Network Working Group                                         P. Hoffman
Internet-Draft                                                     ICANN
Obsoletes: 7719 (if approved)                                A. Sullivan
Intended status: Best Current Practice                               Dyn
Expires: July 31, September 14, 2017                                  K. Fujiwara
                                                        January 27,
                                                          March 13, 2017

                            DNS Terminology


   The DNS is defined in literally dozens of different RFCs.  The
   terminology used by implementers and developers of DNS protocols, and
   by operators of DNS systems, has sometimes changed in the decades
   since the DNS was first defined.  This document gives current
   definitions for many of the terms used in the DNS in a single

   This document will be the successor to RFC 7719.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on July 31, September 14, 2017.

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   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  DNS Header and Response Codes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8   9
   4.  Resource Records  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9  10
   5.  DNS Servers and Clients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11  12
   6.  Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   7.  Registration Model  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20  21
   8.  General DNSSEC  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21  22
   9.  DNSSEC States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  25  26
   10. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  27  28
   11. IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  27  28
   12. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  27  28
     12.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  27  28
     12.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  30  31
   Appendix A.  Definitions Updated by this Document . . . . . . . .  33  34
   Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  33  34
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  34  35

1.  Introduction

   The Domain Name System (DNS) is a simple query-response protocol
   whose messages in both directions have the same format.  (See
   Section 2 for a fuller definition.)  The protocol and message format
   are defined in [RFC1034] and [RFC1035].  These RFCs defined some
   terms, but later documents defined others.  Some of the terms from
   [RFC1034] and [RFC1035] now have somewhat different meanings than
   they did in 1987.

   This document collects a wide variety of DNS-related terms.  Some of
   them have been precisely defined in earlier RFCs, some have been
   loosely defined in earlier RFCs, and some are not defined in any
   earlier RFC at all.

   Most of the definitions here are the consensus definition of the DNS
   community -- both protocol developers and operators.  Some of the
   definitions differ from earlier RFCs, and those differences are
   noted.  In this document, where the consensus definition is the same
   as the one in an RFC, that RFC is quoted.  Where the consensus
   definition has changed somewhat, the RFC is mentioned but the new
   stand-alone definition is given.  See Appendix A for a list of the
   definitions that this document updates.

   It is important to note that, during the development of this
   document, it became clear that some DNS-related terms are interpreted
   quite differently by different DNS experts.  Further, some terms that
   are defined in early DNS RFCs now have definitions that are generally
   agreed to, but that are different from the original definitions.
   Therefore, this document is a substantial revision to [RFC7719].

   The terms are organized loosely by topic.  Some definitions are for
   new terms for things that are commonly talked about in the DNS
   community but that never had terms defined for them.

   Other organizations sometimes define DNS-related terms their own way.
   For example, the W3C defines "domain" at

   Note that there is no single consistent definition of "the DNS".  It
   can be considered to be some combination of the following: a commonly
   used naming scheme for objects on the Internet; a distributed
   database representing the names and certain properties of these
   objects; an architecture providing distributed maintenance,
   resilience, and loose coherency for this database; and a simple
   query-response protocol (as mentioned below) implementing this
   architecture.  Section 2 defines "global DNS" and "private DNS" as a
   way to deal with these differing definitions.

   Capitalization in DNS terms is often inconsistent among RFCs and
   various DNS practitioners.  The capitalization used in this document
   is a best guess at current practices, and is not meant to indicate
   that other capitalization styles are wrong or archaic.  In some
   cases, multiple styles of capitalization are used for the same term
   due to quoting from different RFCs.

2.  Names

   Naming system:  A naming system associates names with data.  Naming
      systems have many significant facets that help differentiate them.
      Some commonly-identified facets include:

      *  Composition of names

      *  Format of names

      *  Administration of names
      *  Types of data that can be associated with names

      *  Types of metadata for names

      *  Protocol for getting data from a name

      *  Context for resolving a name

      Note that this list is a small subset of facets that people have
      identified over time for naming systems, and the IETF has yet to
      agree on a good set of facets that can be used to compare naming
      systems.  For example, other facets might include "protocol to
      update data in a name", "privacy of names", and "privacy of data
      associated with names", but those do not not have a clear
      definitions as the ones listed above.  The list here is chosen
      because it helps describe the DNS and naming systems similar to
      the DNS.

