INTERNET-DRAFT                                    Donald E. Eastlake 3rd
                                                         CyberCash, Inc.
Expires: 22 March 1997                                 23 September 1996

                Secure Domain Name System Dynamic Update
                ------ ------ ---- ------ ------- ------


Status of This Document

   This draft, file name draft-ietf-dnssec-update-02.txt, is intended to
   be become a Proposed Standard RFC. Distribution of this document is
   unlimited. Comments should be sent to the DNS security mailing list
   <> or the author.

   This document is an Internet-Draft.  Internet-Drafts are working
   documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its areas,
   and its working groups.  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six
   months.  Internet-Drafts may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by
   other documents at any time.  It is not appropriate to use Internet-
   Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as a
   ``working draft'' or ``work in progress.''

   To learn the current status of any Internet-Draft, please check the
   1id-abstracts.txt listing contained in the Internet-Drafts Shadow
   Directories on (East USA), (West USA), (North Europe), (South Europe), (Pacific Rim), or (Africa).

Donald Eastlake 3rd                                             [Page 1]

INTERNET-DRAFT             Secure DNS Update           23 September 1996


   Domain Name System (DNS) protocol extensions have been defined to
   authenticate the data in DNS and provide key distribution services
   (draft-ietf-dnssec-secext-10.txt).  DNS Dynamic Update operations
   have also been defined (draft-ietf-dnsind-dynDNS-*.txt>, but without
   a detailed description of strong security for the update operation.
   This draft describes how to use DNS digital signatures covering
   requests and data to secure updates and restrict them to those
   authorized to perform them as indicated by the updater's possession
   of cryptographic keys.


   The contributions of the following person to this draft are
   gratefully acknowledged:

      Charlie Kaufman <>
      Stuart Kwan <>

Donald Eastlake 3rd                                             [Page 2]

INTERNET-DRAFT             Secure DNS Update           23 September 1996

Table of Contents

      Status of This Document....................................1


      Table of Contents..........................................3

      1. Introduction............................................4
      1.1 Overview of DNS Dynamic Update.........................4
      1.2 Overview of DNS Security...............................4

      2. Two Basic Modes.........................................6

      3. Keys....................................................8
      3.1 Update Keys............................................8
      3.1.1 Update Key Name Scope................................8
      3.1.2 Update Key Class Scope...............................8
      3.1.3 Update Key Signatory Field...........................8
      3.2 Zone Keys and Update Modes............................10
      3.3 Wildcard Key Punch Through............................11

      4. Update Signatures......................................12
      4.1 Update Request Signatures.............................12
      4.2 Update Data Signatures................................12

      5. The Domain.................................13

      6. Security Considerations................................15
      Author's Address..........................................15
      Expiration and File Name..................................15

Donald Eastlake 3rd                                             [Page 3]

INTERNET-DRAFT             Secure DNS Update           23 September 1996

1. Introduction

   Dynamic update operations have been defined for the Domain Name
   System (DNS) in draft-ietf-dnsind-dynDNS-*.txt but without a detailed
   description of strong security for those updates.  Means of securing
   the DNS and using it for key distribution have been defined in
   draft-ietf-dnssec-sexect-10.txt [approved as a Proposed Standard but
   not yet issued as an RFC].

   This draft proposes techniques based on the defined DNS security
   mechanisms to authenticate DNS updates.  In addition, a secure in- domain is defined with special security policies. This in-
   key domain permits access to entities by their key if the entity has
   been registered in that domain.

   Familiarity with the DNS system [RFC 1034, 1035] is assumed.
   Familiarity with the DNS security and dynamic update proposals will
   be helpful.

1.1 Overview of DNS Dynamic Update

   DNS dynamic update defines a new DNS opcode, new DNS request and
   response structure if that opcode is used, and new error codes.  An
   update can specify complex combinations of deletion and insertion
   (with or without pre-existence testing) of resource records (RRs)
   with one or more owner names; however, all testing and changes for
   any particular DNS update request are restricted to a single zone.
   Updates occur at the primary server for a zone.

   The server for a secure dynamic zone must increment the zone SOA
   serial number when an update occurs or the next time the SOA is
   retrieved if one or more updates have occurred since the previous SOA
   retrieval and the updates themselves did not update the SOA.

