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No major Internet shutdown due to 'keys' upgrade

Source: PTI
October 12, 2018 20:45 IST
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Global Internet body Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers said on Friday that it has noted only a handful cases where Net services might have affected adversely due to the upgradation of 'keys' at vital web servers that took place on October 11.

"It is now about 20 hours since the rollover and based on all information we have, everything is going smoothly. There have been only a small handful of reports of issues suspected to be caused by the rollover.

"In all cases it appears the impact was minor and the issues were quickly resolved," an ICANN spokesperson told PTI.


ICANN comments come hours after reports of a possible global Internet shutdown over the next 48 hours.

A report in ANI had said that 'Internet users across the globe may experience widespread network failures as the key domain servers are slated to undergo routine maintenance over the next 48 hours'.

Quoting a statement by the Communications Regulatory Authority, the report further said the global internet shutdown is necessary for ensuring a secure, stable and resilient DNS (Domain Name System).

'To further clarify, some internet users might be affected if their network operators or Internet service  providers have not prepared for this change.

'However, this impact can be avoided by enabling the appropriate system security extensions,' the statement added.

ICANN has announced in July 2016 to upgrade cryptographic keys that are required to access security system of website names, called Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC).

When an Internet user types a website on his browser, the broadband or Internet modem transmits that name to a system called resolver -- which converts the website name in to numeric form containing code and server address of the website.

ICANN has asked all Internet service providers to upgrade their software that resolves the website name in to digital code and directs the traffic to right server.

DNSSEC is an additional layer which validates the website name has been converted correctly.

The keys required to accesses the DNSSEC central server system called root zone were implemented in 2010 and hence were required to be upgraded for protection.

The transition was planned for October 11 , 2017 but was deferred by a year due to unclear data received just before the rollover.

Before running the system upgrade, ICANN had estimated that more than 99 per cent of users whose system are validating DNSSSEC will be unaffected by the rollover; while the body that handles website name allocation in Asia, Regional Internet Registry for the Asia Pacific region (APNIC) had estimated that only 0.05 per cent of Internet users would be negatively affected by the transition.

The ICANN spokesperson said no one can know definitively which operators have enabled DNSSEC validation on their resolvers, and because no one but the operator can tell if a resolver with DNSSEC validation enabled was ready for the rollover.

" one could know exactly which users might be affected by the KSK rollover and where they would be," the spokesperson said.

However, Internet service providers whose system did not perform DNSSEC validation function will not be impacted by the transition at all.

According to ICANN estimates are that about two thirds of users are behind resolvers that do not yet perform DNSSEC validation.

With ANI inputs.

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