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DNSSEC and Infoblox

This article discusses the DNSSEC signing process and how you can leverage Infoblox to make your DNS secure from man-in-the-middle attacks with great simplicity.

 

What is DNSSEC?

The Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) is a suite of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) specifications for securing certain kinds of information provided by DNS for use on IP networks, DNSSEC is a set of extensions to DNS which provide to DNS clients (resolvers) origin authentication of DNS data, authenticated denial of existence, and data integrity, but not availability or confidentiality.  Infoblox provides support for DNSSEC as part of its market-leading DDI solution.

 

Why Secure DNS

DNS is undoubtedly the backbone of the internet as we know it today. Among other things, DNS enables the translation from the domain names we type into browsers to the IP addresses of the servers we need to reach. However, certain vulnerabilities in DNS allow attackers to hijack the process of DNS lookup and translate domain names to addresses of malicious servers controlled by the attackers.

 

The discovery of such vulnerabilities prompted the introduction of technology to verify the authenticity of DNS responses. The technology thus introduced is known as DNS Security Extensions, DNSSEC for short.

 

The rest of the article assumes that the reader is familiar with the working of DNS and recursive DNS resolution.

 

How DNSSEC Works

DNSSEC leverages Public Key Infrastructure to sign the records in a DNS zone with a secret private key. The signatures can be verified with the public key, which along with the signatures, are published in the zone as DNS records. The public key is further signed with a second private key. The public key which can verify the signature is also published in the zone.

 

A hash of the second public key is placed in the parent zone of the aforementioned zone and this hash can be used to verify the authenticity of the DNS server, serving the signed zone.

 

A DNSSEC enabled validating DNS resolver can use these records to verify the authenticity of DNS responses.

 

DNSSEC Signing Process

 

Let’s consider an unsigned zone test.com.

 

Below is a representation of the zone file with sample records with relevant fields.

 

 

Records

test.com IN SOA ns1.test.com. hostmaster.test.com. (

                                   2012022301 1800 1800 1814400 3600

                             )

test.com IN NS ns1.test.com.

ns1.test.com IN A 1.2.3.4

 

Now, when we sign the zone, two pairs of keys are generated. A key pair consists of a private key and a public key. Such key pairs are usually used for encryption or signing.

 

Encryption is used to protect data. When some data is encrypted with the public key, only the private key (which is to be kept secret) can decrypt that data.

 

Signing is used to verify the authenticity of data. Here the data is signed with the private key. This just means that the data to be signed and the private key needs to go through a signing algorithm and form some new data. If the new data and the public key go through the signing algorithm the old data is formed. The new data formed is called a hash of the old data. The signing algorithm is just a set of instructions, like a mathematical formula.

 

Here is an example.

 

 

Signing

 

Data (a)

Private Key (b)

SIgning Algorithm

Hash

abcd

3

add ‘b’ number or characters to each character in ‘a’

efgh

 

Decoding

 

Hash (a)

Public Key (b)

SIgning Algorithm

Data

efgh

-3

add ‘b’ number or characters to each character in ‘a’

abcd

 

If you want to go deeper, here is a practical example.

(on a Linux box)

 

Generating a private key.

 

$ openssl genrsa -out privkey.pem 2048

Generating RSA private key, 2048 bit long modulus

..........................................+++

..............................................................................................................+++

e is 65537 (0x10001)

 

Generating the public key from the private key

$ openssl rsa -in privkey.pem -pubout -out pubkey.pem

writing RSA key

 

These two files are created.

 

$ ls

privkey.pem  pubkey.pem

 

 

Private key

$ cat privkey.pem

-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----

MIIEowIBAAKCAQEA4Kqfn3osK33k/M8lPciHdlSmGN/lmhksds0/ebiF6IAJRXsx

sQZuFPwHlunnC7ihcIiLE0ySOjpUgLuoLuFWJ5+qwgEyYLwTN3ea1vxKR/2jsxun

mu4dRH/SpGWhji9H5hDJ+TsAIGnB7FL+9nceFjna+m3GaTVw9Pi3xbMUyLGsIHMH

4CfngtthT0Nq2Sti2gFF9kCusDuzTfVAOFRNfm1J5J2TgQlmA6XHNpQe+TyNFr5v

E/dMLHTeMegvEAZQ+mRqCKtBOGrPFoyJdZjyWLCiH3tNFpt+4KxHXFvOqbqPQjqy

lUyWHE3K89pV7+L3K6RDMmS6EMySFweWjRY3TwIDAQABAoIBAHQN75L0C2kUCXvG

jZhSxBcONxbWYcauhleAQu/fr9ygdymbL9ogVjEk187PWPinEU4OWrlHbqoBg7FU

PtaotFaXlh/NenaZ8NtQP34aqUxy62MUQAo6Qogl92vQzBmktuFTfuHt5mzX9MLd

RLOQaMxWapW+qyWh443IBTZtAamBloGRUVkHARDjXtbq10Y8KPBVFHlMQigC3hVs

nE3EEMJxUPmPF77V59qWzQNH5/W1jfGQhgavvmE+Bqo8dwFMh4rhVn2x+Yz2JgB6

JZ1njRkM8k/W5dTfUodzLFpdUaK0oq2LjEPgqtwNqeESneKouqAguReXqEB9pqkw

q1B6FOECgYEA8DAib5uayJHZzFtDzbYTqk9SIwTQZec5aJF55P126n9rfr2ff8S9

OGPk5x3tfx/E1FN8cxB1RkRyFzge7Beh4TmkknuyI7vNMk6sXboPbMRLOXp6XTh4

pwl5q7UgM+/XAY40H+1y0eDKXUv7QkrzkVEatWevUANN/JRm6clW96cCgYEA73Tn

/e1YTtbWuSCCmWxyfB5aOb81ANbihCTUok8NXtVPacOF4O9y480ayge0jyQAUnzD

KNyUwNvdB25lochwOgmrZkAvrByoW67vebLwJdtXZNPRVHFIGPUs3Mt4y4+CkckH

57sv2G6wMfjHoK3LA/dWgH7jNdBpCgCVW8SouBkCgYEArSzHZ1j13K7sLd+Pn34r

55uRSRZre02forlg/a2SU7jTNGpb2a9sDoBXxhtZ5VJug/g9vmibZbJr4Dnica8I

VG9PLR5qbkE1zZPTyzAfdviAlEyudRAGTckTJK5PLaM7ji+NfYeiRZihz2q9GisY

OioT6796M2JulDIbkWxNe/kCgYBAWK76umvvi6XZy5Wsusqs9c8TE4Gfvx7RmcAV

+Z5DLJkRd7wjLNU3x+b6AUYQ7QC1KdebxGKozKxBkfX3mpAl2HFZocftvSm0sXai

wmXsFlwOuSjYQzS3mDK9BmRodyEEIfxg1hlOVLg+RXcHg4w5fZ6eGvrdfCqtyGha

Z6dbCQKBgGR/d5+xtzcdNmRYpqV2dd8lc0ye8kloGZRE3mCByqjAcI2nIXyFqhSi

Hm7Hs8Pcw/bq2wPMOb9+5gsGHIE9k6yjPhTPBufgr2UtIBO7w6N+eyawiDj7Wlhn

/4tZqDDNV9QP+YSybcyZI/GsTRCYdeF8rw/hBkXMcG/3gOqsiKOE

-----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----

 

 

Public key

$ cat pubkey.pem

-----BEGIN PUBLIC KEY-----

MIIBIjANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQEFAAOCAQ8AMIIBCgKCAQEA4Kqfn3osK33k/M8lPciH

dlSmGN/lmhksds0/ebiF6IAJRXsxsQZuFPwHlunnC7ihcIiLE0ySOjpUgLuoLuFW

J5+qwgEyYLwTN3ea1vxKR/2jsxunmu4dRH/SpGWhji9H5hDJ+TsAIGnB7FL+9nce

Fjna+m3GaTVw9Pi3xbMUyLGsIHMH4CfngtthT0Nq2Sti2gFF9kCusDuzTfVAOFRN

fm1J5J2TgQlmA6XHNpQe+TyNFr5vE/dMLHTeMegvEAZQ+mRqCKtBOGrPFoyJdZjy

WLCiH3tNFpt+4KxHXFvOqbqPQjqylUyWHE3K89pV7+L3K6RDMmS6EMySFweWjRY3

TwIDAQAB

-----END PUBLIC KEY-----

 

These will be the keys to our zone.

 

Signing records.

 

Records in the zone are signed with the private key.

 

Let's take for example the A record a.example.com.

 

Putting the record into a file.

 

echo "ns1.test.com IN A 1.2.3.4" >arecord.txt



Signing the file with the A record.

 

$ openssl dgst -sha256 -sign privkey.pem -out arecord.txt.sha256 arecord.txt

 

A file named arecord.txt.sha256 with the signature is created.

 

$ ls | grep sha256

arecord.txt.sha256



This signature can verify the authenticity of the original file using the public key.

 

$ openssl dgst -sha256 -verify pubkey.pem -signature arecord.txt.sha256 arecord.txt

Verified OK



If the original file is changed, or if a different file is used, the verification will fail.

 

Here is an example.

 

$ echo test >> arecord.txt

$ cat arecord.txt

ns1.test.com IN A 1.2.3.4

test



Now the original file is changed.

 

Let’s try the verification again.

 

$ openssl dgst -sha256 -verify pubkey.pem -signature arecord.txt.sha256 arecord.txt

Verification Failure

 

Let us try the verification with a different file.



$ echo "ns1.test.com IN A 4.5.6.7" >fakerecord.txt

$ openssl dgst -sha256 -verify pubkey.pem -signature arecord.txt.sha256 fakerecord.txt

Verification Failure

 

-



As in the above example, all the records in the zone are signed with a private key. The signature is then encoded(same as hashing) with base64 and an RRSIG record is created with the encoding for each record.

 

Please see the example below.

 

$ echo "test.com IN SOA ns1.test.com. hostmaster.test.com. (2012022301 1800 1800 1814400 3600) " > soarecord.txt

 

$ echo "test.com IN NS ns1.test.com." >nsrecord.txt

 

$ echo "ns1.test.com IN A 1.2.3.4" >arecord.txt

 

$ ls

arecord.txt  nsrecord.txt privkey.pem  pubkey.pem soarecord.txt

 

$ openssl dgst -sha256 -sign privkey.pem -out soarecord.txt.sha256 soarecord.txt

 

$ openssl dgst -sha256 -sign privkey.pem -out nsrecord.txt.sha256 nsrecord.txt

 

$ openssl dgst -sha256 -sign privkey.pem -out arecord.txt.sha256 arecord.txt

 

$ ls

arecord.txt  arecord.txt.sha256  nsrecord.txt nsrecord.txt.sha256  privkey.pem pubkey.pem soarecord.txt  soarecord.txt.sha256

 

$ base64 soarecord.txt.sha256

MMoccLV19wocCHo2hdLSjKy5Irp2imxwXRone1eRpmSMpr33E3o1bcMORwyHutTtl0BKPPnlJiMK

mODMydZmRaM6n3UEDcOXUKTwWwDYihsM4/bic53zhBuS+fIn9EowKmEKJmgP5DCLxt5qmdK5xfZS

F20OKi/SHOJDy4YrGJrfOiI3Lp6FEVgFcNWZy+CVpXAItDsn5S2mkFv87oTsID01XTExRWvJRQSF

sDvOBYF7eEWmgXi7PnST0xN1fu3kwonmCOsXU2r7xJA1pmdyt7qQZGOLPTqmNftOALRySbrtiH27

AO4yct+54/sFEzxwpZ80FFZiE6sOS8FVHuLNTg==

 

$ base64 nsrecord.txt.sha256

b5iHVdENqbPoOt7kx6uXw+tdR5pfITohuwoXjSMvFbVgigAyiWky0UqlR1G+K4YrVXWka3m+vERs

H6QRndMrHVzvJgM4X9PTxgtgRC8skgg6HSyO/YH5lP7YXRNGPjWXnxOW0ry6x7+ij5WgwHB7TWkq

dU/HcVNupoYZ/5R0aGaDe5tyFgKtMW7dS3EieR08Vg0lGNUP8eEB9Xf0n+nhADj0S8pFnJtn2AUh

+gWNdLDkdNpmX9xFDZOS3JrlZem5FsGf+VvcgDySxVRabDsfioAzwxHbSgbmwsbiUM7no1ZX8xJU

62TCI3uNe6FHOyyJELsiUHEnzneLANqpU/irkg==

 

$ base64 arecord.txt.sha256

rOORLSorofC5s8DeT4n2HvnW5EV7rrR+ZpbOk5rnNAwJh1iNx24J687YgLrpotxzbZUGPUIlU3nN

tn50LzNZ6AicCFB/wppTq1a2jswmeF6YiKWXF/cjhvSG3Q46Vdlfe2Mn4hrNEaS+OEk6TjdTT7py

ajwUDuzIrH9FU/Z2hYles3GIWBaffD9HrC+NuOvG4mMB8Z72ABin7oURKowZSQ2WsaQu5XlxWMaE

TLx9pKQJD+r8naCD1XCCvJhwWLA78rnreRVtTv7gRYuyiCQIWhkBkxs0cSGcrKxy+fiJ/83vWNMl

U3GRLY80wvDLHU4M84L+u0d++WcfPV5KKtudbQ==



Now with the base64 encoded strings obtained, RRSIG records are created as below.

