dnsop D. Migault
Internet-Draft Ericsson
Intended status: Informational E. Lewis
Expires: November 22, 2020 ICANN
D. York
May 21, 2020

Recommendations for DNSSEC Resolvers Operators


The DNS Security Extensions define a process for validating received data and assert them authentic and complete as opposed to forged.

This document is focused clarifying the scope and responsibilities of DNSSEC Resolver Operators (DRO) as well as operational recommendations that DNSSEC validators operators SHOULD put in place in order to implement sufficient Trust that makes DNSSEC validation output accurate. The recommendations described in this document include, provisioning mechanisms as well as monitoring and management mechanisms.

Status of This Memo

This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Note that other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts. The list of current Internet-Drafts is at https://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

This Internet-Draft will expire on November 22, 2020.

Copyright Notice

Copyright (c) 2020 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the document authors. All rights reserved.

This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal Provisions Relating to IETF Documents (https://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of publication of this document. Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect to this document. Code Components extracted from this document must include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

1. Requirements Notation

The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “NOT RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all capitals, as shown here.

2. Introduction

The purpose of DNSSEC Resolver Operator (DRO) is to enable DNSSEC validation in their resolvers. The act of DNSSEC validation [RFC4033][RFC4035] can be broken into two part:

1) Signature Validation: which consists in checking the cryptographic signature of a Resource Record Set (RRset). The signature validation involves among other parameters a DNSKEY Resource Record (RR) and RRSIG RR and the RRset itself. The signature validation process results in assertion that the owner of the private part of the public key contained in the DNSKEY RR has effectively published the RRset. The binding between the private key and the RRset is provided by the trust that the private key used to generate the signature is known only to the authorized party. (It’s more likely that the key is “exposed” or “guessed” than the algorithm “becomes broken.”)

2) Trust: Signature Validation results in asserting a RRset is accurately validated if there is sufficient trust that the owner of the private key associated to the DNSKEY RR is the owner of the RRset - i.e. that is to say is the legitimate owner. Such trust is provided by a Trust Anchor (TA), and the chain of trust established between the TA and the DNSKEY RR. The chain of trust is obtained by recursively validating the DNSKEY RRs. As a result, such trust results from the trust placed in the TA as well as the delegation mechanism provided by DNSSEC and the Signature Validation. As TAs need to be managed over time, the trust also concerns the management procedure of the TA. This is the main concern of this document.

Data’s authenticity and integrity is tied to the operator of the key that generates the signature. It is conceivable that a validator could “know” the keys of each data source, but this is not practical at large scale. To counter this, DNSSEC relied on securely chaining keys in a manner isomorphic to the way names are delegated. Keys for a name will “vouch for” keys at a name delegated via the signing of a DS resource record set.

Using keys to vouch for keys, recursively, works when a manageable set of key to name associations are determined to be “trusted” - and are called trust anchors. In DNSSEC, a validator needs one or more Trust Anchors from which to grow chains of verified keys.

With operational experience, a twist has emerged. More often, to date, failed validation is due to operator error and not an attempt to forge data. In general badly signed RRsets or zone badly delegated are out of scope of the DRO’s responsibility. However, the DRO may reflect this operational error with a temporary solution designated as Negative Trust Anchors (NTA) [RFC7646]. A NTA instructs a validator to ignore the presence of keys for a name, reacting as if the name is unsigned.

Once accurately validated the RRset is assumed to be accurately validated and trusted during the time indicated by its TTL.

The responsibilities of a DRO are limited to the management of TAs as well as providing the necessary infrastructure to perform the signature validation, e.g. appropriated libraries and time. More specifically, badly signed zones or insertion of malicious DNSKEY fall out of the DRO’s responsibilities. Even though these threats fall out of these responsibilities, a DRO may collaborate with authoritative servers to limit the damage of their operational errors.

This document is focused on operational recommendations that DRO SHOULD put in place in order to implement sufficient trust that makes DNSSEC validation output accurate. The recommendations described in this document include, provisioning mechanisms as well as monitoring and management mechanisms.

