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.

Perimeter

8/28/2008
07:40 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Feds Shift Gears & Mandate DNSSEC for All Agencies

US government takes a harder line on securing DNS infrastructure, but DNSSEC still hotly debated

The DNS flaw scare appears to have spooked the feds into requiring widespread adoption of DNSSEC.

A new federal policy issued this week says all federal agencies must adopt the secure DNS standard, DNSSEC, by December of 2009 for their DNS servers. The new Office of Management and Budget (OMB) mandate is a departure from its previous policy that recommended that only “high and moderate impact” systems adopt the DNS Security Extensions technology, which digitally signs DNS records so that DNS responses can be validated as legitimate.

DNS security has been front-burnered lately, with the exposure of the big DNS flaw and subsequent attacks on servers that haven’t patched it. Not everyone agrees that DNSSEC is the answer, however: “The only thing DNS and DNSSEC have in common are the first three letters in their names,” says David Ulevitch, CEO of OpenDNS and a DNS expert. “I don’t think it’s a good move” for the federal government to adopt DNSSEC, he says.

Ulevitch argues that DNSSEC adoption requires an overhaul of the DNS infrastructure and that there are better and simpler options out there. For DNSSEC’s validation model to work for DNS servers, it has to be adopted from end to end, he says. “If any along the path don’t [implement] it, it’s useless,” Ulevitch says. “It requires a whole signing infrastructure,” which is expensive and manpower-intensive, not to mention politically charged issue of control over the digital keys, he says.

Mark Beckett, vice president of marketing at Secure64, a DNSSEC vendor, says that DNSSEC deployment is less complex now, with products such as Secure64’s that help ease the process. “DNSSEC adds critically needed security to DNS that no other technology can duplicate. Time spent on developing other solutions will just delay closing the vulnerability,” Beckett says.

OpenDNS’s Ulevitch and others have come up with alternative DNS security solutions that are easy to deploy and don’t making radical changes to the DNS infrastructure, Ulevitch says. “Not everyone has to deploy it for it to be effective immediately,” he says of the solution he helped build, called DNS Ping.

Meanwhile, the federal government has set an ambitious deadline of January of next year for converting the top-level “.gov” domain to DNSSEC. “This policy requires that the top level .gov domain will be DNSSEC signed and processes to enable secure delegated sub-domains will be developed. Signing the top level .gov domain is a critical procedure necessary for broad deployment of DNSSEC, increases the utility of DNSSEC, and simplifies lower level deployment by agencies,” wrote Karen Evans, administrator for the OMB’s Office of E-Government and Information Technology in a memorandum to agencies sent out late last week.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

  • OpenDNS
  • Secure64 Software Corp.

    Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
    Dark Reading Staff 10/23/2020
    7 Tips for Choosing Security Metrics That Matter
    Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  10/19/2020
    Russian Military Officers Unmasked, Indicted for High-Profile Cyberattack Campaigns
    Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  10/19/2020
    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-2020-24847
    PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
    A Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability is identified in FruityWifi through 2.4. Due to a lack of CSRF protection in page_config_adv.php, an unauthenticated attacker can lure the victim to visit his website by social engineering or another attack vector. Due to this issue, an unauthenticat...
    CVE-2020-24848
    PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
    FruityWifi through 2.4 has an unsafe Sudo configuration [(ALL : ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL]. This allows an attacker to perform a system-level (root) local privilege escalation, allowing an attacker to gain complete persistent access to the local system.
    CVE-2020-5990
    PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
    NVIDIA GeForce Experience, all versions prior to 3.20.5.70, contains a vulnerability in the ShadowPlay component which may lead to local privilege escalation, code execution, denial of service or information disclosure.
    CVE-2020-25483
    PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
    An arbitrary command execution vulnerability exists in the fopen() function of file writes of UCMS v1.4.8, where an attacker can gain access to the server.
    CVE-2020-5977
    PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
    NVIDIA GeForce Experience, all versions prior to 3.20.5.70, contains a vulnerability in NVIDIA Web Helper NodeJS Web Server in which an uncontrolled search path is used to load a node module, which may lead to code execution, denial of service, escalation of privileges, and information disclosure.