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Discovery of Designated Resolvers
RFC 9462

Document Type RFC - Proposed Standard (November 2023)
Authors Tommy Pauly , Eric Kinnear , Christopher A. Wood , Patrick McManus , Tommy Jensen
Last updated 2023-11-06
RFC stream Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
Additional resources Mailing list discussion
IESG Responsible AD Éric Vyncke
Send notices to (None)
RFC 9462

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                          T. Pauly
Request for Comments: 9462                                    E. Kinnear
Category: Standards Track                                     Apple Inc.
ISSN: 2070-1721                                               C. A. Wood
                                                              P. McManus
                                                               T. Jensen
                                                           November 2023

                   Discovery of Designated Resolvers


   This document defines Discovery of Designated Resolvers (DDR), a set
   of mechanisms for DNS clients to use DNS records to discover a
   resolver's encrypted DNS configuration.  An Encrypted DNS Resolver
   discovered in this manner is referred to as a "Designated Resolver".
   These mechanisms can be used to move from unencrypted DNS to
   encrypted DNS when only the IP address of a resolver is known.  These
   mechanisms are designed to be limited to cases where Unencrypted DNS
   Resolvers and their Designated Resolvers are operated by the same
   entity or cooperating entities.  It can also be used to discover
   support for encrypted DNS protocols when the name of an Encrypted DNS
   Resolver is known.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 7841.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2023 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   ( in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Revised BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of the
   Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as described
   in the Revised BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction
     1.1.  Specification of Requirements
   2.  Terminology
   3.  DNS Service Binding Records
   4.  Discovery Using Resolver IP Addresses
     4.1.  Use of Designated Resolvers
       4.1.1.  Use of Designated Resolvers across Network Changes
     4.2.  Verified Discovery
     4.3.  Opportunistic Discovery
   5.  Discovery Using Resolver Names
   6.  Deployment Considerations
     6.1.  Caching Forwarders
     6.2.  Certificate Management
     6.3.  Server Name Handling
     6.4.  Handling Non-DDR Queries for
     6.5.  Interaction with Network-Designated Resolvers
   7.  Security Considerations
   8.  IANA Considerations
     8.1.  Special-Use Domain Name ""
     8.2.  Domain Name Reservation Considerations
   9.  References
     9.1.  Normative References
     9.2.  Informative References
   Appendix A.  Rationale for Using a Special-Use Domain Name
   Appendix B.  Rationale for Using SVCB Records
   Authors' Addresses

1.  Introduction

   When DNS clients wish to use encrypted DNS protocols such as DNS over
   TLS (DoT) [RFC7858], DNS over QUIC (DoQ) [RFC9250], or DNS over HTTPS
   (DoH) [RFC8484], they can require additional information beyond the
   IP address of the DNS server, such as the resolver's hostname,
   alternate IP addresses, non-standard ports, or URI Templates.
   However, common configuration mechanisms only provide the resolver's
   IP address during configuration.  Such mechanisms include network
   provisioning protocols like DHCP [RFC2132] [RFC8415] and IPv6 Router
   Advertisement (RA) options [RFC8106], as well as manual

   This document defines two mechanisms for clients to discover
   Designated Resolvers that support these encrypted protocols using DNS
   server Service Binding (SVCB) records [RFC9460]:

   1.  When only an IP address of an Unencrypted DNS Resolver is known,
       the client queries a Special-Use Domain Name (SUDN) [RFC6761] to
       discover DNS SVCB records associated with one or more Encrypted
       DNS Resolvers the Unencrypted DNS Resolver has designated for use
       when support for DNS encryption is requested (Section 4).

   2.  When the hostname of an Encrypted DNS Resolver is known, the
       client requests details by sending a query for a DNS SVCB record.
       This can be used to discover alternate encrypted DNS protocols
       supported by a known server, or to provide details if a resolver
       name is provisioned by a network (Section 5).

   Both of these approaches allow clients to confirm that a discovered
   Encrypted DNS Resolver is designated by the originally provisioned
   resolver.  "Designated" in this context means that the resolvers are
   operated by the same entity or cooperating entities; for example, the
   resolvers are accessible on the same IP address, or there is a
   certificate that contains the IP address for the original designating

1.1.  Specification of Requirements

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in
   BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.