The mechanisms provided are designed in accordance of the DNSSEC trust model as to meet the current operations of DNSSEC. Such trust model is briefly recapped in Section 4 so operators understand the limits and motivations for such mechanisms.

3. Terminology

This document uses the following terminology:

DNSSEC validator
the entity that performs DNSSEC resolution and performs signature validation.
Accurate validation
validation that avoids false positives and catches true negatives.
Trust Anchor Data Store
a module (of code) implementing functions related to the trust anchors used by the validator. This is essentially a database allowing access, monitoring of, and changes to trust anchors.
DNSSEC Resolver Operator (DRO)
The operator providing DNSSEC validation service and managing DNSSEC validators

4. DNSSEC Validator Description

This is a conceptual block diagram of the elements involved with DNSSEC validation. This is not meant to be an architecture for code, this is meant to be a framework for discussion and explanation.

+-------------+  +---------------+
|             |  |               |
| Time Source |  | Cryptographic |
|             |  |   Libraries   |
|             |  |               |
+-------------+  +---------------+
       |                 |
       v                 v
+--------------------------------+   +--------------+
|                                |   |              |
|                                |<--| Trust Anchor |
|    DNSSEC Validation Engine    |   |   Manager &  |
|                                |-->|   Storage    |
|                                |   |              |
+--------------------------------+   +--------------+
      ^ |               ^                   |
      | v               |                   |
+-------------+  +---------------+          |
|             |  |               |          |
| DNS Caches  |  | DNS Messages  |<---------+
|             |  |               |
+-------------+  +---------------+
     Figure 1: DNSSEC Validator Description

Time Source
The wall clock time provides the DNSSEC Validation Engine the current time. Time is among other used to validate the RRSIG Signature and Inception Fields to provide some protection against replay attacks.
Cryptograhic Libraries
The code performing mathematical functions provides the DNSSEC Validation Engine the ability to check the Signature Field that contains the cryptographic signature covering the RRSIG RDATA.
DNS Message
DNS responses are used to carry the information from the DNS system. The receiver of the DNS message can be any kind of application including DNS-related application such as in the case of automated Trust Anchor update performed by the Trust Anchor Manager & Storage. The DNSSEC Validator Engine accurately validates the DNS responses before caching them in the DNS Cache and forwarding them to the DNS receiver. In case of validation failure, an error is returned and the information may be negatively cached.
DNS Caches
Include positive and negative caches. The DNSSEC Validation Engine fills DNS Caches with the results of a validation (positive data, negative failures). The DNSSEC trust model considers that once a RRset has been accurately validated by the DNSSEC Validator Engine, the RRset is considered trusted (or untrusted) for its associated TTL. DNS Caches contain RRsets that may contain information requested by the application (RRset of type AAAA for example) as well as RRset necessary to accurately validate the RRsets (RRsets of type DNSKET or RRSIG for example). It also worth noticing that RRset validated with DNSSEC or RRset that are not validated with DNSSEC fill the DNS Cache with the same level of trust.
Trust Anchor Manager
The database of trust anchors associated to database management processes. This function provides the DNSSEC Validation Engine Trust Anchor information when needed. When TA needs to be updated, the Trust Anchor Manager is also responsible to handle the updating procedure. This includes sending DNS Messages as well as treating appropriately the DNS responses that have been accurately validated by the DNSSEC Validator Engine. This will require the DNSSEC Validator to update Trust Anchor information, whether via methods like Automated Updates of DNSSEC Trust Anchors [RFC5011], management of Negative Trust Anchors, or other, possibly not yet defined, means.
DNSSEC Validation Engine
follows local policy to approve data. The approved data is returned to the requesting application as well as in the DNS Caches. While the cryptographic computation of the RRSIG signature may be the most visible step, the RRSIG record also contains other information intended to help the validator perform its work, in some cases “sane value” checks are performed. For instance, the original TTL (needed to prepare the RR set for validation) ought to be equal to or higher than the received TTL.

Not shown - Name Server Process Management interfaces to elements, handling of Checking Disabled request, responses, as well as all API requests made of the name server.

