resolvers.

DoH will add a layer of privacy-enhancing encryption to DNS traffic, but it comes at a price. Even MSFT says, "Providing encrypted DNS support without breaking existing Windows device admin configuration won't be easy." They realize that in order to keep the DNS decentralized, it will be important for client operating systems (such as Windows) and Internet service providers alike to widely adopt encrypted DNS.

MSFT says that it is prioritizing DoH support as the most likely to provide immediate value "to everyone." DoH allows them to reuse existing HTTPS infrastructure, for example.

To make things work with less friction, MSFT says their upcoming DoH system, "will look for opportunities to encrypt Windows DNS traffic without changing the configured DNS resolvers set by users and system administrators."

They are starting by using DoH for DNS servers Windows is already configured to use. Windows will just use classic DNS (without encryption) to that server. However, since these servers and their DoH configurations are well known, Windows can automatically upgrade to DoH while using the same server. And if both endpoints support encryption, they say that "there's no reason to wait around for permission to use encryption."

MSFT sees DoH (or a variant) as inevitable in the future. With this advisory, they are reassuring their customers that they will not leave them with obsolete systems.

— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/17/2020
Cybersecurity Bounces Back, but Talent Still Absent
Simone Petrella, Chief Executive Officer, CyberVista,  9/16/2020
Meet the Computer Scientist Who Helped Push for Paper Ballots
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/16/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-25789
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
An issue was discovered in Tiny Tiny RSS (aka tt-rss) before 2020-09-16. The cached_url feature mishandles JavaScript inside an SVG document.
CVE-2020-25790
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
** DISPUTED ** Typesetter CMS 5.x through 5.1 allows admins to upload and execute arbitrary PHP code via a .php file inside a ZIP archive. NOTE: the vendor disputes the significance of this report because "admins are considered trustworthy"; however, the behavior "contradicts our secu...
CVE-2020-25791
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
An issue was discovered in the sized-chunks crate through 0.6.2 for Rust. In the Chunk implementation, the array size is not checked when constructed with unit().
CVE-2020-25792
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
An issue was discovered in the sized-chunks crate through 0.6.2 for Rust. In the Chunk implementation, the array size is not checked when constructed with pair().
CVE-2020-25793
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
An issue was discovered in the sized-chunks crate through 0.6.2 for Rust. In the Chunk implementation, the array size is not checked when constructed with From<InlineArray<A, T>>.