1.2 Overview of DNS Security

   DNS security authenticates data in the DNS by also storing digital
   signatures in the DNS as resource records (RRs).  A SIG RR provides a
   digital signature on the set of all RRs with the same owner name and
   class as the SIG and whose type is the type covered by the SIG.  The
   SIG RR cryptographically binds the covered RR set to the signer, time
   signed, signature expiration date, etc.  There are one or more keys
   associated with every secure zone and all data in the secure zone is
   signed either by a zone key or by a dynamic update key tracing its
   authority to a zone key.

Donald Eastlake 3rd                                             [Page 4]

INTERNET-DRAFT             Secure DNS Update           23 September 1996

   DNS security also defines transaction SIGs and request SIGs.
   Transaction SIGs appear at the end of a response.  Transaction SIGs
   authenticate the response and bind it to the corresponding request
   with the key of the host where the responding DNS server is.  Request
   SIGs appear at the end of a request and authenticate the request.

   Request SIGs are the primary means of authenticating update requests.

   DNS security also permits the storage of public keys in the DNS via
   KEY RRs.  These KEY RRs are also, of course, authenticated by SIG
   RRs.  KEY RRs for zones are stored in their superzone and subzone
   servers, if any, so that the secure DNS tree of zones can be
   traversed by a security aware resolver.

Donald Eastlake 3rd                                             [Page 5]

INTERNET-DRAFT             Secure DNS Update           23 September 1996

2. Two Basic Modes

   A dynamic secure zone is any secure DNS zone containing one or more
   KEY RRs that can authorize dynamic updates, i.e., entity or user KEY
   RRs with the signatory field non-zero, and whose zone KEY RR
   signatory field indicates that updates are implemented. There are two
   basic modes of dynamic secure zone which relate to the update
   strategy, mode A and mode B.  A summary comparison table is given
   below and then each mode is described.


   CRITERIA:                |   MODE A           |   MODE B
   Zone Key                 |   Off line         |   On line
   Server Workload          |   Low              |   High
   Static Data Security     |   Very High        |   Medium-High
   Dynamic Data Security    |   Medium           |   Medium-High
   Key Restrictions         |   Fine grain       |   Coarse grain
   Dynamic Data Temporality |   Transient        |   Permanent
   Dynamic Key Rollover     |   No               |   Yes

   For mode A, the zone owner key and static zone master file are always
   kept off-line for maximum security of the static zone contents. Any
   dynamicly added or changed RRs are signed in the secure zone by their
   authorizing dynamic update key and they are backed up, along with
   this SIG RR, in a separate online dynamic master file.  In this type
   of zone, server computation is minimized since the server need only
   check signatures on the update data and request, which have already
   been signed by the updater, generally a much faster operation than
   signing data.  However, the AXFR SIG and NXT RRs which covers the
   zone under the zone key will not cover dynamically added data.  Thus,
   for type A dynamic secure zones, zone transfer security is not
   provided for dynamically added RRs, where they could be omitted, and
   authentication is not provided for the server denial of the existence
   of a dynamically added type. Because the dynamicly added RRs retain
   their update KEY signed SIG, finer grained control control of updates
   can be implemented via bits in the KEY RR signatory field.  Because
   dynamic data is only store in the online dynamic master file and only
   authenticated by dynamic keys which expire, updates are transient in
   nature.  Key rollover for an entity that can authorize dynamic
   updates is more cumbersome since the authority of their key must be
   traceable to a zone key and so, in general, they must securely

Donald Eastlake 3rd                                             [Page 6]

INTERNET-DRAFT             Secure DNS Update           23 September 1996

   communicate a new key to the zone authority for manual transfer to
   the off line static master file. NOTE: for this mode the zone SOA
   must be signed by a dynamic update key and that private key must be
   kept on line so that the SOA can be changed for updates.

   For mode B, the zone owner key and master file are kept on-line at
   the zone primary server. When authenticated updates succeed, SIGs
   under the zone key for the resulting data (including the possible NXT
   type bit map changes) are calculated and these SIG (and possible NXT)
   changes are entered into the zone and the unified on-line master
   file.  (The zone transfer AXFR SIG may be recalculated for each
   update or on demand when a zone transfer is requested and it is out
   of date.)  This requires considerably more computational effort on
   the part of the server as the public/private keys are generally
   arranged so that signing (calculating a SIG) is more effort than
   verifying a signature.  The security on static data in the zone is
   decreased because the ultimate state of the static date being served
   and the ultimate zone authority private key are all on-line on the
   net.  This means that if the primary server is subverted, false data
   could be authenticated to secondaries and other servers/resolvers.
   On the other hand, this mode of operation means that data added
   dynamically is more secure than in mode A.  Dynamic data will be
   covered by the AXFR SIG and thus fully protected during zone
   transfers and will be included in NXT RRs so that it can be falsely
   denied by a server only to the same extent that static data can
   (i.e., if it is within a wild card scope). Because the zone key is
   used to sign all the zone data, the information as to who originated
   the current state of dynamic RR sets is lost making unavailable the
   effects of some of the update control bits in the KEY RR signatory
   field.  However, the incorporation of the updates into the primary
   master file and their authentication by the zone key makes then
   permanent in nature.  Maintaining the zone key on-line also means
   that dynamic update keys which are signed by the zone key can be
   dynamically updated since the zone key is available to dynamically
   sign new values.