5. Recommendations Categories

DRO needs to be able to enable DNSSEC validation with sufficient confidence they will not be held responsible in case their resolver does not validate the DNSSEC response. The minimization of these risks is provided by setting automated procedures, when a resolver is started or while it is operating, as well as some on-demand operations that enable the DRO to perform a specific operation. The recommendations do not come with the same level of requirements and some are likely to be required. other are optional and may be followed by more advanced DROs.

The RECOMMENDATIONS in this document are subdivided into the following categories:

Start-up recommendations
which describes RECOMMENDED operations the DRO is expected to perform when the resolver is started. These operations typically includes health check of the infrastructure the resolver is instantiated on as well as configuration check.
Run time recommendations
which describes RECOMMENDED operations the DRO is expected to perform on its running resolvers. These operations typically include health checks of the infrastructure as well as the resolvers.
On demand recommendations
which describes the RECOMMENDED operations a DRO may perform. This includes the ability to operate health check at a given time as well as specific operations such as flushing the cache. The reason the document mentions these recommendations is to enable DROs to have the appropriates tools as well as to restrict their potential interventions.

6. Time deviation and absence of Real Time Clock Recommendations

With M2M communication some devices are not expected to embed Real Time Clock (Raspberry Pi is one example of such devices). When these devices are re-plugged the initial time is set to January 1 1970. Other devices that have clocks that may suffer from time deviation. These devices cannot rely on their time estimation to perform DNSSEC validation.

Time synchronization may be performed manually, but for the sake of operations it is strongly RECOMMENDED to automate the time synchronization on each resolver. In addition, it is RECOMMENDED the operator regularly proceed to sanity checks of its resolver and


Note that updating time in order to be able to perform DNSSEC validation may become a form of a chicken-and-egg problem when the NTP server is designated by its FQDN. The update mechanisms must consider the DNSSEC validator may not able to validate the DNSSEC queries. In other words, the mechanisms may have to update the time over an unsecure DNSSEC resolution.



Note that time synchronization is a sensible operation and DRO MUST update the time of the systems over an authenticated and secure channel.

For all recommendations, it is strongly RECOMMENDED that recommendations are supported by automated processes.

7. Trust Anchor Related Recommendations

A TA store maintains associations between domain names and keys (whether stored as in a DNSKEY resource record or a DS resource record) and domain names whose key are to be ignored (negative trust anchors). The TA store is essentially a simple database, storing the positive trust anchors. Management of the TA can be done manually or in an automated way.
Automatic management of the TA is RECOMMENDED and can be subdivided into the following sub-categories:

  1. Initial TA provisioning
    that is the ability, for a DRO, to ensure a starting resolver is automatically provisioned with an up-to-date configuration. This includes the TA associated to the trust model established by the DRO.
  2. TA update over time
    while the trust model may not evolve, the cryptographic keys associated to the security entry points are subject to change and thus TA needs to be updated over time. A DRO needs to check TA updates properly.
  3. TA reporting
    The reporting of the TA used by the resolver is made to the DRO as well as the authoritative servers which are hold responsible for making their zone validated by DNSSEC resolvers.

This section is only considering TA and not NTA. The handling of NTA is detailed in Section 8.

7.1. Trust Anchor Configuration

When a DRO starts a DNSSEC resolver, the DNSSEC resolver is generally provisioned with a configuration file which contains the TAs. The provisioned TA reflects a trust model, that is the definition of the security entry points by the DRO, as well as the values associated to these security entry points. The latest may change over time even when the trust model of the DRO does not. As a result, the envisioned way to configure the TA of a DNSSEC resolver is envisioned as follows:

  1. Trust model definition :The DRO defines the domain names that constitutes security entry point (TA). (See Section 7.1.1 for more details.)
  2. Trust model bootstrapping
    A bootstrapping procedure is applied to each TA to retrieve in a trusted way the necessary values associated to each TA.
    (See Section 7.1.2 for more details.)
  3. DNSSEC resolver configuration generation
    The TA with associated values are formatted appropriately for the DNSSEC resolver that will be instantiated. (See Section 7.1.3 for more details.)
  4. DNSSEC resolver instantiation
    The DNSSEC resolver is started, performs some checks before becoming operational. (See Section 7.1.4 for more details.)

