Re: [DNSOP] Proposal for a new record type: SNI

Ben Schwartz <> Sat, 18 February 2017 03:41 UTC

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From: Ben Schwartz <>
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2017 22:41:29 -0500
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To: John R Levine <>
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Subject: Re: [DNSOP] Proposal for a new record type: SNI
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On Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 9:47 PM, John R Levine <> wrote:

> 1. Multiple domains on the same host set the same SNI record.  Possession
>> of a global DNS database is no help to the adversary.  The adversary still
>> cannot distinguish the domains.  This is the intended use.
> Now I'm really confused.  If the SNI value is just a cover name, and the
> client's going to send the real name later, why not just pick a fixed
> impossible cover name like SNI.INVALID and skip the SNI lookup?

In that case, one would simply omit the SNI, since it is optional.  The
draft specifies that an empty RDATA instructs the client to omit the SNI.
Currently, most TLS servers do not require SNI at all, so this will often
work ... but there's no way for the client to know ahead of time if it's
safe to omit, so the clients always include it.

The reason to allow non-empty RDATA is to support servers that serve
multiple multi-domain certificates from a single IP address, dispatched by
SNI.  This is common on CDNs and other large internet serving systems.

> Presumably if this became at all popular, everyone will send SNI.INVALID
> so it wouldn't leak anything interesting.
> Regards,
> John Levine,, Taughannock Networks, Trumansburg NY
> Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail.