Technical Impacts of DNS Privacy and Security on Network Service Scenarios

Technical Impacts of DNS Privacy and Security on Network Service Scenarios

April 2020

The domain name system (DNS) is a key network function used to resolve domain names (e.g., into routable addresses and other data. Most DNS signalling today is sent using protocols that do not support security provisions (e.g., cryptographic confidentiality protection and integrity protection). This may create privacy and security risks for users due to on-path nodes being able to read or modify DNS signalling.

In response to these concerns, particularly for DNS privacy, new protocols have been specified that implement cryptographic DNS security. Support for these protocols is being rapidly introduced in client software (particularly web browsers) and in some DNS servers.

The implementation of DNS security protocols can have a range of positive benefits, but it can also conflict with important network services that are currently widely implemented based on DNS. These services include techniques to mitigate malware and to fulfill legal obligations placed on network operators. This report describes the technical impacts of DNS security protocols in a range of network scenarios. This analysis is used to derive recommendations for deploying DNS security protocols and for further industry collaboration. The aim of these recommendations is to maximize the benefits of DNS security support while reducing problem areas.

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