   Domain name:  An ordered list of zero or more labels.

      Note that this is a definition independent of the DNS RFCs, and
      the definition here also applies to systems other than the DNS.
      [RFC1034] defines the "domain name space" using mathematical trees
      and their nodes in graph theory, and the definition in [RFC1034]
      has the same practical result as the definition here.  Using graph
      theory, a domain name is a list of labels identifying a portion
      along one edge of an acyclic directed graph.  A domain name can be
      relative to other parts of the tree, or it can be fully qualified
      (in which case, it ends at the common root of the graph).

      Also note that different IETF and non-IETF documents have used the
      term "domain name" in many different ways.  It is common for
      earlier documents to use "domain name" to mean "names that match
      the syntax in [RFC1035]", but possibly with additional rules such
      as "and are, or will be, resolvable in the global DNS" or "but
      only using the presentation format".

   Label:  An ordered list of zero or more octets and which makes up a
      portion of a domain name.  Using graph theory, a label identifies
      one node in a portion of the graph of all possible domain names.

   Global DNS:  Using the short set of facets listed in "Naming system",
      the global DNS can be defined as follows.  Most of the rules here
      come from [RFC1034] and [RFC1035], although the term "global DNS"
      has not been defined before now.

      Composition of names -- A name in the global DNS has one or more
      labels.  The length of each label is between 0 and 63 octets
      inclusive.  In a fully-qualified domain name, the first label is 0
      octets long; it is the only label whose length may be 0 octets,
      and it is called the "root" or "root label".  A domain name in the
      global DNS has a maximum total length of 255 octets; octets in the wire
      format; the root represents one octet for this calculation.

      Format of names -- Names in the global DNS are domain names.
      There are three formats: wire format, presentation format, and
      common display.

      The basic wire format for names in the global DNS is a list of
      labels with the root label last.  Each label is preceded by a
      length octet.  [RFC1035] also defines a compression scheme that
      modifies this format.

      The presentation format for names in the global DNS is a list of
      labels, encoded as ASCII, with the root label last, and a "."
      character between each label.  In presentation format, a fully-
      qualified domain name includes the root label and the associated
      separator dot.  In presentation format, a fully-qualified domain
      name with two additional labels is always shown as "example.tld."
      instead of "example.tld".  [RFC1035] defines a method for showing
      octets that do not display in ASCII.

      The common display format is used in applications and free text.
      It is the same as the presentation format, but showing the root
      label and the "." before it is optional and is rarely done.  In
      common display format, a fully-qualified domain name with two
      additional labels is usually shown as "example.tld" instead of
      "example.tld.".  Names in the common display format are normally
      written such that the first label in the ordered list is in the
      last position from the point of view of the directionality of the
      writing system (so, in both English and C the first label is the
      right-most label; but in Arabic it may be the left-most label,
      depending on local conventions).

      Administration of names -- Administration is specified by
      delegation (see the definition of to "delegation" in Section 6).
      Policies for administration of the root zone in the global DNS are
      determined by the names operational community, which convenes
      itself in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
      (ICANN).  The names operational community selects the IANA
      Functions Operator for the global DNS root zone.  At the time this
      document is published, that operator is Public Technical
      Identifiers (PTI).  The name servers that serve the root zone are
      provided by independent root operators.  Other zones in the global
      DNS have their own policies for administration.

      Types of data that can be associated with names -- A name can have
      zero or more resource records associated with it.  There are
      numerous types of resource records with unique data structures
      defined in many different RFCs and in the IANA registry at

      Types of metadata for names -- Any name that is published in the
      DNS appears as a set of resource records (see the definition of
      "RRset" in Section 4).  Some names do not themselves have data
      associated with them in the DNS, but "appear" in the DNS anyway
      because they form part of a longer name that does have data
      associated with it (see the defintion of "empty non-terminals" in
      Section 6).

      Protocol for getting data from a name -- The protocol described in

      Context for resolving a name -- The global DNS root zone
      distributed by PTI.

