“Root DNS Infrastructure: Routing and Security Analysis”

Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:00 PM

Location: LTS Auditorium, 8080 Greenmead Drive

Bobby Bhattacharjee, Dave Levin, and Neil Spring from the University of Maryland

The Domain Name Service (DNS) is a foundational protocol of the internet. Critical to DNS is its infrastructure of 13 root name servers (A- through M-root), which are responsible for last-resort queries for top level domains (TLDs).

The University of Maryland operates D-root, comprising more than 100 replica sites that collect query samples dating back to 2014, typically every 10 minutes. This data provides both a unique view on how one of the internet’s most important pieces of critical infrastructure is used and misused, and offers a window on misconfigurations and attacks that create atypical DNS queries.

In this talk, we will present recent and future research on three key topics. The first determines the efficiency of the DNS routing infrastructure itself, and how well anycast serves as a basis for building an internet-wide infrastructure. The second provides insight into various internet-wide attacks—especially IoT-based malware attacks—based on queries that are routed to the root server. The third detects, more generally, when network behavior changes so that we can construct automated detection of performance faults and network attacks as they occur.

Speaker Bios:
Bobby Bhattacharjee is a professor of computer science at the University of Maryland. His research interests are in networking, security and operating systems.

Dave Levin is an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Maryland in the Maryland Cybersecurity Center. He also has an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS). His research interests include securing the web’s certificate ecosystem and protecting users from online censorship. Levin received a Distinguished Paper Award from USENIX Security in 2017.

Neil Spring is a professor of computer science at the University of Maryland and he has an appointment in UMIACS. Spring received the SIGCOMM “Test of Time” paper award in 2014. His research interests include measuring residential network reliability, communication despite adversarial environments, and network topology discovery.