Re: [Resolverless-dns] Paper on Resolver-less DNS

Viktor Dukhovni <> Tue, 27 August 2019 18:29 UTC

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From: Viktor Dukhovni <>
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Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2019 14:29:33 -0400
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Subject: Re: [Resolverless-dns] Paper on Resolver-less DNS
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> On Aug 23, 2019, at 5:37 AM, Erik Sy <> wrote:
> In my view, DANE TLSA is an approach to do public key pinning.

The analogy is deeply flawed.  HPKP has keys pinned by *clients* that
may contact the server sufficiently infrequently to make stale keys an
intractable problem.  HPKP is also provides no protection on first

With DANE, on the other hand, the keys are published in the server's
DNS zone, and refreshed by the server operator's DNS administrator
independently of any client activity.  TLSA record TTLs are typically
an hour or less, and otherwise rarely more than a day.  A client that
implements DANE is protected on first contact.

> The web
> already collected a lot of experience with public key pinning as this
> can be also done using other protocols than DNS.

The inevitable failure of HPKP was obvious (to me and doubtless not
me alone) from the outset.  Stateful client-side key pinning does not

DANE does not share the problems of HPKP.  Yes some server operators
may be negligent and publish stale TLSA RRs, but *they* can fix this
promptly, just as they would with expired certificates (a TLSA record
is essentially a trust-anchor, it may directly designate a trusted 
leaf key or in many cases a trusted issuer).

Any perceived similarity between DANE and HPKP is largely the result
of lack of familiarity with DANE.

DANE is currently employed on 6000 SMTP MX hosts serving 1.22 million
email domains.  Only ~500 domains have stale TLSA records, and the
number should go down as more senders enable DANE, making broken
deployments more visible to negligent operators.