DNSKEY contains the public key that a DNS Resolver uses to verify DNSSEC signatures in the DNS Records. DNSKEY lookup verifies the authenticity of DNS records.


What is a DNSKEY?

DNSKEY is a type of DNS record that is used in the Domain Name System (DNS) to secure the DNS infrastructure through DNSSEC (DNS Security Extensions).

DNSSEC is a set of extensions to the DNS that provide authentication of DNS data, ensuring that DNS responses have not been tampered with during transit. This is important because DNS is the backbone of the internet, and it is critical to ensure the integrity and authenticity of DNS data to prevent cyber attacks such as cache poisoning and redirection of traffic to malicious websites.

The DNSKEY record is used to store a public key of a key pair that is used in the DNSSEC authentication process. The public key is used to verify the digital signature on DNS records, while the private key is used to sign the records. When a client (such as a web browser) wants to resolve a domain name to an IP address, it can check the DNSSEC signatures on the DNS records to ensure that the data is authentic.

DNSKEY records are typically stored in the parent zone of a domain, allowing resolvers to retrieve the keys needed to validate the signatures of the records for a given domain. The presence of valid DNSKEY records in the parent zone indicates that the domain is signed with DNSSEC and provides a secure end-to-end authentication of the DNS data from the authoritative servers to the client.

How do you generate a DNSKEY?

Generating a DNSKEY record involves the following steps:

  1. Install a DNSSEC-enabled DNS software: You will need to have a DNS software that supports DNSSEC to generate a DNSKEY record. Some popular DNSSEC-enabled DNS software include BIND, NSD, and PowerDNS.
  2. Create a Key Signing Key (KSK): A KSK is a key pair used to sign other keys and is used as the top-level key in the DNSSEC chain of trust. The KSK must be at least 2048 bits in length.
  3. Create a Zone Signing Key (ZSK): A ZSK is a key pair used to sign the actual DNS records in the zone. The ZSK must be at least 1024 bits in length.
  4. Publish the DNSKEY record: The DNSKEY record contains the public key of the key pair and is stored in the authoritative DNS servers for the zone. The DNSKEY record can be generated using the DNSSEC-enabled DNS software, and it is usually stored in the parent zone of the domain.
  5. Sign the DNS records: Once the DNSKEY record is published, the zone signing key (ZSK) is used to sign all the records in the zone, generating a set of RRSIG (DNSSEC signature) records. The RRSIG records are stored along with the signed records in the authoritative DNS servers for the zone.
  6. Enable DNSSEC validation: Finally, you need to configure your DNS resolvers to perform DNSSEC validation. This will allow resolvers to retrieve the DNSKEY records from the parent zone and validate the signatures on the DNS records for the zone.

Keep in mind that generating a DNSKEY record and implementing DNSSEC requires a certain level of technical expertise and can be a complex process. It is recommended to consult with a professional or follow the instructions provided by the DNSSEC-enabled DNS software to ensure proper implementation.

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