   Private DNS:  Names that use the protocol described in [RFC1035] but
      that do not rely on the global DNS root zone, or names that are
      otherwise not generally available on the Internet but are using
      the protocol described in [RFC1035].  A system can use both the
      global DNS and one or more private DNS systems; for example, see
      "Split DNS" in Section 7.

      Note that domain names that do not appear in the DNS, and that are
      intended never to be looked up using the DNS protocol, are not
      part of the global DNS or a private DNS even though they are
      domain names.

   Locally served DNS zone:  A locally served DNS zone is a special case
      of private DNS.  Names are resolved using the DNS protocol in a
      local context.  [RFC6303] defines subdomains of IN-ADDR.ARPA tha
      are locally served zones.  Resolution of names through locally
      served zones may result in ambiguous results.  For example, the
      same name may resolve to different results in different locally
      served DNS zone contexts.  The context through which a locally
      served zone may be explicit, for example, as defined in [RFC6303],
      or implicit, as defined by local DNS administration and not known
      to the resolution client.

   Fully qualified domain name (FQDN):  This is often just a clear way
      of saying the same thing as "domain name of a node", as outlined
      above.  However, the term is ambiguous.  Strictly speaking, a
      fully qualified domain name would include every label, including
      the final, zero-length label of the root: such a name would be
      written "" (note the terminating dot).  But
      because every name eventually shares the common root, names are
      often written relative to the root (such as "") and
      are still called "fully qualified".  This term first appeared in
      [RFC0819].  In this document, names are often written relative to
      the root.

      The need for the term "fully qualified domain name" comes from the
      existence of partially qualified domain names, which are names
      where some of the right-most names are left off and are understood
      only by context.

   Host name:  This term and its equivalent, "hostname", have been
      widely used but are not defined in [RFC1034], [RFC1035],
      [RFC1123], or [RFC2181].  The DNS was originally deployed into the
      Host Tables environment as outlined in [RFC0952], and it is likely
      that the term followed informally from the definition there.  Over
      time, the definition seems to have shifted.  "Host name" is often
      meant to be a domain name that follows the rules in Section 3.5 of
      [RFC1034], the "preferred name syntax".  Note that any label in a
      domain name can contain any octet value; hostnames are generally
      considered to be domain names where every label follows the rules
      in the "preferred name syntax", with the amendment that labels can
      start with ASCII digits (this amendment comes from Section 2.1 of

      People also sometimes use the term hostname to refer to just the
      first label of an FQDN, such as "printer" in
      "".  (Sometimes this is formalized in
      configuration in operating systems.)  In addition, people
      sometimes use this term to describe any name that refers to a
      machine, and those might include labels that do not conform to the
      "preferred name syntax".

   TLD:  A Top-Level Domain, meaning a zone that is one layer below the
      root, such as "com" or "jp".  There is nothing special, from the
      point of view of the DNS, about TLDs.  Most of them are also
      delegation-centric zones, and there are significant policy issues
      around their operation.  TLDs are often divided into sub-groups
      such as Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs), Generic Top-Level
      Domains (gTLDs), and others; the division is a matter of policy,
      and beyond the scope of this document.

   IDN:  The common abbreviation for "Internationalized Domain Name".
      The IDNA protocol is the standard mechanism for handling domain
      names with non-ASCII characters in applications in the DNS.  The
      current standard, normally called "IDNA2008", is defined in
      [RFC5890], [RFC5891], [RFC5892], [RFC5893], and [RFC5894].  These
      documents define many IDN-specific terms such as "LDH label",
      "A-label", and "U-label".  [RFC6365] defines more terms that
      relate to internationalization (some of which relate to IDNs), and
      [RFC6055] has a much more extensive discussion of IDNs, including
      some new terminology.

   Subdomain:  "A domain is a subdomain of another domain if it is
      contained within that domain.  This relationship can be tested by
      seeing if the subdomain's name ends with the containing domain's
      name."  (Quoted from [RFC1034], Section 3.1).  For example, in the
      host name "", both "" and
      "" are subdomains of "".

