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Deploy360 26 September 2014

CloudFlare Re-affirms Goal of DNSSEC Support By End of 2014

Dan York
By Dan YorkDirector, Online Content

CloudFlare logoOver on ThreatPost, Dennis Fisher wrote about “Small Signs Of Progress On DNSSEC” reporting on a presentation by CloudFlare’s Nick Sullivan at the Virus Bulletin conference in Seattle this week.  The article didn’t go deeply into DNSSEC (as our tutorial pages do) but did have this point which is key to me:

Sullivan said CloudFlare, one of the larger DNS providers in the world, plans to deploy DNSSEC on its network by the end of the year.

To no surprise, this reaffirms what CloudFlare’s John Graham-Cumming stated back in June at the ICANN 50 DNSSEC Workshop in London where he presented a set of slides that are available for download.  From what Graham-Cumming said in London, the intent was to make DNSSEC available to customers with as simple a switch as CloudFlare has done today with IPv6.

I highlight this because the content distribution networks (CDNs), of which CloudFlare is an example, are one of the major stumbling blocks for many companies to be able to sign their domains with DNSSEC.  Typically this is because of either:

1. The CDN vendor is also providing the DNS hosting for the domain (so that they can use DNS for load balancing and distribution to CDN edge servers) and would therefore be the one to do the DNSSEC signing of the zone; or

2. The CDN vendor is hosting the website via a CNAME, with the issue then that the company can sign their domain, but when DNSSEC validation hits the CNAME it has to restart, and typically the site referenced in the CNAME will not be signed because it is hosted on the CDN.

As John Graham-Cumming presented in his slides, there definitely ARE challenges related to DNSSEC-signing for CDNs and vendors providing global load balancing.  BUT… we as an industry have to figure out solutions so that we can get domains signed that are hosted by CDN vendors.

We’re thrilled that CloudFlare is again indicating that they will enable DNSSEC by the end of 2014 to provide a higher level of trust and security for their customers. We’re looking forward to seeing the nice spike in signed domains that should come from CloudFlare doing this.  And… we do hope to see the other major CDN vendors offering this soon, too!  Working together we can make the DNS part of Internet communication that much more secure!

P.S. Want to get started with DNSSEC?  Visit our Start Here page to find resources targeted for your role or type of organization.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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