   NOTE:  The Mode A / Mode B distinction only effects the validation
   and performance of update requests.  It has no effect on retrievals.

Donald Eastlake 3rd                                             [Page 7]

INTERNET-DRAFT             Secure DNS Update           23 September 1996

3. Keys

   Dynamic update requests depend on update keys as described in section
   3.1 below.  In addition, the zone secure dynamic update mode and
   availability of some options is indicated in the zone key.  Finally,
   a special rule is used in searching for KEYs to validate updates as
   described in section 3.3.

3.1 Update Keys

   All update requests to a secure zone must include signatures by one
   or more key(s) that together can authorize that update.  In order for
   the Domain Name System (DNS) server receiving the request to confirm
   this, the key or keys must be available to and authenticated by that
   server as a specially flagged KEY Resource Record.  The one exception
   is in the domain as described in section 5.

   The scope of authority of such keys is indicated by their KEY RR
   owner name, class, and signatory field flags as described below. In
   addition, such KEY RRs must be entity or user keys and not have the
   authentication use prohibited bit on.  All parts of the actual update
   must be within the scope of at least one of the keys used for a
   request SIG on the update request as described in section 4.

3.1.1 Update Key Name Scope

   The owner name of any update authorizing KEY RR must (1) be the same
   as the owner name of any RRs being added or deleted or (2) a wildcard
   name including within its extended scope (see section 3.3) the name
   of any RRs being added or deleted and those RRs must be in the same

3.1.2 Update Key Class Scope

   The class of any update authorizing KEY RR must be the same as the
   class of any RR's being added or deleted.

3.1.3 Update Key Signatory Field

   The four bit "signatory field" (see draft-ietf-dnssec-secext-10.txt)
   of any update authorizing KEY RR must be non-zero.  The bits have the
   meanings described below for non-zone keys (see section 3.2 for zone

Donald Eastlake 3rd                                             [Page 8]

INTERNET-DRAFT             Secure DNS Update           23 September 1996

   type keys).


         0           1           2           3
   |   zone    |  strong   |  unique   |  general  |

   Bit 0, zone control - If nonzero, this key is authorized to attach,
        detach, and move zones by creating and deleting NS, glue, and
        zone KEY RR(s).  If zero, the key can not authorize any update
        that would effect such RRs.  This bit is meaningful for both
        type A and type B dynamic secure zones.

        NOTE:  do not confuse the "zone" signatory field bit with the
        "zone" key type bit.

   Bit 1, strong update - If nonzero, this key is authorized to add and
        delete RRs even if there are other RRs with the same owner name
        and class that are authenticated by a SIG signed with a
        different dynamic update KEY. If zero, the key can only
        authorize updates where any existing dynamic RRs of the same
        owner and class are authenticated by a SIG using the same key.
        This bit is meaningful only for type A dynamic zones and is
        ignored in type B dynamic zones.

        Keeping this bit zero on multiple KEY RRs with the same or
        nested wild card owner names permits multiple entities to exist
        that can create and delete names but can not effect RRs with
        different owner names from any they created.  In effect, this
        creates two levels of dynamic update key, strong and weak, where
        weak keys are limited in interfering with each other but a
        strong key can interfere with any weak keys or other strong

   Bit 2, unique name update - If nonzero, this key is authorized to add
        and update RRs for only a single owner name.  If there already
        exist RRs with one or more names signed by this key, they may be
        updated but no new name created until the number of existing
        names is reduced to zero.  This bit is meaningful only for mode
        A dynamic zones and is ignored in mode B dynamic zones. This bit
        is meaningful only if the owner name is a wildcard.  (Any
        dynamic update KEY with a non-wildcard name is, in effect, a
        unique name update key.)

        This bit can be used to restrict a KEY from flooding a zone with
        new names.  In conjunction with a local administratively imposed
        limit on the number of dynamic RRs with a particular name, it
        can completely restrict a KEY from flooding a zone with RRs.