The purpose of these steps is to prevent that a resolver is started with a deprecated or invalid configuration. The DRO MUST ensure this cannot happen as well as this will be detected if this were happening.

Note that a simple implementation of these recommendations includes a DRO that uses the default trust model with the root zone as the single TA. The TA is provisioned by software update in the configuration file and checked at start-up. In such case the trust of the bootstrapping relies on the code signing key of the software provider.

More complex trust model would require more complex operation though.

7.1.1. Definition of the Trust model

The DRO defines its trust model by explicitly mentioning the domain name that constitutes security entry point as well as domain name that are known to be unsecured.

This document does not provide recommendations regarding the number of TA a DRO needs to configure its DNSSEC resolver with.
There are many reasons a DRO may be willing to consider multiple TAs as opposed to a single Root Zone Trust Anchor.
In fact it is not always possible to build a trusted delegation between the Root Zone and any sub zone.
This may happen for example if one of the upper zones does not handle the secure delegation or improperly implement it. A DS RRset may not be properly filled or its associated signature cannot be validated.
As the chain of trust between a zone and the root zone may not be validated, the DNSSEC validation for the zone requires a TA.
Such DNS(SEC) resolutions may be critical for infrastructure management.
A company “Example” may, for example, address all its devices under the domain example.com and may not want disruption to happen if the .com delegation cannot be validated for any reason.
Such companies may operate DNSSEC with a TA for the zone example.com in addition to the regular DNSSEC delegation.
Similarly some some domains may present different views such as a “private” view and a “public view”.
These zones may have some different content, and may use a different KSK for each view.

The domain name chosen as security entry point may overlap themselves such as example.com and .com for example. The TA associated to a domain name is determined by the longest match. However, the trust model must at least ensure that any domain name in the DNS be related to a TA. As the number of top level domains is evolving overtime, it remains safe to keep the root zone as a security entry point in order to cover the full domain name space.

The default trust model consists in the root zone as a security entry point, and no zones being considered as unsecured.

7.1.2. Trust Model Bootstrapping

The definition of the Retrieval by a third party software of the TA associated to the security entry points defined in a). The purpose is clearly to retrieve DNSKEY as well as DS RRsets with a valid RDATA. This third party software clearly aim at instantiating the trust model. The retrieval of the corresponding value may be performed via various ways that are usually expected a pre-established trusted relationship between the DRO and the publisher of the RRsets.

Although some bootstrapping mechanisms to securely retrieve publish [RFC7958] and retrieve [UNBOUND-ANCHOR] the Root Zone Trust Anchor have been defined, it is believed these mechanisms should be extended to other KSKs or Trust Anchors. Such bootstrapping process enables a DRO to start a DNSSEC resolver from a configuration file, that reflects the trust model of the DRO.

START-UP REC: IANA Trust Anchor Bootstrapping

For validators that may be used on the global public Internet (with “may be” referring to general purpose, general release code), handling the IANA managed root zone KSK trust anchor is a consideration.

The IANA managed root zone KSK is an operationally significant trust point in the global public Internet. Attention to the trust anchor for this point is paramount. Trust anchor management ought to recognize that the majority of operators deploying DNSSEC validators will need to explicitly or implicitly rely on this trust anchor. Trust anchor management needs to recognize that there may be other trust anchors of interest to operators. Besides deployments in networks other than the global public Internet (hence a different root), operators may want to configure other trust points.

The IANA managed root zone KSK is managed and published as described in “DNSSEC Trust Anchor Publication for the Root Zone” [RFC7598]. That document is written as specific to that trust point.
Other trust points may adopt the technique describe (or may use other approaches).

This represents a consideration for implementations.
On one hand, operators will place special emphasis on how the root zone DNSSEC KSK is managed.
On the other hand, implementations ought to accommodate trust anchors in a general manner, despite the odds that other trust anchors will not be configured in a specific deployment.

Because of this, it is recommended that implementations make the root zone trust anchor obvious to the operator while still enabling configuration of general trust points.