   Alias:  The owner of a CNAME resource record, or a subdomain of the
      owner of a DNAME resource record [RFC6672].  See also "canonical

   Canonical name:  A CNAME resource record "identifies its owner name
      as an alias, and specifies the corresponding canonical name in the
      RDATA section of the RR."  (Quoted from [RFC1034], Section 3.6.2)
      This usage of the word "canonical" is related to the mathematical
      concept of "canonical form".

   CNAME:  "It is traditional to refer to the owner of a CNAME record as
      'a CNAME'.  This is unfortunate, as 'CNAME' is an abbreviation of
      'canonical name', and the owner of a CNAME record is an alias, not
      a canonical name."  (Quoted from [RFC2181], Section 10.1.1)

   Public suffix:  "A domain that is controlled by a public registry."
      (Quoted from [RFC6265], Section 5.3) A common definition for this
      term is a domain under which subdomains can be registered, and on
      which HTTP cookies ([RFC6265]) should not be set.  There is no
      indication in a domain name whether it is a public suffix; that
      can only be determined by outside means.  In fact, both a domain
      and a subdomain of that domain can be public suffixes.  At the
      time this document is published, the IETF DBOUND Working Group
      [DBOUND] is dealing with issues concerning public suffixes.

      There is nothing inherent in a domain name to indicate whether it
      is a public suffix.  One resource for identifying public suffixes
      is the Public Suffix List (PSL) maintained by Mozilla

      For example, at the time this document is published, the ""
      domain is listed as a public suffix in the PSL.  (Note that this
      example might change in the future.)
      Note that the term "public suffix" is controversial in the DNS
      community for many reasons, and may be significantly changed in
      the future.  One example of the difficulty of calling a domain a
      public suffix is that designation can change over time as the
      registration policy for the zone changes, such as the case of the
      "uk" TLD around the time this document is published.

3.  DNS Header and Response Codes

   The header of a DNS message is its first 12 octets.  Many of the
   fields and flags in the header diagram in Sections 4.1.1 through
   4.1.3 of [RFC1035] are referred to by their names in that diagram.
   For example, the response codes are called "RCODEs", the data for a
   record is called the "RDATA", and the authoritative answer bit is
   often called "the AA flag" or "the AA bit".

   QNAME  The most commonly-used definitions are that the QNAME is a
      field in the Question section of a query.  "A standard query
      specifies a target domain name (QNAME), query type (QTYPE), and
      query class (QCLASS) and asks for RRs which match."  (Quoted from
      [RFC1034], Section 3.7.1.)

      [RFC2308], however, has an alternate definition that puts the
      QNAME in the answer (or series of answers) instead of the query.
      It defines QNAME as: "...the name in the query section of an
      answer, or where this resolves to a CNAME, or CNAME chain, the
      data field of the last CNAME.  The last CNAME in this sense is
      that which contains a value which does not resolve to another

   Some of response codes that are defined in [RFC1035] have acquired
   their own shorthand names.  Some common response code names that
   appear without reference to the numeric value are "FORMERR",
   "SERVFAIL", and "NXDOMAIN" (the latter of which is also referred to
   as "Name Error").  All of the RCODEs are listed at, although that site
   uses mixed-case capitalization, while most documents use all-caps.

   NODATA:  "A pseudo RCODE which indicates that the name is valid for
      the given class, but there are no records of the given type.  A
      NODATA response has to be inferred from the answer."  (Quoted from
      [RFC2308], Section 1.)  "NODATA is indicated by an answer with the
      RCODE set to NOERROR and no relevant answers in the answer
      section.  The authority section will contain an SOA record, or
      there will be no NS records there."  (Quoted from [RFC2308],
      Section 2.2.)  Note that referrals have a similar format to NODATA
      replies; [RFC2308] explains how to distinguish them.

      The term "NXRRSET" is sometimes used as a synonym for NODATA.
      However, this is a mistake, given that NXRRSET is a specific error
      code defined in [RFC2136].

   Negative response:  A response that indicates that a particular RRset
      does not exist, or whose RCODE indicates the nameserver cannot
      answer.  Sections 2 and 7 of [RFC2308] describe the types of
      negative responses in detail.

