Network Working Group                                         M. StJohns
Internet-Draft                                             Nominum, Inc.
Expires: April 14, February 16, 2006                               August 15, 2005                                 October 14, 2004

               Automated Updates of DNSSEC Trust Anchors

Status of this Memo

    This document is an Internet-Draft and is subject to all provisions
    of section 3 of RFC 3667.

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004). (2005).


   This document describes a means for automated, authenticated and
   authorized updating of DNSSEC "trust anchors".  The method provides
   protection against single key compromise of a key in the trust point
   key set.  Based on the trust established by the presence of a current
   anchor, other anchors may be added at the same place in the
   hierarchy, and, ultimately, supplant the existing anchor.

   This mechanism, if adopted, will require changes to resolver
   management behavior (but not resolver resolution behavior), and the
   addition of a single flag bit to the DNSKEY record.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     1.1   Compliance Nomenclature  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     1.2   Changes since -00  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Theory of Operation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     2.1   Revocation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     2.2   Add Hold-Down  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5  4
     2.3   Remove Hold-down . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.4   Active Refresh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     2.5   Resolver Parameters  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       2.5.1   Add Hold-Down Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       2.5.2   Remove Hold-Down Time  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       2.5.3   Minimum Trust Anchors per Trust Point  . . . . . . . .  6
   3.  Changes to DNSKEY RDATA Wire Format  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
   4.  State Table  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     4.1   Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     4.2   States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   5.  Scenarios  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     5.1   Adding A Trust Anchor  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     5.2   Deleting a Trust Anchor  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     5.3   Key Roll-Over  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     5.4   Active Key Compromised . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     5.5   Stand-by Key Compromised . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   6.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     6.1   Key Ownership vs Acceptance Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     6.2   Multiple Key Compromise  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     6.3   Dynamic Updates  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   7.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
       Editorial Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
       Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
       Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . 12

1.  Introduction

   As part of the reality of fielding DNSSEC (Domain Name System
   Security Extensions) [RFC2535][DSINTRO][DSPROT][DSREC], [RFC2535] [RFC4033][RFC4034][RFC4035], the
   community has come to the realization that there will not be one
   signed name space, but rather islands of signed name space each
   originating from specific points (i.e. 'trust points') in the DNS
   tree.  Each of those islands will be identified by the trust point
   name, and validated by at least one associated public key.  For the
   purpose of this document we'll call the association of that name and
   a particular key a 'trust anchor'.  A particular trust point can have
   more than one key designated as a trust anchor.

   For a DNSSEC-aware resolver to validate information in a DNSSEC
   protected branch of the hierarchy, it must have knowledge of a trust
   anchor applicable to that branch.  It may also have more than one
   trust anchor for any given trust point.  Under current rules, a chain
   of trust for DNSSEC-protected data that chains its way back to ANY
   known trust anchor is considered 'secure'.

   Because of the probable balkanization of the DNSSEC tree due to
   signing voids at key locations, a resolver may need to know literally
   thousands of trust anchors to perform its duties. (e.g.  Consider an
   unsigned ".COM".)  Requiring the owner of the resolver to manually
   manage this many relationships is problematic.  It's even more
   problematic when considering the eventual requirement for key
   replacement/update for a given trust anchor.  The mechanism described
   herein won't help with the initial configuration of the trust anchors
   in the resolvers, but should make trust point key
    replacement/rollover replacement/
   rollover more viable.

   As mentioned above, this document describes a mechanism whereby a
   resolver can update the trust anchors for a given trust point, mainly
   without human intervention at the resolver.  There are some corner
   cases discussed (e.g. multiple key compromise) that may require
   manual intervention, but they should be few and far between.  This
   document DOES NOT discuss the general problem of the initial
   configuration of trust anchors for the resolver.

1.1  Compliance Nomenclature

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14, [RFC2119].

1.2  Changes since -00

    Resubmitted draft-stjohns-dnssec-trustupdate as a working group

   Added the concept of timer triggered resolver queries to refresh the
   resolvers view of the trust anchor key RRSet.

   Re-submitted expired draft as -01.  Updated DNSSEC RFC References.

2.  Theory of Operation

   The general concept of this mechanism is that existing trust anchors
   can be used to authenticate new trust anchors at the same point in
   the DNS hierarchy.  When a new SEP key is added to a trust point
   DNSKEY RRSet, and when that RRSet is validated by an existing trust
   anchor, then the new key can be added to the set of trust anchors.

   There are some issues with this approach which need to be mitigated.
   For example, a compromise of one of the existing keys could allow an
   attacker to add their own 'valid' data.  This implies a need for a
   method to revoke an existing key regardless of whether or not that
   key is compromised.  As another example assuming a single key
   compromise, an attacker could add a new key and revoke all the other
   old keys.

2.1  Revocation

   Assume two trust anchor keys A and B. Assume that B has been
   compromised.  Without a specific revocation bit, B could invalidate A
   simply by sending out a signed trust point key set which didn't
   contain A. To fix this, we add a mechanism which requires knowledge
   of the private key of a DNSKEY to revoke that DNSKEY.

   A key is considered revoked when the resolver sees the key in a
    self-signed self-
   signed RRSet and the key has the REVOKE bit set to '1'.  Once the
   resolver sees the REVOKE bit, it MUST NOT use this key as a trust
   anchor or for any other purposes except validating the RRSIG over the
   DNSKEY RRSet specifically for the purpose of validating the
   revocation.  Unlike the 'Add' operation below, revocation is
   immediate and permanent upon receipt of a valid revocation at the

   N.B. A DNSKEY with the REVOKE bit set has a different fingerprint
   than one without the bit set.  This affects the matching of a DNSKEY
   to DS records in the parent, or the fingerprint stored at a resolver
   used to configure a trust point. [msj3]

   In the given example, the attacker could revoke B because it has
   knowledge of B's private key, but could not revoke A.

2.2  Add Hold-Down

   Assume two trust point keys A and B. Assume that B has been
   compromised.  An attacker could generate and add a new trust anchor
   key - C (by adding C to the DNSKEY RRSet and signing it with B), and
   then invalidate the compromised key.  This would result in the both
   the attacker and owner being able to sign data in the zone and have
   it accepted as valid by resolvers.

   To mitigate, but not completely solve, this problem, we add a
    hold-down hold-
   down time to the addition of the trust anchor.  When the resolver
   sees a new SEP key in a validated trust point DNSKEY RRSet, the
   resolver starts an acceptance timer, and remembers all the keys that
   validated the RRSet.  If the resolver ever sees the DNSKEY RRSet
   without the new key but validly signed, it stops the acceptance
   process and resets the acceptance timer.  If all of the keys which
   were originally used to validate this key are revoked prior to the
   timer expiring, the resolver stops the acceptance process and resets
   the timer.

   Once the timer expires, the new key will be added as a trust anchor
   the next time the validated RRSet with the new key is seen at the
   resolver.  The resolver MUST NOT treat the new key as a trust anchor
   until the hold down time expires AND it has retrieved and validated a
   DNSKEY RRSet after the hold down time which contains the new key.

   N.B.: Once the resolver has accepted a key as a trust anchor, the key
   MUST be considered a valid trust anchor by that resolver until
   explictly revoked as described above.

   In the given example, the zone owner can recover from a compromise by
   revoking B and adding a new key D and signing the DNSKEY RRSet with
   both A and B.

   The reason this does not completely solve the problem has to do with
   the distributed nature of DNS.  The resolver only knows what it sees.
   A determined attacker who holds one compromised key could keep a
   single resolver from realizing that key had been compromised by
   intercepting 'real' data from the originating zone and substituting
   their own (e.g. using the example, signed only by B).  This is no
   worse than the current situation assuming a compromised key.

2.3  Remove Hold-down

   A new key which has been seen by the resolver, but hasn't reached
   it's add hold-down time, MAY be removed from the DNSKEY RRSet by the
   zone owner.  If the resolver sees a validated DNSKEY RRSet without
   this key, it waits for the remove hold-down time and then, if the key
   hasn't reappeared, SHOULD discard any information about the key.

2.4  Active Refresh

   A resolver which has been configured for automatic update of keys
   from a particular trust point MUST query that trust point (e.g. do a
   lookup for the DNSKEY RRSet and related RRSIG records) no less often
   than the lesser of 15 days or half the original TTL for the DNSKEY
   RRSet or half the RRSIG expiration interval.  The expiration interval
   is the amount of time from when the RRSIG was last retrieved until
   the expiration time in the RRSIG.

   If the query fails, the resolver MUST repeat the query until
   satisfied no more often than once an hour and no less often than the
   lesser of 1 day or 10% of the original TTL or 10% of the original
   expiration interval.

2.5  Resolver Parameters

2.5.1  Add Hold-Down Time

   The add hold-down time is 30 days or the expiration time of the TTL
   of the first trust point DNSKEY RRSet which contained the key,
   whichever is greater.  This ensures that at least two validated
   DNSKEY RRSets which contain the new key MUST be seen by the resolver
   prior to the key's acceptance.

2.5.2  Remove Hold-Down Time

   The remove hold-down time is 30 days.

2.5.3  Minimum Trust Anchors per Trust Point

   A compliant resolver MUST be able to manage at least five SEP keys
   per trust point.

3.  Changes to DNSKEY RDATA Wire Format

   Bit n [msj2] of the DNSKEY Flags field is designated as the 'REVOKE'
   flag.  If this bit is set to '1', AND the resolver sees an
   RRSIG(DNSKEY) signed by the associated key, then the resolver MUST
   consider this key permanently invalid for all purposes except for
   validing the revocation.