2.  Terminology

   This document defines the following terms:

   DDR:  Discovery of Designated Resolvers.  "DDR" refers to the
      mechanisms defined in this document.

   Designated Resolver:  A resolver, presumably an Encrypted DNS
      Resolver, designated by another resolver for use in its own place.
      This designation can be verified with TLS certificates.

   Encrypted DNS Resolver:  A DNS resolver using any encrypted DNS
      transport.  This includes current mechanisms such as DoH, DoT, and
      DoQ, as well as future mechanisms.

   Unencrypted DNS Resolver:  A DNS resolver using a transport without
      encryption, historically TCP or UDP port 53.

3.  DNS Service Binding Records

   DNS resolvers can advertise one or more Designated Resolvers that may
   offer support over encrypted channels and are controlled by the same

   When a client discovers Designated Resolvers, it learns information
   such as the supported protocols and ports.  This information is
   provided in ServiceMode SVCB records for DNS servers, although
   AliasMode SVCB records can be used to direct clients to the needed
   ServiceMode SVCB record per [RFC9460].  The formatting of these
   records, including the DNS-unique parameters such as "dohpath", are
   defined by [RFC9461].

   The following is an example of a SVCB record describing a DoH server
   discovered by querying for  7200  IN SVCB 1 (
        alpn=h2 dohpath=/dns-query{?dns} )

   The following is an example of a SVCB record describing a DoT server
   discovered by querying for  7200  IN SVCB 1 (
        alpn=dot port=8530 )

   The following is an example of a SVCB record describing a DoQ server
   discovered by querying for  7200  IN SVCB 1 (
        alpn=doq port=8530 )

   If multiple Designated Resolvers are available, using one or more
   encrypted DNS protocols, the resolver deployment can indicate a
   preference using the priority fields in each SVCB record [RFC9460].

   If the client encounters a mandatory parameter in a SVCB record it
   does not understand, it MUST NOT use that record to discover a
   Designated Resolver, in accordance with Section 8 of [RFC9460].  The
   client can still use other records in the same response if the client
   can understand all of their mandatory parameters.  This allows future
   encrypted deployments to simultaneously support protocols even if a
   given client is not aware of all those protocols.  For example, if
   the Unencrypted DNS Resolver returns three SVCB records -- one for
   DoH, one for DoT, and one for a yet-to-exist protocol -- a client
   that only supports DoH and DoT should be able to use those records
   while safely ignoring the third record.

   To avoid name lookup deadlock, clients that use Designated Resolvers
   need to ensure that a specific Encrypted DNS Resolver is not used for
   any queries that are needed to resolve the name of the resolver
   itself or to perform certificate revocation checks for the resolver,
   as described in Section 10 of [RFC8484].  Designated Resolvers need
   to ensure that this deadlock is avoidable, as also described in
   Section 10 of [RFC8484].

   This document focuses on discovering DoH, DoT, and DoQ Designated
   Resolvers.  Other protocols can also use the format defined by
   [RFC9461].  However, if any such protocol does not involve some form
   of certificate validation, new validation mechanisms will need to be
   defined to support validating designation as defined in Section 4.2.

4.  Discovery Using Resolver IP Addresses

   When a DNS client is configured with an Unencrypted DNS Resolver IP
   address, it SHOULD query the resolver for SVCB records of a service
   with a scheme of "dns" and an authority of "" before
   making other queries.  This allows the client to switch to using
   encrypted DNS for all other queries, if possible.  Specifically, the
   client issues a query for with the SVCB resource
   record type (64) [RFC9460].

   Responses to the SVCB query for the "" SUDN describe
   Designated Resolvers.  To ensure that different Designated Resolver
   configurations can be correctly distinguished and associated with A
   and AAAA records for the resolver, ServiceMode SVCB responses to
   these queries MUST NOT use the "." or "" value for the
   TargetName.  Similarly, clients MUST NOT perform A or AAAA queries
   for "".

