Feeds

VeriSign ‘violates DNS’ – IAB

Deviant

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

The Internet Architecture Board, which oversees the internet's standard-setting bodies, this weekend criticized as "a violation of the DNS protocol" a service VeriSign Inc recently introduced to help web users use non-English letters in domain names,

writes Kevin Murphy

.

In a letter to the Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers, the IAB said: "The IAB feels that the system VeriSign had deployed for .com and .net contains significant DNS protocol errors, risks the further development of secure DNS, and confuses the resolution mechanisms of the DNS with application-based search systems."

Since last year, VeriSign has been distributing an Internet Explorer plug-in that allows users of languages that contain non-ASCII characters to access web sites in their own character sets. The plug-in, i-Nav, locally encodes international characters into ASCII, so URLs are compatible with the DNS before being submitted for resolution.

To spur uptake of i-Nav, the company configured the DNS servers for .com and .net to reply to some erroneous domain lookups with the IP address of a VeriSign web site, as opposed to an error message. It was believed to be the first time a domain registry operator deviated from the standards to talk directly to the end user.

"We've been in discussions with the IAB and think of this as a constructive part of the process," VeriSign spokesperson Brian O'Shaughnessy said. He added that VeriSign is in the process of preparing comments to submit to ICANN, and to comment on the specifics of the IAB's statement would be inappropriate.

The changes VeriSign made basically introduce an element of guesswork into domain resolution. The system guesses that the user is looking for an internationalized domain name (IDN) and presents them with a way to access it. But the system is not 100% accurate.

"At the core of all of the IAB's concerns is the architectural principle that the DNS is a lookup service which must behave in an interoperable, predictable way at all levels of the DNS hierarchy," the IAB wrote. "The DNS is not a search service."

As VeriSign's reconfiguration of the top-level domain servers is unprecedented, so it is not currently clear what, if any, powers ICANN has relating to this kind of service, should it determine that it jeopardizes the technical stability of the internet.

The IAB, which supervises the work of the Internet Engineering Task Force on its development of internet standards, is chaired by Leslie Daigle, who is employed as director of directory research at VeriSign. Daigle is said to have acted as a "mediator" on the IDN issue, without passing judgment either way.

© ComputerWire

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.