It has been observed that the most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it, and are notable only by their absence.
Geoff Huston is the Chief Scientist at APNIC, where he undertakes research on topics associated with Internet infrastructure, IP technologies, and address distribution policies. From 1995 to 2005, Geoff was the Chief Internet Scientist at Telstra, where he provided a leading role in the construction and further development of Telstra's Internet service offerings, both in Australia and as part of Telstra's global operations. Prior to Telstra, Mr Huston worked for the Australian National University, where he led the initial construction of the Internet in Australia in the late 1980s as the Technical Manager of the Australian Academic and Research Network. He has authored a number of books dealing with IP technology, as well as numerous papers and columns. He was a member of the Internet Architecture Board from 1999 until 2005 and served as its Executive Director from 2001 to 2005. He is an active member of the Internet Engineering Task Force, where he currently chairs two Working Groups. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society from 1992 until 2001 and served a term as Chair of the Board in 1999. He has served on the Board of the Public Internet Registry and also on the Executive Council of APNIC. He chaired the Internet Engineering and Planning Group from 1992 until 2005.
Pages created by Geoff Huston
The Internet’s Domain Name System is a modern day miracle. It may not represent the largest database that has ever been built, but nevertheless it’s truly massive. And even if it’s not the largest database that’s ever been built, it’s perhaps one of the more intensively used. The DNS is consulted every time we head to a web page, every time we send an email message, or in fact every time we initiate almost any transaction on the Internet. It's the essential bridge between a world of human names and the underlying world of binary protocol addresses. And it’s fast. Fast enough that it’s still largely invisible as part of the user experience, despite continued growth in size. Given the fragmentation of the IPv4 address space with the widespread use of various forms of address sharing, then it increasingly looks as if the DNS is the only remaining common glue that binds the Internet together as a single network.
Much has been said over the pasts year or so about various forms of cyber spying. The United States has accused the Chinese of cyber espionage and stealing industrial secrets. A former contractor to the United States' NSA, Edward Snowden, has accused various US intelligence agencies of systematic examination of activity on various popular social network services, through a program called “PRISM”. These days cloud services may be all the vogue, but there is also an emerging understanding that once your data heads off into one of these clouds, then it’s no longer necessarily entirely your data; it may have become somebody else's data too.
Yes, that's a cryptic topic, even for an article that addresses matters of the use of cryptographic algorithms, so congratulations for getting even this far! This is a report of an experiment conducted in September and October 2014 by the authors to measure the extent to which deployed DNSSEC-validating resolvers fully support the use of the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) with curve P-256.
It has been a very busy period in the domain of computer security. With "shellshock", "heartbleed" and NTP monlink adding to the background of open DNS resolvers, port 445 viral nasties, SYN attacks and other forms of vulnerability exploits, it's getting very hard to see the forest for the trees. We are spending large amounts of resources in reacting to various vulnerabilities and attempting to mitigate individual network attacks, but are we making overall progress? What activities would constitute "progress" anyway?