7.1.3. Configuration Generation

The generation of a configuration file associated to the TA is expected to be implementation independent. The necessity of tweaking the data depending of the software implementer or eventually the software version introduces a vector for configuration errors.

7.1.4. DNSSEC Resolver Instantiation


7.2. Trust Anchor Update

Updating the TA reflects the evolution of the trust. It is important to understand that this section does not consider the trust model to be updated by the DRO. This has been defined in section Section 7.1. Instead, it considered the evolution over time of the instantiation of the trust model, that is the update of the values associated to the TA.
Such updates need to be operated in a reliable and trusted way.

The value associated to the TA may be updated over time which is part of the maintenance of the configuration and needs to be performed by the DNSSEC resolver without any intervention of the DRO. This is the purpose of this section.

TA update is expected to be transparent to the DRO (see Section 7.2.1. However, a DRO MAY wish to ensure its resolvers operate according to the provisioned configurations and are updated normally (see Section 7.2.2. This includes for a DRO the ability to check which TA are in used as well as to resolve in collaboration of authoritative servers and report the used TAs.

7.2.1. Automated Updates to DNSSEC Trust Anchors

Trust is inherently a matter of an operations policy. As such, a DRO will need to be able to update the list of Trust Anchors. TA updates are not expected to be handled manually.
This introduces a potentially huge vector for configuration errors, due to human intervention as well as potential misunderstanding of ongoing operations.


7.2.2. Automated Trust Anchor Check

A DRO SHOULD regularly check the trust anchor used by the DNSSEC resolver is up-to-date and that values used by the resolvers are conform to the ones in the configuration (see Section 7.1). Such check is designated as TA health check.

Note that retrieving in an automated way the value of the TA removes old values from the configuration and ensures that resolvers are always started with up-to-date values. In the case of a key roll over, the resolver is moving from an old value to an up-to date value. This up-to-date value does not need to survive reboot, and there is no need to update the configuration file - configuration is updated by a separate process. To put it in other words, the updated value of the TA is only expected to be stored in the resolver’s memory. Avoiding the configuration file to be updated prevents old configuration file to survive to writing error on read-only file systems.

The TA used by a resolver may be part of a configuration parameter as well as part of an internal state of the resolver. It is NOT RECOMMENDED a DRO accesses configuration or internal state of a resolver as it may open the resolver to other vulnerabilities and provides privileged access to a potential attacker.


Note also that [RFC8145] does not only concern Trust Anchor but is instead generic to DNSKEY RRsets. As a result, unless for the root zone, it is not possible to determine if the KSK/ZSK or DS is a Trust Anchor or a KSK/ZSK obtained from regular DNSSEC resolutions.

TA health check includes validating DNSKEY RRsets and associated DS RRsets in the resolver, on the DNS authoritative servers as well as those obtained out-of-band.
TA health check results MUST be logged. The check SHOULD evaluate if the mismatch resulted from an ongoing normal roll over, a potential emergency key roll over, failed roll over or any other envisioned cases.
Conflicts are not inherently a problem as some keys may be withheld from distribution via the DNS.
A failed key roll over or any other abnormal situation MUST trigger an alarm.


If the mismatch is due to a failed key roll-over, this SHOULD be considered as a bug by the DRO. The DRO MUST restart the resolver with updated TA.


8. Negative Trust Anchors Related Recommendations

When the DNSSEC Resolver is not able to validate signatures because a key or DS has been published with an error, the DNSSEC Operator MAY temporarily disable the signature check for that key until the time the error is addressed. This is performed using NTA[RFC7646]. NTA represents the only permitted intervention in the resolving process for a DRO.

NTA are considered as temporary fix for a known unsecured domain, which is different from an TA that would not be trusted. The designation of NTA might be misleading, but NTA are not expected to be part of the trust model. This does not prevent a DRO to provision NTA as a configuration parameters NTA. The management of the configuration SHOULD be automated as described in Section 7.1.

Handling NTA is described in “Definition and Use of DNSSEC Negative Trust Anchors” [RFC7646] and a DRO SHOULD follow these guidelines. The intent of this section is to position these guidelines toward the operational recommendations provided in this document.