   The following is an example of a SVCB record describing a DoH server
   discovered by querying for  7200  IN SVCB 1 (
        alpn=h2 dohpath=/dns-query{?dns} )

   The following is an example of a SVCB record describing a DoT server
   discovered by querying for  7200  IN SVCB 1 (
        alpn=dot port=8530 )

   The following is an example of a SVCB record describing a DoQ server
   discovered by querying for  7200  IN SVCB 1 (
        alpn=doq port=8530 )

   If the recursive resolver that receives this query has one or more
   Designated Resolvers, it will return the corresponding SVCB records.
   When responding to these special queries for "", the
   recursive resolver SHOULD include the A and AAAA records for the name
   of the Designated Resolver in the Additional Answers section.  This
   will save the DNS client an additional round trip to retrieve the
   address of the Designated Resolver; see Section 5 of [RFC9460].

   Designated Resolvers SHOULD be accessible using the IP address
   families that are supported by their associated Unencrypted DNS
   Resolvers.  If an Unencrypted DNS Resolver is accessible using an
   IPv4 address, it ought to provide an A record for an IPv4 address of
   the Designated Resolver; similarly, if it is accessible using an IPv6
   address, it ought to provide a AAAA record for an IPv6 address of the
   Designated Resolver.  The Designated Resolver MAY support more
   address families than the Unencrypted DNS Resolver, but it SHOULD NOT
   support fewer.  If this is not done, clients that only have
   connectivity over one address family might not be able to access the
   Designated Resolver.

   If the recursive resolver that receives this query has no Designated
   Resolvers, it SHOULD return NODATA for queries to the ""
   zone, to provide a consistent and accurate signal to clients that it
   does not have a Designated Resolver.

4.1.  Use of Designated Resolvers

   When a client discovers Designated Resolvers from an Unencrypted DNS
   Resolver IP address, it can choose to use these Designated Resolvers
   either (1) automatically or (2) based on some other policy,
   heuristic, or user choice.

   This document defines two preferred methods for automatically using
   Designated Resolvers:

   *  Verified Discovery (Section 4.2), for when a TLS certificate can
      be used to validate the resolver's identity.

   *  Opportunistic Discovery (Section 4.3), for when a resolver's IP
      address is a private or local address.

   A client MAY additionally use a discovered Designated Resolver
   without either of these methods, based on implementation-specific
   policy or user input.  Details of such policy are out of scope for
   this document.  Clients MUST NOT automatically use a Designated
   Resolver without some sort of validation, such as the two methods
   defined in this document or a future mechanism.  Use without
   validation can allow an attacker to direct traffic to an Encrypted
   DNS Resolver that is unrelated to the original Unencrypted DNS
   Resolver, as described in Section 7.

   A client MUST NOT reuse a designation discovered using the IP address
   of one Unencrypted DNS Resolver in place of any other Unencrypted DNS
   Resolver.  Instead, the client needs to repeat the discovery process
   to discover the Designated Resolver of the other Unencrypted DNS
   Resolver.  In other words, designations are per-resolver and MUST NOT
   be used to configure the client's universal DNS behavior.  This
   ensures in all cases that queries are being sent to a party
   designated by the resolver originally being used.

4.1.1.  Use of Designated Resolvers across Network Changes

   If a client is configured with the same Unencrypted DNS Resolver IP
   address on multiple different networks, a Designated Resolver that
   has been discovered on one network SHOULD NOT be reused on any of the
   other networks without repeating the discovery process for each
   network, since the same IP address may be used for different servers
   on the different networks.

4.2.  Verified Discovery

   Verified Discovery is a mechanism that allows the automatic use of a
   Designated Resolver that supports DNS encryption that performs a TLS

   In order to be considered a verified Designated Resolver, the TLS
   certificate presented by the Designated Resolver needs to pass the
   following checks made by the client:

   1.  The client MUST verify the chain of certificates up to a trust
       anchor as described in Section 6 of [RFC5280].  The client SHOULD
       use the default system or application trust anchors, unless
       otherwise configured.

   2.  The client MUST verify that the certificate contains the IP
       address of the designating Unencrypted DNS Resolver in an
       iPAddress entry of the subjectAltName extension as described in
       Section of [RFC5280].