Donald Eastlake 3rd                                             [Page 9]

INTERNET-DRAFT             Secure DNS Update           23 September 1996

   Bit 3, general update - The general update signatory field bit has no
        special meaning.  If the other three bits are all zero, it must
        be one so that the field is non-zero in the update key.  The
        meaning of all values of the signatory field with the general
        bit and one or more other signatory field bits on is reserved.

   All the signatory bit update authorizations described above only
   apply if the update is within the name and class scope as per
   sections 3.1.1 and 3.1.2.

3.2 Zone Keys and Update Modes

   Zone type keys are automatically authorized to sign anything in their
   zone, of course, regardless of the value of their signatory field.
   For zone keys, the signatory field bits have different means than
   they they do for update keys, as shown below:


         0           1           2           3
   |   mode    |  strong   |  unique   |  general  |

   Bit 0, mode - This bit indicates the update mode for this zone.  Zero
        indicates mode A while a one indicates mode B.

   Bit 1, strong update - If nonzero, this indicates that the "strong"
        key feature described in section 3.1.3 above is implemented and
        enabled for this secure zone.  If zero, the feature is not
        available.  Has no effect if the zone is a mode B secure update

   Bit 2, unique name update - If nonzero, this indicates that the
        "unique name" feature described in section 3.1.3 above is
        implemented and enabled for this secure zone.  If zero, this
        feature is not available.  Has no effect if the zone is a mode B
        secure update zone.

   Bit 3, general - This bit has no special meeting.  If dynamic update
        for a zone is supported and the other bits in the zone key
        signatory field are zero, it must be a one.  The meaning of zone
        keys where the signatory field has the general bit and one or
        more other bits on is reserved.

   If there are multiple KEY RRs for a zone and zone policy is in
   transition, they might have different signatory fields.  In that

Donald Eastlake 3rd                                            [Page 10]

INTERNET-DRAFT             Secure DNS Update           23 September 1996

   case, strong and unique name restrictions must be enforced as long as
   there is a non-expired zone key being advertised that indicates mode
   A with the strong or unique name bit on respectively.  Mode B updates
   must be supported as long as there is a non-expired zone key that
   indicates mode B.  Mode A updates may be treated as mode B updates at
   server option if non-expired zone keys indicate that both are

   A server that will be executing update operations on a zone, that is,
   the primary master server, MUST not advertize a zone key that will
   attract requests for a mode or features that it can not support.

3.3 Wildcard Key Punch Through

   Just as a zone key is valid throughout the entire zone, update keys
   with wildcard names are valid throughout their extended scope, within
   the zone. That is, they remain remain valid for any name that would
   match them, even existing specific names within their apparent scope.

   If this were not so, then whenever a name within a wildcard scope was
   created by dynamic update, it would be necessary to first create a
   copy of the KEY RR with this name, because otherwise the existence of
   the more specific name would hide the authorizing KEY RR and would
   make later updates impossible.  An updater could create such a KEY RR
   but could not zone sign it.  They would have to sign it with the same
   key using the wildcard name as signer. Thus in creating, for example,
   one hundred type A RRs authorized by a * KEY RR,
   without key punch through 100 As, 100 KEYs, and 200 SIGs would have
   to be created as opposed to merely 100 As and 100 SIGs with key punch

Donald Eastlake 3rd                                            [Page 11]

INTERNET-DRAFT             Secure DNS Update           23 September 1996

4. Update Signatures

   Two kinds of signatures can appear in updates.  Request signatures,
   which are always required, cover the entire request and authenticate
   the DNS header, including opcode, counts, etc., as well as the data.
   Data signatures, on the other hand, appear only among the RRs to be
   added and are only required for mode A operation.

4.1 Update Request Signatures

   An update can effect multiple owner names in a zone.  It may be that
   these different names are covered by different dynamic update keys.
   For every owner name and class effected, the updater must know a
   private key valid for that name and class and must prove this by
   appending request SIG RRs under each such key.

   As specified in draft-ietf-dnssec-secext-10.txt, a request signature
   is a SIG RR occurring at the end of a request with a type covered
   field of zero.  For an update, request signatures occur in the
   Additional information section.  Each request SIG signs the entire
   request, including DNS header, but excluding any other request

4.2 Update Data Signatures

   Mode A dynamic secure zones require that the update requester provide
   SIG RRs that will authenticate the after update state of all RR sets
   that are changed by the update and are non-empty after the update.
   These SIG RRs appear in the request as RRs to be added and the
   request must delete any previous data SIG RRs that are invalidated by
   the request.

