Feeds

VeriSign ‘violates DNS’ – IAB

Deviant

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.