   If these checks pass, the client SHOULD use the discovered Designated
   Resolver for any cases in which it would have otherwise used the
   Unencrypted DNS Resolver, so as to prefer encrypted DNS whenever

   If these checks fail, the client MUST NOT automatically use the
   discovered Designated Resolver if this designation was only
   discovered via a query (if the designation was
   advertised directly by the network as described in Section 6.5, the
   server can still be used).  Additionally, the client SHOULD suppress
   any further queries for Designated Resolvers using this Unencrypted
   DNS Resolver for the length of time indicated by the SVCB record's
   Time to Live (TTL) in order to avoid excessive queries that will lead
   to further failed validations.  The client MAY issue new queries if
   the SVCB record's TTL is excessively long (as determined by client
   policy) to minimize the length of time an intermittent attacker can
   prevent the use of encrypted DNS.

   If the Designated Resolver and the Unencrypted DNS Resolver share an
   IP address, clients MAY choose to opportunistically use the
   Designated Resolver even without this certificate check
   (Section 4.3).  If the IP address is not shared, opportunistic use
   allows for attackers to redirect queries to an unrelated Encrypted
   DNS Resolver, as described in Section 7.

   Connections to a Designated Resolver can use a different IP address
   than the IP address of the Unencrypted DNS Resolver -- for example,
   if the process of resolving the SVCB service yields additional
   addresses.  Even when a different IP address is used for the
   connection, the TLS certificate checks described in this section
   still apply for the original IP address of the Unencrypted DNS

4.3.  Opportunistic Discovery

   There are situations where Verified Discovery of encrypted DNS
   configuration over unencrypted DNS is not possible.  For example, the
   identities of Unencrypted DNS Resolvers on private IP addresses
   [RFC1918], Unique Local Addresses (ULAs) [RFC4193], and Link-Local
   addresses [RFC3927] [RFC4291] cannot be safely confirmed using TLS
   certificates under most conditions.

   An opportunistic privacy profile is defined for DoT in Section 4.1 of
   [RFC7858] as a mode in which clients do not validate the name of the
   resolver presented in the certificate.  This opportunistic privacy
   profile similarly applies to DoQ [RFC9250].  For this profile,
   Section 4.1 of [RFC7858] explains that clients might or might not
   validate the resolver; however, even if clients choose to perform
   some certificate validation checks, they will not be able to validate
   the names presented in the SubjectAltName (SAN) field of the
   certificate for private and local IP addresses.

   A client MAY use information from the SVCB record for with this opportunistic privacy profile as long
   as the IP address of the Encrypted DNS Resolver does not differ from
   the IP address of the Unencrypted DNS Resolver.  Clients SHOULD use
   this mode only for resolvers using private or local IP addresses,
   since resolvers that use other addresses are able to provision TLS
   certificates for their addresses.

5.  Discovery Using Resolver Names

   A DNS client that already knows the name of an Encrypted DNS Resolver
   can use DDR to discover details about all supported encrypted DNS
   protocols.  This situation can arise if a client has been configured
   to use a given Encrypted DNS Resolver, or if a network provisioning
   protocol (such as DHCP or IPv6 RAs) provides a name for an Encrypted
   DNS Resolver alongside the resolver IP address, such as by using
   Discovery of Network-designated Resolvers (DNR) [RFC9463].

   For these cases, the client simply sends a DNS SVCB query using the
   known name of the resolver.  This query can be issued to the named
   Encrypted DNS Resolver itself or to any other resolver.  Unlike the
   case of bootstrapping from an Unencrypted DNS Resolver (Section 4),
   these records SHOULD be available in the public DNS if the same
   domain name's A or AAAA records are available in the public DNS to
   allow using any resolver to discover another resolver's Designated
   Resolvers.  When the name can only be resolved in private namespaces,
   these records SHOULD be available to the same audience as the A and
   AAAA records.