   Referrals:  Data from the authority section of a non-authoritative
      answer.  [RFC1035] Section 2.1 defines "authoritative" data.
      However, referrals at zone cuts (defined in Section 6) are not
      authoritative.  Referrals may be zone cut NS resource records and
      their glue records.  NS records on the parent side of a zone cut
      are an authoritative delegation, but are normally not treated as
      authoritative data.  In general, a referral is a way for a server
      to send an answer saying that the server does not know the answer,
      but knows where the query should be directed in order to get an
      answer.  Historically, many authoritative servers answered with a
      referral to the root zone when queried for a name for which they
      were not authoritative, but this practice has declined.

4.  Resource Records

   RR:  An acronym for resource record.  ([RFC1034], Section 3.6.)

   RRset:  A set of resource records with the same label, class and
      type, but with different data.  (Definition from [RFC2181]) Also
      spelled RRSet in some documents.  As a clarification, "same label"
      in this definition means "same owner name".  In addition,
      [RFC2181] states that "the TTLs of all RRs in an RRSet must be the
      same".  (This definition is definitely not the same as "the
      response one gets to a query for QTYPE=ANY", which is an
      unfortunate misunderstanding.)

   Master file:  "Master files are text files that contain RRs in text
      form.  Since the contents of a zone can be expressed in the form
      of a list of RRs a master file is most often used to define a
      zone, though it can be used to list a cache's contents."
      ([RFC1035], Section 5.)

   Presentation format:  The text format used in master files.  This
      format is shown but not formally defined in [RFC1034] and
      [RFC1035].  The term "presentation format" first appears in

   EDNS:  The extension mechanisms for DNS, defined in [RFC6891].
      Sometimes called "EDNS0" or "EDNS(0)" to indicate the version
      number.  EDNS allows DNS clients and servers to specify message
      sizes larger than the original 512 octet limit, to expand the
      response code space, and potentially to carry additional options
      that affect the handling of a DNS query.

   OPT:  A pseudo-RR (sometimes called a "meta-RR") that is used only to
      contain control information pertaining to the question-and-answer
      sequence of a specific transaction.  (Definition from [RFC6891],
      Section 6.1.1) It is used by EDNS.

   Owner:  The domain name where a RR is found ([RFC1034], Section 3.6).
      Often appears in the term "owner name".

   SOA field names:  DNS documents, including the definitions here,
      often refer to the fields in the RDATA of an SOA resource record
      by field name.  Those fields are defined in Section 3.3.13 of
      [RFC1035].  The names (in the order they appear in the SOA RDATA)
      Note that the meaning of MINIMUM field is updated in Section 4 of
      [RFC2308]; the new definition is that the MINIMUM field is only
      "the TTL to be used for negative responses".  This document tends
      to use field names instead of terms that describe the fields.

   TTL:  The maximum "time to live" of a resource record.  "A TTL value
      is an unsigned number, with a minimum value of 0, and a maximum
      value of 2147483647.  That is, a maximum of 2^31 - 1.  When
      transmitted, the TTL is encoded in the less significant 31 bits of
      the 32 bit TTL field, with the most significant, or sign, bit set
      to zero."  (Quoted from [RFC2181], Section 8) (Note that [RFC1035]
      erroneously stated that this is a signed integer; that was fixed
      by [RFC2181].)

      The TTL "specifies the time interval that the resource record may
      be cached before the source of the information should again be
      consulted".  (Quoted from [RFC1035], Section 3.2.1) Also: "the
      time interval (in seconds) that the resource record may be cached
      before it should be discarded".  (Quoted from [RFC1035],
      Section 4.1.3).  Despite being defined for a resource record, the
      TTL of every resource record in an RRset is required to be the
      same ([RFC2181], Section 5.2).

      The reason that the TTL is the maximum time to live is that a
      cache operator might decide to shorten the time to live for
      operational purposes, such as if there is a policy to disallow TTL
      values over a certain number.  Also, if a value is flushed from
      the cache when its value is still positive, the value effectively
      becomes zero.  Some servers are known to ignore the TTL on some
      RRsets (such as when the authoritative data has a very short TTL)
      even though this is against the advice in RFC 1035.

