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July/August 2008

Time to Implement DNSSEC

What You Need: DNSSEC DNS turns 25 this year. It's high time DNSSEC is added to the protocol. Like most of the early Internet protocols, DNS wasn't meant to carry the burden it does today. It wasn't built with an Internet-as-ecommerce platform in mind. It wasn't built to contend with cache poisoning, denial-of-service attacks, phishers, pharmers, spammers or any type of scammer. DNS turns 25 this year, and it's showing its age. Coauthor Paul Mockapetris says DNS was built as a "modest" replacement for host tables that were used to keep track of network machines. The end result was the DNS we've come to know and love: a protocol that translates domain names into IP addresses. That's what was needed back on Jan. 1, 1983 when computers on the ARPANET were required to switch to the TCP/IP protocol. What's needed today is DNSSEC, more formally known as DNS Security Extensions. These help defend against some of the aforementioned attacks against DNS servers, either enterprise servers or the root DNS servers that run the Internet and ...

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