4.  State Table

   The most important thing to understand is the resolver's view of any
   key at a trust point.  The following state table describes that view
   at various points in the key's lifetime.  The table is a normative
   part of this specification.  The initial state of the key is 'Start'.

   The resolver's view of the state of the key changes as various events

   [msj1] This is the state of a trust point key as seen from the
   resolver.  The column on the left indicates the current state.  The
   header at the top shows the next state.  The intersection of the two
   shows the event that will cause the state to transition from the
   current state to the next.

                             NEXT STATE
    FROM   |Start  |AddPend |Valid  |Missing|Revoked|Removed|
   Start   |       |NewKey  |       |       |       |       |
   AddPend |KeyRem |        |AddTime|       |       |
   Valid   |       |        |       |KeyRem |Revbit |       |
   Missing |       |        |KeyPres|       |Revbit |       |
   Revoked |       |        |       |       |       |RemTime|
   Removed |       |        |       |       |       |       |

4.1  Events
   NewKey The resolver sees a valid DNSKEY RRSet with a new SEP key.
      That key will become a new trust anchor for the named trust point
      after its been present in the RRSet for at least 'add time'.
   KeyPres The key has returned to the valid DNSKEY RRSet.
   KeyRem The resolver sees a valid DNSKEY RRSet that does not contain
      this key.
   AddTime The key has been in every valid DNSKEY RRSet seen for at
      least the 'add time'.
   RemTime A revoked key has been missing from the trust point DNSKEY
      RRSet for sufficient time to be removed from the trust set.
   RevBit The key has appeared in the trust anchor DNSKEY RRSet with its
      "REVOKED" bit set, and there is an RRSig over the DNSKEY RRSet
      signed by this key.

4.2  States
   Start The key doesn't yet exist as a trust anchor at the resolver.
      It may or may not exist at the zone server, but hasn't yet been
      seen at the resolver.

   AddPend The key has been seen at the resolver, has its 'SEP' bit set,
      and has been included in a validated DNSKEY RRSet.  There is a
      hold-down time for the key before it can be used as a trust
   Valid The key has been seen at the resolver and has been included in
      all validated DNSKEY RRSets from the time it was first seen up
      through the hold-down time.  It is now valid for verifying RRSets
      that arrive after the hold down time.  Clarification:  The DNSKEY
      RRSet does not need to be continuously present at the resolver
      (e.g. its TTL might expire).  If the RRSet is seen, and is
      validated (i.e. verifies against an existing trust anchor), this
      key MUST be in the RRSet otherwise  a 'KeyRem' event is triggered.
   Missing This is an abnormal state.  The key remains as a valid trust
      point key, but was not seen at the resolver in the last validated
      DNSKEY RRSet.  This is an abnormal state because the zone operator
      should be using the REVOKE bit prior to removal.  [Discussion
      item:  Should a missing key be considered revoked after some
      period of time?]
   Revoked This is the state a key moves to once the resolver sees an
      RRSIG(DNSKEY) signed by this key where that DNSKEY RRSet contains
      this key with its REVOKE bit set to '1'.  Once in this state, this
      key MUST permanently be considered invalid as a trust anchor.
   Removed After a fairly long hold-down time, information about this
      key may be purged from the resolver.  A key in the removed state
      MUST NOT be considered a valid trust anchor.

5.  Scenarios

   The suggested model for operation is to have one active key and one
   stand-by key at each trust point.  The active key will be used to
   sign the DNSKEY RRSet.  The stand-by key will not normally sign this
   RRSet, but the resolver will accept it as a trust anchor if/when it
   sees the signature on the trust point DNSKEY RRSet.

   Since the stand-by key is not in active signing use, the associated
   private key may (and SHOULD) be provided with additional protections
   not normally available to a key that must be used frequently.  E.g.
   locked in a safe, split among many parties, etc.  Notionally, the
   stand-by key should be less subject to compromise than an active key,
   but that will be dependent on operational concerns not addressed

5.1  Adding A Trust Anchor

   Assume an existing trust anchor key 'A'.
   1.  Generate a new key pair.

   2.  Create a DNSKEY record from the key pair and set the SEP and Zone
       Key  bits.
   3.  Add the DNSKEY to the RRSet.
   4.  Sign the DNSKEY RRSet ONLY with the existing trust anchor key -
   5.  Wait a while.

5.2  Deleting a Trust Anchor

   Assume existing trust anchors 'A' and 'B' and that you want to revoke
   and delete 'A'.
   1.  Set the revolcation bit on key 'A'.
   2.  Sign the DNSKEY RRSet with both 'A' and 'B'.
   'A' is now revoked.  The operator SHOULD include the revoked 'A' in
   the RRSet for at least the remove hold-down time, but then may remove
   it from the DNSKEY RRSet.