      There is also the concept of a "default TTL" for a zone, which can
      be a configuration parameter in the server software.  This is
      often expressed by a default for the entire server, and a default
      for a zone using the $TTL directive in a zone file.  The $TTL
      directive was added to the master file format by [RFC2308].

   Class independent:  A resource record type whose syntax and semantics
      are the same for every DNS class.  A resource record type that is
      not class independent has different meanings depending on the DNS
      class of the record, or the meaning is undefined for classes other
      than IN (class 1, the Internet).

5.  DNS Servers and Clients

   This section defines the terms used for the systems that act as DNS
   clients, DNS servers, or both.

   Resolver:  A program "that extract[s] information from name servers
      in response to client requests."  (Quoted from [RFC1034],
      Section 2.4) "The resolver is located on the same machine as the
      program that requests the resolver's services, but it may need to
      consult name servers on other hosts."  (Quoted from [RFC1034],
      Section 5.1) A resolver performs queries for a name, type, and
      class, and receives answers.  The logical function is called
      "resolution".  In practice, the term is usually referring to some
      specific type of resolver (some of which are defined below), and
      understanding the use of the term depends on understanding the

   Stub resolver:  A resolver that cannot perform all resolution itself.
      Stub resolvers generally depend on a recursive resolver to
      undertake the actual resolution function.  Stub resolvers are
      discussed but never fully defined in Section 5.3.1 of [RFC1034].
      They are fully defined in Section of [RFC1123].

   Iterative mode:  A resolution mode of a server that receives DNS
      queries and responds with a referral to another server.
      Section 2.3 of [RFC1034] describes this as "The server refers the
      client to another server and lets the client pursue the query".  A
      resolver that works in iterative mode is sometimes called an
      "iterative resolver".

   Recursive mode:  A resolution mode of a server that receives DNS
      queries and either responds to those queries from a local cache or
      sends queries to other servers in order to get the final answers
      to the original queries.  Section 2.3 of [RFC1034] describes this
      as "The first server pursues the query for the client at another
      server".  A server operating in recursive mode may be thought of
      as having a name server side (which is what answers the query) and
      a resolver side (which performs the resolution function).  Systems
      operating in this mode are commonly called "recursive servers".
      Sometimes they are called "recursive resolvers".  While strictly
      the difference between these is that one of them sends queries to
      another recursive server and the other does not, in practice it is
      not possible to know in advance whether the server that one is
      querying will also perform recursion; both terms can be observed
      in use interchangeably.

   Full resolver:  This term is used in [RFC1035], but it is not defined
      there.  RFC 1123 defines a "full-service resolver" that may or may
      not be what was intended by "full resolver" in [RFC1035].  This
      term is not properly defined in any RFC.

   Full-service resolver:  Section of [RFC1123] defines this
      term to mean a resolver that acts in recursive mode with a cache
      (and meets other requirements).

   Recursive resolver:  A resolver that acts in recursive mode.  In
      general, a recursive resolver is expected to cache the answers it
      receives (which would make it a full-service resolver), but some
      recursive resolvers might not cache.

   Priming:  The mechanism used by a resolver to determine where to send
      queries before there is anything in the resolver's cache.  Priming
      is most often done from a configuration setting that contains a
      list of authoritative servers for the root zone.

   Root hints:  "Operators who manage a DNS recursive resolver typically
      need to configure a 'root hints file'.  This file contains the
      names and IP addresses of the authoritative name servers for the
      root zone, so the software can bootstrap the DNS resolution
      process.  For many pieces of software, this list comes built into
      the software."  (Quoted from [IANA_RootFiles])

   Negative caching:  "The storage of knowledge that something does not
      exist, cannot give an answer, or does not give an answer."
      (Quoted from [RFC2308], Section 1)

   Authoritative server:  "A server that knows the content of a DNS zone
      from local knowledge, and thus can answer queries about that zone
      without needing to query other servers."  (Quoted from [RFC2182],
      Section 2.)  It is a system that responds to DNS queries with
      information about zones for which it has been configured to answer
      with the AA flag in the response header set to 1.  It is a server
      that has authority over one or more DNS zones.  Note that it is
      possible for an authoritative server to respond to a query without
      the parent zone delegating authority to that server.
      Authoritative servers also provide "referrals", usually to child
      zones delegated from them; these referrals have the AA bit set to
      0 and come with referral data in the Authority and (if needed) the
      Additional sections.