 

test.com IN RRSIG SOA MMoccLV19wocCHo2hdLSjKy5Irp2imxwXRone1eRpmSMpr33E3o1bcMORwyHutTtl0BKPPnlJiMK

mODMydZmRaM6n3UEDcOXUKTwWwDYihsM4/bic53zhBuS+fIn9EowKmEKJmgP5DCLxt5qmdK5xfZS

F20OKi/SHOJDy4YrGJrfOiI3Lp6FEVgFcNWZy+CVpXAItDsn5S2mkFv87oTsID01XTExRWvJRQSF

sDvOBYF7eEWmgXi7PnST0xN1fu3kwonmCOsXU2r7xJA1pmdyt7qQZGOLPTqmNftOALRySbrtiH27

AO4yct+54/sFEzxwpZ80FFZiE6sOS8FVHuLNTg==

test.com IN RRSIG NS b5iHVdENqbPoOt7kx6uXw+tdR5pfITohuwoXjSMvFbVgigAyiWky0UqlR1G+K4YrVXWka3m+vERs

H6QRndMrHVzvJgM4X9PTxgtgRC8skgg6HSyO/YH5lP7YXRNGPjWXnxOW0ry6x7+ij5WgwHB7TWkq

dU/HcVNupoYZ/5R0aGaDe5tyFgKtMW7dS3EieR08Vg0lGNUP8eEB9Xf0n+nhADj0S8pFnJtn2AUh

+gWNdLDkdNpmX9xFDZOS3JrlZem5FsGf+VvcgDySxVRabDsfioAzwxHbSgbmwsbiUM7no1ZX8xJU

62TCI3uNe6FHOyyJELsiUHEnzneLANqpU/irkg==

Ns1.test.com IN RRSIG A rOORLSorofC5s8DeT4n2HvnW5EV7rrR+ZpbOk5rnNAwJh1iNx24J687YgLrpotxzbZUGPUIlU3nN

tn50LzNZ6AicCFB/wppTq1a2jswmeF6YiKWXF/cjhvSG3Q46Vdlfe2Mn4hrNEaS+OEk6TjdTT7py

ajwUDuzIrH9FU/Z2hYles3GIWBaffD9HrC+NuOvG4mMB8Z72ABin7oURKowZSQ2WsaQu5XlxWMaE

TLx9pKQJD+r8naCD1XCCvJhwWLA78rnreRVtTv7gRYuyiCQIWhkBkxs0cSGcrKxy+fiJ/83vWNMl

U3GRLY80wvDLHU4M84L+u0d++WcfPV5KKtudbQ==



Note: The above records are not in the true structure of these records. This is only a representation to help understand the concept.

For the actual structure and information about different fields in the records, please see RFC 4034.

 

These records can be decoded with base64 to get the signatures and the signatures can be verified with the public key.

 

For such verification, the public key for the zone needs to be distributed to the clients.

 

The public key is encoded with base64 and the encoding is used to create a DNSKEY record for the zone. This DNSKEY record is known as a Zone Signing Key.

 

As mentioned earlier in the article, when a zone is signed, two key pairs are generated.

 

The second key pair is used to sign and verify the public key for the zone(Zone Signing Key).

 

The public key is signed using the second private key, the signature is encoded in base64 and the encoding is used to create an RRSIG for the Zone Signing Key. The second public key is encoded with base64  another DNSKEY record known as the Key Signing Key. This record is used to verify the authenticity of the Zone Signing Key.

 

Now the public key of the Key Signing Key is encoded/hashed with SHA-1 or SHA-256 and this encoding/hash is used to create another record called the DS record.

 

The DS record is placed at the parent for the zone. In this case, the parent for ‘test.com.’ is ‘com.’.

 

The DS record can be used to verify the authenticity of the Key Signing Key.

 

DNSSEC Image 1.png

 

DNSESEC signing process.png

 

DNSSEC Parent zone.png

 

What sets Infoblox apart

Infoblox simplifies the tedious and complicated process of signing a DNS zone with DNSSEC to the simple push of a button. Take a look at image 2.

 

Image 2.

 

Unsigned Zone

 

DNSESEC image2.png

Click the button

 

DNSESEC click button.png

Signed Zone

DNSSEC image 3.png

 

Try it out

You can try this out easily. Go to https://www.infoblox.com/infoblox-download-center/ to evaluate Infoblox DDI. Here, you can get technical support, updates, and detailed instructions for handling evaluation units.

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