   In Mode B dynamic secure zones, all zone data is authenticated by
   zone key SIG RRs.  In this case data signatures need not be included
   with the update.  A resolver can determine which mode an updatable
   secure zone is using by examining the signatory field bits of the
   zone KEY RR (see section 3.2).

Donald Eastlake 3rd                                            [Page 12]

INTERNET-DRAFT             Secure DNS Update           23 September 1996

5. The Domain

   A special domain is defined, the domain, to permit
   inverse lookup by key.  DNS servers for zones that include any
   updatable part of this domain have a special update policy and all
   servers and resolvers have a special authentication policy for this
   domain.  Servers authenticate updates for this domain based on the
   requesters knowledge of the private key corresponding to a public key
   whose hash is encoded into the RR owner name.

   Normally the only RRs stored in this domain will be a KEY RR and an
   authenticating SIG with the SIG signer field pointing to the normal
   owner of the KEY. It is expected that an administrative restriction
   may be placed on the number of RRs stored under any particular owner
   name or charges imposed for additions to this domain.

   The owner name associated with a key is


   key-hash is the hex representation of the SHA1 [SHA1] hash of the
        "public key" portion of the corresponding KEY RR (the portion of
        the RDATA after the algorithm octet) with label separating dots
        added every fourth hex digit.

   key-footprint is the hex representation of the key footprint field of
        the KEY RR.

   [could add a key-length label instead of or in addition to the key-

   algorithm is the decimal number designating the public key algorithm
        from the "algorithm" octet portion of the corresponding key.
        Thus, at this time, algorithm will be either 1 or 254.  Entries
        for algorithm 253 are prohibited.

   For example, the RRs in this domain for a purported key with actual
   owner name example.tld could be as follows:


     IN KEY <flags> 0 1 (
    80jEeC8aTrO+KKmCaY1tVfSCSqQYn6//11U6Nld= ;key
     IN SIG KEY 1 3 ( ;type-cov=PTR, alg=1, labels=3
                     19991202030405 ;signature expiration
                     19951211100908 ;time signed
                     2143658709     ;key footprint
                     example.tld.       ;signer

Donald Eastlake 3rd                                            [Page 13]

INTERNET-DRAFT             Secure DNS Update           23 September 1996

     1tVfSCSqQYn6//11U6Nld80jEeC8aTrO+KKmCaY= ;signature

   Retrievals from leaves of this zone are authenticated by validating
   the SIG against the KEY with the same owner name and checking that
   this owner name correctly reflects the hash and key footprint of the
   key.  Thus, for this type of validation only, the signer name is
   ignored and the SIG is NOT traced back to a known trusted key.  In
   addition, entries in this domain are "eternal" in that the SIG time
   signed and signature expiration are ignored.  Note that entries in
   this special zone, even when authenticated, give only a hint that the
   KEY stored there is or was valid for the signer name.  A separate
   retrieval from the signer name must be done for confirmation that
   they key is currently valid.

   Registration in the domain is voluntary.  All servers
   that include key storage leaves of the domain MUST
   operate in mode A for those domains.

Donald Eastlake 3rd                                            [Page 14]

INTERNET-DRAFT             Secure DNS Update           23 September 1996

6. Security Considerations

   Any zone permitting dynamic updates is inherently less secure than a
   static secure zone maintained off line as recommended in draft-ietf-
   dnssec-secext-10.txt. If nothing else, secure dynamic update requires
   on line change to and re-signing of the zone SOA resource record (RR)
   to increase the SOA serial number.  This means that compromise of the
   primary server host could lead to arbitrary serial number changes.

   Isolation of dynamic RRs to separate zones from those holding most
   static RRs can limit the damage that could occur from breach of a
   dynamic zone's security.




   [RFC1034] - Domain Names - Concepts and Facilities, P. Mockapetris,
   November 1987.

   [RFC1035] - Domain Names - Implementation and Specifications, P.
   Mockapetris, November 1987.


Author's Address

   Donald E. Eastlake, 3rd
   CyberCash, Inc.
   318 Acton Street
   Carlisle, MA 01741 USA

   Telephone:   +1 508-287-4877
                +1 508-371-7148 (fax)
                +1 703-620-4200 (main office, Reston, Virginia, USA)

Expiration and File Name

   This draft expires 22 March 1997.

   Its file name is draft-ietf-dnssec-update-02.txt.

Donald Eastlake 3rd                                            [Page 15]