Note that adding a Negative Trust Anchor only requires the domain name to be specified. Note also that NTA can disable any sort of DNSKEY and is not restricted to TA.

A failure in signaling validation is associated to a mismatch between the key and the signature. DNSKEY/DS RRsets for TA have a higher level of trust then regular KSK/ZSK. In addition, DRO are likely to have specific communication channel with TA maintainer which eases trouble shooting.

A signature validation failure is either an attack or a failure in the signing operation on the authoritative servers. The DRO is expected to confirm this off line before introducing the Negative Trust Anchor. This is likely to happen via a human confirmation. As a result here are the following recommendations:


9. ZSK / KSK (non TA) Related Recommendations

KSK / ZSK are not part of the DNSSEC validator configuration. Their values in the DNS Caches may not reflect those published by the authoritative servers or may be incoherent with the RRset in the DNS Cache they are validating. However, such incoherence primary results from error in the management of the authoritative servers. As a result, it is not expected that the DNSSEC validator provides complex management facilities to address these issues as this will modify the DNS architecture and add complexity that is not proved to be beneficial.

As a result, recommendations always belong to the run time of on demand category of recommendations. The main difference between TA and KSK/ZSK is that the DRO does not necessarily have an out of band mechanism to retrieve the RRsets. As a result, the DRO has less information to determine and confirm what is happening. The default recommendation is to let things go.

A number of reasons may result in inconsistencies between the RRsets stored in the cache and those published by the authoritative server.

An emergency KSK / ZSK rollover may result in a new KSK / ZSK with associated new RRSIG published in the authoritative zone, while DNSSEC validator may still cache the old value of the ZSK / KSK.
For a RRset not cached, the DNSSEC validator performs a DNSSEC query to the authoritative server that returns the RRset signed with the new KSK / ZSK. The DNSSEC validator may not be able to retrieve the new KSK / ZSK while being unable to validate the signature with the old KSK / ZSK. This either result in a bogus resolution or in an invalid signature check.
Note that by comparing the Key Tag Fields, the DNSSEC validator is able to notice the new KSK / ZSK used for signing differs from the one used to generate the received generated signature.
However, the DNSSEC validator is not expected to retrieve the new ZSK / KSK, as such behavior could be used by an attacker. Instead, ZSK / KSK key roll over procedures are expected to avoid such inconsistencies.

Similarly, a KSK / ZSK roll over may be performed normally, that is as described in [RFC6781] and [RFC7583]. While the KSK / ZSK roll over is performed, there is no obligation to flush the RRsets in the cache that have been associated with the old key. In fact, these RRset may still be considered as trusted and be removed from the cache as their TTL timeout.
With very long TTL, these RRsets may remain in the cache while the ZSK / KSK with a shorter TTL is no longer published nor in the cache. In such situations, the purpose of the KSK / ZSK used to validate the data is considered trusted at the time it enters the cache, and such trust may remain after the KSK / ZSK is being rolled over. Note also that even though the data may not be associated to the KSK / ZSK that has been used to validate the data, the link between the KSK / ZSK and the data is still stored in the cache using the RRSIG. Note also that inconsistencies between the ZSK / KSK stored in the cache and those published on the authoritative server, may lead to inconsistencies to downstream DNSSEC validators that rely on multiple cache over time.

Typically, a request for the KSK / ZSK may have been provided by a cache that is storing the new published value, while the data and associated signatures may be associated to the old KSK / ZSK.

Incoherence between RRsets and DNSKEYs is not the responsibility of the DRO, but instead it is the responsibility of authoritative server publishing these data. A DRO may however limit the risks for these inconsistencies to happen by configuring the DNSSEC validator with generic rules that applies to the validation process. Typically, the TTL associate to the DNSKEY is an engagement from the authoritative server that the DNSKEY will remain valid over this period. As this engagement supersedes the validation of any RRSIG and by extension to any RRset in the zone, this TTL value may be used as the maximum value for the TTL associated to FQDNs in the zone. This would at least reduce inconsistencies during regular KSK roll over. In addition, the DNSSEC validator should also be able to provide a maximum values for TTLs.