   For example, if the client already knows about a DoT server, it can issue a SVCB query for to discover if there are other encrypted
   DNS protocols available.  In the following example, the SVCB answers
   indicate that supports both DoH and DoT and that
   the DoH server indicates a higher priority than the DoT server.  7200  IN SVCB 1 (
        alpn=h2 dohpath=/dns-query{?dns} )  7200  IN SVCB 2 (
        alpn=dot )

   Clients MUST validate that for any Encrypted DNS Resolver discovered
   using a known resolver name, the TLS certificate of the resolver
   contains the known name in a subjectAltName extension.  In the
   example above, this means that both servers need to have certificates
   that cover the name  Often, the various
   supported encrypted DNS protocols will be specified such that the
   SVCB TargetName matches the known name, as is true in the example
   above.  However, even when the TargetName is different (for example,
   if the DoH server had a TargetName of, the clients
   still check for the original known resolver name in the certificate.

   Note that this resolver validation is not related to the DNS resolver
   that provided the SVCB answer.

   As another example, being able to discover a Designated Resolver for
   a known Encrypted DNS Resolver is useful when a client has a DoT
   configuration for but is on a network that
   blocks DoT traffic.  The client can still send a query to any other
   accessible resolver (either the local network resolver or an
   accessible DoH server) to discover if there is a designated DoH
   server for

6.  Deployment Considerations

   Resolver deployments that support DDR are advised to consider the
   following points.

6.1.  Caching Forwarders

   A DNS forwarder SHOULD NOT forward queries for "" (or
   any subdomains) upstream.  This prevents a client from receiving a
   SVCB record that will fail to authenticate because the forwarder's IP
   address is not in the SubjectAltName (SAN) field of the upstream
   resolver's Designated Resolver's TLS certificate.  A DNS forwarder
   that already acts as a completely transparent forwarder MAY choose to
   forward these queries when the operator expects that this does not
   apply, because the operator either knows that the upstream resolver
   does have the forwarder's IP address in its TLS certificate's SAN
   field or expects clients to validate the connection via some future

   Operators who choose to forward queries for "" upstream
   should note that client behavior is never guaranteed and that the use
   of DDR by a resolver does not communicate a requirement for clients
   to use the SVCB record when it cannot be verified.

6.2.  Certificate Management

   Resolver owners that support Verified Discovery will need to list
   valid referring IP addresses in their TLS certificates.  This may
   pose challenges for resolvers with a large number of referring IP

6.3.  Server Name Handling

   Clients MUST NOT use "" as the server name in either
   (1) the TLS Server Name Indication (SNI) [RFC8446] for DoT, DoQ, or
   DoH connections or (2) the URI host for DoH requests.

   When performing discovery using resolver IP addresses, clients MUST
   use the original IP address of the Unencrypted DNS Resolver as the
   URI host for DoH requests.

   Note that since IP addresses are not supported by default in the TLS
   SNI, resolvers that support discovery using IP addresses will need to
   be configured to present the appropriate TLS certificate when no SNI
   is present for DoT, DoQ, and DoH.

6.4.  Handling Non-DDR Queries for

   DNS resolvers that support DDR by responding to queries for MUST treat as a locally served zone
   per [RFC6303].  In practice, this means that resolvers SHOULD respond
   to queries of any type other than SVCB for with
   NODATA and queries of any type for any domain name under with NODATA.

6.5.  Interaction with Network-Designated Resolvers

   DNR [RFC9463] allows a network to provide designation of resolvers
   directly through DHCP [RFC2132] [RFC8415] and through IPv6 RA options
   [RFC8106].  When such indications are present, clients can suppress
   queries for "" to the unencrypted DNS server indicated
   by the network over DHCP or RAs, and the DNR indications SHOULD take
   precedence over those discovered using "" for the same
   resolver if there is a conflict, since DNR is considered a more
   reliable source.

   The Designated Resolver information in DNR might not contain a full
   set of SvcParams needed to connect to an Encrypted DNS Resolver.  In
   such a case, the client can use a SVCB query using a resolver name,
   as described in Section 5, to the Authentication Domain Name (ADN).

7.  Security Considerations

   Since clients can receive DNS SVCB answers over unencrypted DNS, on-
   path attackers can prevent successful discovery by dropping SVCB
   queries or answers and thus can prevent clients from switching to
   using encrypted DNS.  Clients should be aware that it might not be
   possible to distinguish between resolvers that do not have any
   Designated Resolver and such an active attack.  To limit the impact
   of discovery queries being dropped either maliciously or
   unintentionally, clients can re-send their SVCB queries periodically.