5.3  Key Roll-Over

   Assume existing keys A and B. 'A' is actively in use (i.e. has been
   signing the DNSKEY RRSet.)  'B' was the stand-by key. (i.e. has been
   in the DNSKEY RRSet and is a valid trust anchor, but wasn't being
   used to sign the RRSet.)
   1.  Generate a new key pair 'C'.
   2.  Add 'C' to the DNSKEY RRSet.
   3.  Set the revocation bit on key 'A'.
   4.  Sign the RRSet with 'A' and 'B'.
   'A' is now revoked, 'B' is now the active key, and 'C' will be  the
   stand-by key once the hold-down expires.  The operator SHOULD include
   the revoked 'A' in the RRSet for at least the remove hold-down time,
   but may then remove it from the DNSKEY RRSet.

5.4  Active Key Compromised

   This is the same as the mechanism for Key Roll-Over (Section 5.3)
   above assuming 'A' is the active key.

5.5  Stand-by Key Compromised

   Using the same assumptions and naming conventions as Key Roll-Over
   (Section 5.3) above:
   1.  Generate a new key pair 'C'.
   2.  Add 'C' to the DNSKEY RRSet.
   3.  Set the revocation bit on key 'B'.
   4.  Sign the RRSet with 'A' and 'B'.
   'B' is now revoked, 'A' remains the active key, and 'C' will be the
   stand-by key once the hold-down expires.  'B' SHOULD continue to be
   included in the RRSet for the remove hold-down time.

6.  Security Considerations

6.1  Key Ownership vs Acceptance Policy

   The reader should note that, while the zone owner is responsible
   creating and distributing keys, it's wholly the decision of the
   resolver owner as to whether to accept such keys for the
   authentication of the zone information.  This implies the decision
   update trust anchor keys based on trust for a current trust anchor
   key is also the resolver owner's decision.

   The resolver owner (and resolver implementers) MAY choose to permit
   or prevent key status updates based on this mechanism for specific
   trust points.  If they choose to prevent the automated updates, they
   will need to establish a mechanism for manual or other out-of-band
   updates outside the scope of this document.

6.2  Multiple Key Compromise

   This scheme permits recovery as long as at least one valid trust
   anchor key remains uncompromised.  E.g. if there are three keys, you
   can recover if two of them are compromised.  The zone owner should
   determine their own level of comfort with respect to the number of
   active valid trust anchors in a zone and should be prepared to
   implement recovery procedures once they detect a compromise.  A
   manual or other out-of-band update of all resolvers will be required
   if all trust anchor keys at a trust point are compromised.

6.3  Dynamic Updates

   Allowing a resolver to update its trust anchor set based in-band key
   information is potentially less secure than a manual process.
   However, given the nature of the DNS, the number of resolvers that
   would require update if a trust anchor key were compromised, and the
   lack of a standard management framework for DNS, this approach is no
   worse than the existing situation.


7.  Normative References

    [DSINTRO]  Arends, R., "DNS Security Introduction and Requirements",
               ID draft-ietf-dnsext-dnssec-intro-09.txt, October 2004,

    [DSPROT]   Arends, R., "Protocol Modifications for the DNS Security
               Extensions", ID draft-ietf-dnsext-dnssec-protocol-05.txt,
               October 2004,

    [DSREC]    Arends, R., "Resource Records for the DNS Security
               Extensions", ID draft-ietf-dnsext-dnssec-records-07.txt,
               October 2004,

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC2535]  Eastlake, D., "Domain Name System Security Extensions",
              RFC 2535, March 1999.

   [RFC4033]  Arends, R., Austein, R., Larson, M., Massey, D., and S.
              Rose, "DNS Security Introduction and Requirements",
              RFC 4033, March 2005.

   [RFC4034]  Arends, R., Austein, R., Larson, M., Massey, D., and S.
              Rose, "Resource Records for the DNS Security Extensions",
              RFC 4034, March 2005.

   [RFC4035]  Arends, R., Austein, R., Larson, M., Massey, D., and S.
              Rose, "Protocol Modifications for the DNS Security
              Extensions", RFC 4035, March 2005.

Editorial Comments

   [msj1]  msj: N.B. This table is preliminary and will be revised to
           match implementation experience.  For example, should there
           be a state for "Add hold-down expired, but haven't seen the
           new RRSet"?

   [msj2]  msj: To be assigned.

   [msj3]  msj: For discussion: What's the implementation guidance for
           resolvers currently with respect to the non-assigned flag
           bits?  If they consider the flag bit when doing key matching
           at the trust anchor, they won't be able to match.

Author's Address

   Michael StJohns
   Nominum, Inc.
   2385 Bay Road
   Redwood City, CA  94063

   Phone: +1-301-528-4729

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