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Benefits of DNS based architecture for M2M communications

By Thomas Orthbandt

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Posted on January 16, 2013 in: Network

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The number of ‘things’ connected to the internet is already bypassing the number of people on the planet. This Internet of ‘things’ is changing the way we live and work: from the way food is grown and produced on farms through automated temperature and feeding controls, to the way we check prices and buy through connected terminals, to the vehicles we drive, the security cameras at work, and automated gates at the entrance.  Connected ‘things’ are everywhere.  All these ‘things’ are helping us to be more productive and efficient while also offering more and more convenience.

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How to Evaluate Performance of a DNS Resolver

By Thomas Orthbandt

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Posted on August 1, 2012 in: Network

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Ten years ago everyone evaluating DNS solutions was always concerned about performance. Broadband networks were getting faster, providers were serving more users, and web pages and applications increasingly stressed the DNS.  Viruses were a factor too as they could rapidly become the straw that broke the camel’s back of a large ISP’s DNS servers.  The last thing a provider needed was a bottleneck, so DNS resolution speed became more and more visible, and performance was everything.

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High Performance DNS Needs High Performance Security

By Thomas Orthbandt

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Posted on June 28, 2012 in: Network, Security

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 There’s been a lot of emphasis on DNS performance lately because faster DNS contributes directly to a better user experience.  There’s an interesting flipside to DNS performance though, higher performance DNS servers may be better targets for cache poisoning attacks.  Faster servers give attackers more opportunities to insert fake entries into the DNS – speed can kill (or at least inflict a nasty wound!) so it’s important to understand the security implications if you’re looking to upgrade DNS performance.

Blog Post

The Business Parallels between IPv6 and DNSSEC

By Thomas Orthbandt

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Posted on June 13, 2012 in: Network, Security

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 For two things that would seem to be completely unrelated there is an interesting parallel between IPv6 and DNSSEC.  In both cases there is a misalignment of interests between content providers and service?providers.   Content providers aren’t highly motivated to deploy IPv6 because only a small proportion of users have v6 connectivity and even fewer only have v6.  Service providers aren’t anxious to deploy IPv6? because there isn’t a lot of content on v6, and virtually none exclusively on v6 – so they don’t expand the universe of interesting stuff on the web by deploying IPv6.  Basically the same things could be said about DNSSEC.  Content providers don’t sign their domains so there is little reason to validate; and no one is validating so there is little reason to sign, at least until recently.  Fortunately this is starting to change on both fronts.

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A logical place to start the IPv6 transition

By Thomas Orthbandt

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Posted on May 22, 2012 in: Network

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The transition to IPv6 is top of mind for most service providers. Even in places where there are still IPv4 addresses to be had surveys we’ve run suggest v6 is solidly on the priority list.  That’s not to say everyone has the same strategy.  Depending where you are in the world transition options are different – in places such as APAC where exhaustion is at hand one of the many NAT alternatives will likely be deployed since getting a significant allocation of addresses is not going to happen and other alternatives for obtaining addresses will prove expensive.  Ditto the European region, who is next on the list to find the IPv4 shelves bare.

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Cel-e-brate v6, Come On!

By Thomas Orthbandt

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Posted on May 14, 2012 in: Network

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With IPv6 World Launch coming up it’s worth pausing to consider the collective efforts of the Internet industry in enabling and deploying an essential evolutionary technology at what will become truly massive scale. It’s easy to be a detractor and believe there has been little progress – but the Internet hasn’t melted down and there is no evidence it is about to.  Perhaps the issue is that progress occurred in a different way than was predicted or preferred by the experts.  The reality is providers everywhere have developed coping mechanisms for IPv4 exhaustion.  Innovation, operational sweat, and perhaps some tough negotiating make it happen.  But isn’t that the essence of the Internet?

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‘DNS Changer’ Fallout

By Thomas Orthbandt

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Posted on March 15, 2012 in: Network

The situation surrounding DNS Changer highlights some interesting issues.  Unless end users remove DNS Changer malware from their machines, those machines will always try and connect to the DNS server addresses encoded in the malware.   Today they’ll connect to “clean” DNS servers that replaced the hackers DNS servers as a result of a court order.  But those servers are unlikely to remain in place.   This means at some point infected machines will lose their Internet connectivity.

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Best practices for securing the DNS infrastructure

By Thomas Orthbandt

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Posted on February 28, 2012 in: Network

Like any critical part of network infrastructure, securing recursive DNS requires a layered approach. All the points of entry into the system – the console(s), network, etc need to be protected.  Before we look at the types of protection we need to consider the various types of attacks against recursive DNS server infrastructure, they can be broadly categorized based on the attack target:

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Ghosts in the DNS machine

By Thomas Orthbandt

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Posted on February 14, 2012 in: Network

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There was an intriguingly named vulnerability revealed this week: Ghost Domains.  A paper describing it can be found here.  A team of researchers in China discovered a way to allow a domain to remain reachable in the DNS even after it has been revoked from a TLD.  It looks like they expended a lot of energy testing their new idea and discovered there are several caching DNS software releases that are vulnerable.

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