   Section 8.2 of [RFC9461] describes another type of downgrade attack
   where an attacker can block connections to the encrypted DNS server.
   For DDR, clients need to validate a Designated Resolver using a
   connection to the server before trusting it, so attackers that can
   block these connections can prevent clients from switching to using
   encrypted DNS.

   Encrypted DNS Resolvers that allow discovery using DNS SVCB answers
   over unencrypted DNS MUST NOT provide differentiated behavior based
   solely on metadata in the SVCB record, such as the HTTP path or
   alternate port number, which are parameters that an attacker could
   modify.  For example, if a DoH resolver provides a filtering service
   for one URI path and a non-filtered service for another URI path, an
   attacker could select which of these services is used by modifying
   the "dohpath" parameter.  These attacks can be mitigated by providing
   separate resolver IP addresses or hostnames.

   While the IP address of the Unencrypted DNS Resolver is often
   provisioned over insecure mechanisms, it can also be provisioned
   securely, such as via manual configuration, on a VPN, or on a network
   with protections like RA-Guard [RFC6105].  An attacker might try to
   direct encrypted DNS traffic to itself by causing the client to think
   that a discovered Designated Resolver uses a different IP address
   from the Unencrypted DNS Resolver.  Such a Designated Resolver might
   have a valid certificate but might be operated by an attacker that is
   trying to observe or modify user queries without the knowledge of the
   client or network.

   If the IP address of a Designated Resolver differs from that of an
   Unencrypted DNS Resolver, clients applying Verified Discovery
   (Section 4.2) MUST validate that the IP address of the Unencrypted
   DNS Resolver is covered by the SubjectAltName (SAN) of the Designated
   Resolver's TLS certificate.  If that validation fails, the client
   MUST NOT automatically use the discovered Designated Resolver.

   Clients using Opportunistic Discovery (Section 4.3) MUST be limited
   to cases where the Unencrypted DNS Resolver and Designated Resolver
   have the same IP address, which SHOULD be a private or local IP
   address.  Clients that do not follow Opportunistic Discovery
   (Section 4.3) and instead try to connect without first checking for a
   designation run the possible risk of being intercepted by an attacker
   hosting an Encrypted DNS Resolver on an IP address of an Unencrypted
   DNS Resolver where the attacker has failed to gain control of the
   Unencrypted DNS Resolver.

   The constraints on the use of Designated Resolvers specified here
   apply specifically to the automatic discovery mechanisms defined in
   this document, which are referred to as Verified Discovery and
   Opportunistic Discovery.  Clients MAY use some other mechanism to
   verify and use Designated Resolvers discovered using the DNS SVCB
   record.  However, the use of such an alternate mechanism needs to
   take into account the attack scenarios detailed here.

8.  IANA Considerations

8.1.  Special-Use Domain Name ""

   IANA has registered "" in the "Special-Use Domain Names"
   registry established by [RFC6761].

   IANA has added an entry in the "Transport-Independent Locally-Served
   DNS Zone Registry" for '' with the description "DNS
   Resolver Special-Use Domain" and listed this document as the

8.2.  Domain Name Reservation Considerations

   In accordance with Section 5 of [RFC6761], the answers to the
   following questions are provided relative to this document:

   1.  Are human users expected to recognize these names as special and
       use them differently?  In what way?

       No.  This name is used automatically by DNS stub resolvers
       running on client devices on behalf of users, and users will
       never see this name directly.

   2.  Are writers of application software expected to make their
       software recognize these names as special and treat them
       differently?  In what way?

       No.  There is no use case where a non-DNS application (covered by
       the next question) would need to use this name.

   3.  Are writers of name resolution APIs and libraries expected to
       make their software recognize these names as special and treat
       them differently?  If so, how?

       Yes.  DNS client implementors are expected to use this name when
       querying for a resolver's properties instead of records for the
       name itself.  DNS servers are expected to respond to queries for
       this name with their own properties instead of checking the
       matching zone as it would for normal domain names.

