22 April 2018

This AUsome! blog addresses the technical portion of the .au Registry Transformation Project, and this post recaps Afilias’ focus on security for the new .au DNS system.

“DNS” refers to the Domain Name System (a system of identifiers like “.au” on the internet), and “the DNS” indicates the routing processes that get you to the place on the internet you need to go.

However, criminals are constantly trying to disrupt internet traffic—especially for popular destinations like .au. Some bombard websites with billions of requests in order to overwhelm capacity and keep requests from regular internet users from being processed. These are called “distributed denial of service” or DDoS attacks because they deny service to regular visitors. Another disruption is diverting traffic from the intended destination to a phishing site or a site that automatically downloads malware to your computer. Criminals are very creative, requiring constant vigilance by everyone, including the registry.

Beginning in July, Afilias will be responsible for safeguarding the underlying infrastructure supporting all .au addresses. This doesn’t mean we are supporting the individual websites—that is up to “hosting” companies. Rather, it means we are supporting the infrastructure that links all the websites together.

To protect this infrastructure, Afilias is installing a number of enhancements for .au, including:

  • Massive capacity: The new .au infrastructure will be massively provisioned to support many multiples of normal traffic. This provisioning is further extended by stand-by secondary capacity.
  • Smarter DNS: Afilias’ DNS also features advanced analytical functionality that can identify “attacks” such as unusual traffic from known suspicious sources—this traffic can be “filtered out,” leaving capacity available for legitimate queries.
  • DNSSEC deployment: Afilias is also deploying “DNS SECurity Extensions,” which will add a new level of security for each website that activates it.

The Afilias .au DNS team will also monitor the system 24x7 and take corrective action immediately if needed. We also work with reporting agencies around the world who alert us to security problems before service can be affected. And security training is provided to all Afilias staff at least quarterly.

Reliable, secure DNS is critical to enhancing trust in .au addresses, and Afilias is now installing world class DNS for the Australian internet community.

More information on Afilias plc is located at www.afilias.info.

Have a question or want to suggest a topic for us to cover? Email us at transformationblog@afilias.com.au.