Neustar implements DNSSEC
United States of America
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On December 15 2009 Neustar, the registry responsible for the '.us' extension (the country-code top-level domain (TLD) for the United States), announced that it had implemented DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC).
In 2009 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) began work in collaboration with Verisign, the registry for '.com' and '.net' domain names (among others) and the US Department of Commerce on the possible implementation of DNSSEC. The aim of DNSSEC technology is to secure any weak points in the domain name system (DNS) which would potentially be exploitable by pirates.
DNSSEC works by digitally signing responses received from the DNS. It thus helps to ensure that internet users reach their intended destination and are not misdirected to, for example, lookalike websites used to fraudulently collect personal details, such as account numbers and passwords (often referred to as 'phishing').
The first step in the deployment of DNSSEC is to digitally sign what is known as the 'root zone file', responsibility for which lies with ICANN. The next step is for the registries of TLDs to deploy DNSSEC on their zones. Once each link in the chain is eventually secured, the Internet will become a safer place, as it will be difficult for computers to be redirected anywhere other than the true intended web address.
Further to ICANN's announcement that it had begun work on signing the root zone, Neustar implemented DNSSEC for the '.us' extension. With Neustar also being responsible for '.biz', one would imagine that it will not be long before the '.biz' zone is also signed - although there has yet to be any announcement from Neustar concerning this.
David Taylor, Lovells LLP, Paris
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