10. DNSKEY Related Recommendations

This section considers the recommendations that are common to TA as well as non TA DNSKEY RRsets.

10.1. Automated Reporting

A DRO MAY regularly report the Trust Anchor used to the authoritative server. This would at least provide insight to the authoritative server and provide it some context before moving a key roll over further.

The purpose of reporting the currently used Trust Anchor for a domain name is to establish an informational channel between the resolver and the authoritative server. This data may not directly be useful for the DNSSEC Resolver, but instead to the authoritative server. In return it is likely the authoritative server will take the appropriate steps in operating the authoritative server and consider this information. As a result,


10.2. Interactions with the cached RRsets

The purpose of automated checks is to enable early detection of failed operations, which provides enough time to the DRO to react without any consequences. On the other hand, these checks MAY reveal as well that a rogue TA has been placed and that the resolver is corrupted. Similarly, a DRO may be informed by other channel a rogue or unwilling DNSKEY has been emitted.

In such situation, the DRO SHOULD be able to remove the RRsets validated by the rogue DNSKEY.


11. Cryptography Deprecation Recommendations

As mentioned in [RFC8247] and [RFC8221] cryptography used one day is expected over the time to be replaced by new and more robust cryptographic mechanisms. In the case of DNSSEC signature protocols are likely to be updated over time. In order to anticipate the sunset of one of the signature scheme, a DNSSEC validator may willing to estimate the impact of deprecating one signature scheme.

Currently [RFC6975] provides the ability for a DNSSEC validator to announce an authoritative server the supported signature schemes. However, a DNSSEC validator is not able to determine other than by trying whether a signature scheme is supported by the authoritative server.

To safely deprecate one signature scheme, the DNSSEC validator operator is expected to follow the recommendation below:


12. Invalid Reporting Recommendations

A DNSSEC validator receiving a DNS response cannot make the difference between receiving an non-secure response versus an attack. Dropping DNSSEC fields by a misconfigured middle boxes, such as DS, RRRSIG is considered as an attack. A DNSSEC validator is expected to perform secure DNS resolution and as such protect its stub client. An invalid response may be the result of an attack or a misconfiguration, and the DNSSEC validator may play an important role in sharing this information.



13. IANA Considerations

There are no IANA consideration for this document.

14. Security Considerations

The recommendations listed in this document have two goals. First ensuring the DNSSEC validator has appropriated information to appropriately perform DNSSEC validation. Second, monitoring the necessary elements that would enable a DNSSEC validator operator to ease a potential analysis.
The recommendations provide very limited ability for a DNSSEC validator operator to alter or directly interfere on the validation process and the main purpose in providing the recommendations was to let the protocol run as much as possible. Providing inappropriate information can lead to misconfiguring the DNSSEC validator, and thus disrupting the DNSSEC resolution service. As a result, enabling the setting of configuration parameters by a third party may open a wide surface of attacks. In addition, such changes may lead to unexpected corner cases that would result in making analysis and trouble shooting very hard.

As an appropriate time value is necessary to perform signature check, an attacker may provide rogue time value to prevent the DNSSEC validator to check signatures.

An attacker may also affect the resolution service by regularly asking the DNSSEC validator to flush the KSK/ZSK from its cache. All associated data will also be flushed. This generates additional DNSSEC resolution and additional validations, as RRSet that were cached require a DNSSEC resolution over the Internet. This affects the resolution service by slowing down responses, and increases the load on the DNSSEC validator.

An attacker may ask the DNSSEC validator to consider a rogue KSK/ZSK, thus hijacking the DNS zone. Similarly, an attacker may inform the DNSSEC validator not to trust a given KSK in order to prevent DNSSEC validation to be performed.

An attacker (cf. Section 7) can advertise a “known insecure” KSK or ZSK is “back to secure” to prevent signature check to be performed correctly.

As a result, information considered by the DNSSEC validator should be from a trusted party. This trust party should have been authenticated, and the channel used to exchange the information should also be protected and authenticated.