   4.  Are developers of caching domain name servers expected to make
       their implementations recognize these names as special and treat
       them differently?  If so, how?

       Yes.  Caching domain name servers should not forward queries for
       this name, to avoid causing validation failures due to IP address

   5.  Are developers of authoritative domain name servers expected to
       make their implementations recognize these names as special and
       treat them differently?  If so, how?

       No.  DDR is designed for use by recursive resolvers.
       Theoretically, an authoritative server could choose to support
       this name if it wants to advertise support for encrypted DNS
       protocols over plaintext DNS, but that scenario is covered by
       other work in the IETF DNSOP Working Group.

   6.  Does this reserved Special-Use Domain Name have any potential
       impact on DNS server operators?  If they try to configure their
       authoritative DNS server as authoritative for this reserved name,
       will compliant name server software reject it as invalid?  Do DNS
       server operators need to know about that and understand why?
       Even if the name server software doesn't prevent them from using
       this reserved name, are there other ways that it may not work as
       expected, of which the DNS server operator should be aware?

       This name is locally served, and any resolver that supports this
       name should never forward the query.  DNS server operators should
       be aware that records for this name will be used by clients to
       modify the way they connect to their resolvers.

   7.  How should DNS Registries/Registrars treat requests to register
       this reserved domain name?  Should such requests be denied?
       Should such requests be allowed, but only to a specially
       designated entity?

       IANA holds the registration for this name.  Non-IANA requests to
       register this name should always be denied by DNS Registries/

9.  References

9.1.  Normative References

   [RFC1918]  Rekhter, Y., Moskowitz, B., Karrenberg, D., de Groot, G.
              J., and E. Lear, "Address Allocation for Private
              Internets", BCP 5, RFC 1918, DOI 10.17487/RFC1918,
              February 1996, <>.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,

   [RFC3927]  Cheshire, S., Aboba, B., and E. Guttman, "Dynamic
              Configuration of IPv4 Link-Local Addresses", RFC 3927,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC3927, May 2005,

   [RFC4193]  Hinden, R. and B. Haberman, "Unique Local IPv6 Unicast
              Addresses", RFC 4193, DOI 10.17487/RFC4193, October 2005,

   [RFC4291]  Hinden, R. and S. Deering, "IP Version 6 Addressing
              Architecture", RFC 4291, DOI 10.17487/RFC4291, February
              2006, <>.

   [RFC5280]  Cooper, D., Santesson, S., Farrell, S., Boeyen, S.,
              Housley, R., and W. Polk, "Internet X.509 Public Key
              Infrastructure Certificate and Certificate Revocation List
              (CRL) Profile", RFC 5280, DOI 10.17487/RFC5280, May 2008,

   [RFC6303]  Andrews, M., "Locally Served DNS Zones", BCP 163,
              RFC 6303, DOI 10.17487/RFC6303, July 2011,

   [RFC6761]  Cheshire, S. and M. Krochmal, "Special-Use Domain Names",
              RFC 6761, DOI 10.17487/RFC6761, February 2013,

   [RFC7858]  Hu, Z., Zhu, L., Heidemann, J., Mankin, A., Wessels, D.,
              and P. Hoffman, "Specification for DNS over Transport
              Layer Security (TLS)", RFC 7858, DOI 10.17487/RFC7858, May
              2016, <>.

   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
              2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
              May 2017, <>.

   [RFC8484]  Hoffman, P. and P. McManus, "DNS Queries over HTTPS
              (DoH)", RFC 8484, DOI 10.17487/RFC8484, October 2018,

   [RFC9250]  Huitema, C., Dickinson, S., and A. Mankin, "DNS over
              Dedicated QUIC Connections", RFC 9250,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC9250, May 2022,

   [RFC9460]  Schwartz, B., Bishop, M., and E. Nygren, "Service Binding
              and Parameter Specification via the DNS (SVCB and HTTPS
              Resource Records)", RFC 9460, DOI 10.17487/RFC9460,
              November 2023, <>.

