ICANN, Vocus team up for Domain Name System security

ICANN and Vocus Communications have installed an L-Root server node in Sydney to increase the Domain Name System (DNS) resilience against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

There are 13 root DNS servers named A through to M. The L-Root server is operated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). According to the organisation, computers communicate with each other using numeric addresses, while humans find it easier to use and remember names. The DNS translates domain names into addresses and the root servers provide the pointers to the servers for top-level domains.

Vocus Communications is the vendor that supplied the equipment, bandwidth and data centre space for installation of the L-Root node. The Vocus hosted L-Root node is the sixth root server installed in Australia.

An ICANN spokesperson said that duplicating the root servers leads to a more resilient, dispersed system that reduces the risk of users being taken offline by a problem and reduces the time it takes to look up names on the Internet.

According to Vocus CTO Luke Mackinnon, there was a 121 per cent increase in infrastructure-based DDoS attacks during 2014.

“Creating greater redundancy in the DNS is great news for Australian businesses which increasingly require the reliability of a fast and secure network,” he said.

The size of DDoS attacks in Australia continues to be larger than the Asia Pacific average, according to a report by Arbor Networks released in July.

In Australia, the average attack size in Q2 was 1.83Gbps, compared with the APAC average of 800.01Mbps.

This was a rise from Q1 of 2015 where the average DDoS attack in Australia was 1.25Gbps.

In August, ICANN reported that someone had obtained information related to user accounts for its public website, although no financial information was divulged.

At the time, ICANN said the "encrypted passwords appear to have been obtained as a result of unauthorised access to an external service provider". It did not name the provider.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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