15. Acknowledgment

The need to address DNSSEC issues on the resolver side started in the Home Networks mailing list and during the IETF87 in Berlin. Among others, people involved in the discussion were Ted Lemon, Ralph Weber, Normen Kowalewski, and Mikael Abrahamsson. People involved in the email discussion initiated by Jim Gettys were, with among others, Paul Wouters, Joe Abley and Michael Richardson.

The current document has been initiated after a discussion with Paul Wouter and Evan Hunt.

16. References

16.1. Normative References

[I-D.huque-dnsop-ns-revalidation] Huque, S., Vixie, P. and R. Dolmans, "Delegation Revalidation by DNS Resolvers", Internet-Draft draft-huque-dnsop-ns-revalidation-01, March 2020.
[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997.
[RFC4033] Arends, R., Austein, R., Larson, M., Massey, D. and S. Rose, "DNS Security Introduction and Requirements", RFC 4033, DOI 10.17487/RFC4033, March 2005.
[RFC4035] Arends, R., Austein, R., Larson, M., Massey, D. and S. Rose, "Protocol Modifications for the DNS Security Extensions", RFC 4035, DOI 10.17487/RFC4035, March 2005.
[RFC5011] StJohns, M., "Automated Updates of DNS Security (DNSSEC) Trust Anchors", STD 74, RFC 5011, DOI 10.17487/RFC5011, September 2007.
[RFC6781] Kolkman, O., Mekking, W. and R. Gieben, "DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2", RFC 6781, DOI 10.17487/RFC6781, December 2012.
[RFC6975] Crocker, S. and S. Rose, "Signaling Cryptographic Algorithm Understanding in DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC)", RFC 6975, DOI 10.17487/RFC6975, July 2013.
[RFC7583] Morris, S., Ihren, J., Dickinson, J. and W. Mekking, "DNSSEC Key Rollover Timing Considerations", RFC 7583, DOI 10.17487/RFC7583, October 2015.
[RFC7646] Ebersman, P., Kumari, W., Griffiths, C., Livingood, J. and R. Weber, "Definition and Use of DNSSEC Negative Trust Anchors", RFC 7646, DOI 10.17487/RFC7646, September 2015.
[RFC8145] Wessels, D., Kumari, W. and P. Hoffman, "Signaling Trust Anchor Knowledge in DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC)", RFC 8145, DOI 10.17487/RFC8145, April 2017.
[RFC8174] Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174, May 2017.
[RFC8221] Wouters, P., Migault, D., Mattsson, J., Nir, Y. and T. Kivinen, "Cryptographic Algorithm Implementation Requirements and Usage Guidance for Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) and Authentication Header (AH)", RFC 8221, DOI 10.17487/RFC8221, October 2017.
[RFC8247] Nir, Y., Kivinen, T., Wouters, P. and D. Migault, "Algorithm Implementation Requirements and Usage Guidance for the Internet Key Exchange Protocol Version 2 (IKEv2)", RFC 8247, DOI 10.17487/RFC8247, September 2017.

16.2. Informative References

[I-D.ietf-dnsop-rfc5011-security-considerations] Hardaker, W. and W. Kumari, "Security Considerations for RFC5011 Publishers", Internet-Draft draft-ietf-dnsop-rfc5011-security-considerations-13, July 2018.
[RFC7598] Mrugalski, T., Troan, O., Farrer, I., Perreault, S., Dec, W., Bao, C., Yeh, L. and X. Deng, "DHCPv6 Options for Configuration of Softwire Address and Port-Mapped Clients", RFC 7598, DOI 10.17487/RFC7598, July 2015.
[RFC7958] Abley, J., Schlyter, J., Bailey, G. and P. Hoffman, "DNSSEC Trust Anchor Publication for the Root Zone", RFC 7958, DOI 10.17487/RFC7958, August 2016.
[UNBOUND-ANCHOR] "unbound-anchor - Unbound anchor utility", n.d..

Authors' Addresses

Daniel Migault Ericsson 8275 Trans Canada Route Saint Laurent, QC, 4S 0B6 Canada EMail: daniel.migault@ericsson.com
Edward Lewis ICANN EMail: edward.lewis@icann.org
Dan York ISOC EMail: york@isoc.org