   [RFC9461]  Schwartz, B., "Service Binding Mapping for DNS Servers",
              RFC 9461, DOI 10.17487/RFC9461, November 2023,

   [RFC9463]  Boucadair, M., Ed., Reddy.K, T., Ed., Wing, D., Cook, N.,
              and T. Jensen, "DHCP and Router Advertisement Options for
              the Discovery of Network-designated Resolvers (DNR)",
              RFC 9463, DOI 10.17487/RFC9463, November 2023,

9.2.  Informative References

              Schinazi, D., Sullivan, N., and J. Kipp, "DoH Preference
              Hints for HTTP", Work in Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-
              schinazi-httpbis-doh-preference-hints-02, 13 July 2020,

   [ECH]      Rescorla, E., Oku, K., Sullivan, N., and C. A. Wood, "TLS
              Encrypted Client Hello", Work in Progress, Internet-Draft,
              draft-ietf-tls-esni-17, 9 October 2023,

   [RFC2132]  Alexander, S. and R. Droms, "DHCP Options and BOOTP Vendor
              Extensions", RFC 2132, DOI 10.17487/RFC2132, March 1997,

   [RFC6105]  Levy-Abegnoli, E., Van de Velde, G., Popoviciu, C., and J.
              Mohacsi, "IPv6 Router Advertisement Guard", RFC 6105,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6105, February 2011,

   [RFC8106]  Jeong, J., Park, S., Beloeil, L., and S. Madanapalli,
              "IPv6 Router Advertisement Options for DNS Configuration",
              RFC 8106, DOI 10.17487/RFC8106, March 2017,

   [RFC8415]  Mrugalski, T., Siodelski, M., Volz, B., Yourtchenko, A.,
              Richardson, M., Jiang, S., Lemon, T., and T. Winters,
              "Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol for IPv6 (DHCPv6)",
              RFC 8415, DOI 10.17487/RFC8415, November 2018,

   [RFC8446]  Rescorla, E., "The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Protocol
              Version 1.3", RFC 8446, DOI 10.17487/RFC8446, August 2018,

   [RFC8880]  Cheshire, S. and D. Schinazi, "Special Use Domain Name
              ''", RFC 8880, DOI 10.17487/RFC8880, August
              2020, <>.

Appendix A.  Rationale for Using a Special-Use Domain Name

   The "" SUDN is similar to "" in that the
   querying client is not interested in an answer from the authoritative
   "arpa" name servers.  The intent of the SUDN is to allow clients to
   communicate with the Unencrypted DNS Resolver much like
   "" allows for client-to-middlebox communication.  For
   more context, see [RFC8880] for the rationale behind "".

Appendix B.  Rationale for Using SVCB Records

   These mechanisms use SVCB/HTTPS resource records [RFC9460] to
   communicate that a given domain designates a particular Designated
   Resolver for clients to use in place of an Unencrypted DNS Resolver
   (using a SUDN) or another Encrypted DNS Resolver (using its domain

   There are various other proposals for how to provide similar
   functionality.  There are several reasons that these mechanisms have
   chosen SVCB records:

   *  Discovering Encrypted DNS Resolvers using DNS records keeps client
      logic for DNS self-contained and allows a DNS resolver operator to
      define which resolver names and IP addresses are related to one

   *  Using DNS records also does not rely on bootstrapping with higher-
      level application operations (such as those discussed in

   *  SVCB records are extensible and allow the definition of parameter
      keys, making them a superior mechanism for extensibility as
      compared to approaches such as overloading TXT records.  The same
      keys can be used for discovering Designated Resolvers of different
      transport types as well as those advertised by Unencrypted DNS
      Resolvers or another Encrypted DNS Resolver.

   *  Clients and servers that are interested in privacy of names will
      already need to support SVCB records in order to use the TLS
      Encrypted ClientHello [ECH].  Without encrypting names in TLS, the
      value of encrypting DNS is reduced, so pairing the solutions
      provides the greatest benefit.

Authors' Addresses

   Tommy Pauly
   Apple Inc.
   One Apple Park Way
   Cupertino, California 95014
   United States of America

   Eric Kinnear
   Apple Inc.
   One Apple Park Way
   Cupertino, California 95014
   United States of America

   Christopher A. Wood
   101 Townsend St
   San Francisco, California 94107
   United States of America

   Patrick McManus

   Tommy Jensen