   Authoritative-only server:  A name server that only serves
      authoritative data and ignores requests for recursion.  It will
      "not normally generate any queries of its own.  Instead, it
      answers non-recursive queries from iterative resolvers looking for
      information in zones it serves."  (Quoted from [RFC4697],
      Section 2.4)

   Zone transfer:  The act of a client requesting a copy of a zone and
      an authoritative server sending the needed information.  (See
      Section 6 for a description of zones.)  There are two common
      standard ways to do zone transfers: the AXFR ("Authoritative
      Transfer") mechanism to copy the full zone (described in
      [RFC5936], and the IXFR ("Incremental Transfer") mechanism to copy
      only parts of the zone that have changed (described in [RFC1995]).
      Many systems use non-standard methods for zone transfer outside
      the DNS protocol.

   Secondary server:  "An authoritative server which uses zone transfer
      to retrieve the zone" (Quoted from [RFC1996], Section 2.1).
      [RFC2182] describes secondary servers in detail.  Although early
      DNS RFCs such as [RFC1996] referred to this as a "slave", the
      current common usage has shifted to calling it a "secondary".
      Secondary servers are also discussed in [RFC1034].

   Slave server:  See secondary server.

   Primary server:  "Any authoritative server configured to be the
      source of zone transfer for one or more [secondary] servers"
      (Quoted from [RFC1996], Section 2.1) or, more specifically, "an
      authoritative server configured to be the source of AXFR or IXFR
      data for one or more [secondary] servers" (Quoted from [RFC2136]).
      Although early DNS RFCs such as [RFC1996] referred to this as a
      "master", the current common usage has shifted to "primary".
      Primary servers are also discussed in [RFC1034].

   Master server:  See primary server.

   Primary master:  "The primary master is named in the zone's SOA MNAME
      field and optionally by an NS RR".  (Quoted from [RFC1996],
      Section 2.1).  [RFC2136] defines "primary master" as "Master
      server at the root of the AXFR/IXFR dependency graph.  The primary
      master is named in the zone's SOA MNAME field and optionally by an
      NS RR.  There is by definition only one primary master server per
      zone."  The idea of a primary master is only used by [RFC2136],
      and is considered archaic in other parts of the DNS.

   Stealth server:  This is "like a slave server except not listed in an
      NS RR for the zone."  (Quoted from [RFC1996], Section 2.1)

   Hidden master:  A stealth server that is a master for zone transfers.
      "In this arrangement, the master name server that processes the
      updates is unavailable to general hosts on the Internet; it is not
      listed in the NS RRset."  (Quoted from [RFC6781], Section 3.4.3.)
      An earlier RFC, [RFC4641], said that the hidden master's name
      appears in the SOA RRs MNAME field, although in some setups, the
      name does not appear at all in the public DNS.  A hidden master
      can be either a secondary or a primary master.

   Forwarding:  The process of one server sending a DNS query with the
      RD bit set to 1 to another server to resolve that query.
      Forwarding is a function of a DNS resolver; it is different than
      simply blindly relaying queries.

      [RFC5625] does not give a specific definition for forwarding, but
      describes in detail what features a system that forwards need to
      support.  Systems that forward are sometimes called "DNS proxies",
      but that term has not yet been defined (even in [RFC5625]).

   Forwarder:  Section 1 of [RFC2308] describes a forwarder as "a
      nameserver used to resolve queries instead of directly using the
      authoritative nameserver chain".  [RFC2308] further says "The
      forwarder typically either has better access to the internet, or
      maintains a bigger cache which may be shared amongst many
      resolvers."  That definition appears to suggest that forwarders
      normally only query authoritative servers.  In current use,
      however, forwarders often stand between stub resolvers and
      recursive servers.  [RFC2308] is silent on whether a forwarder is
      iterative-only or can be a full-service resolver.

   Policy-implementing resolver:  A resolver acting in recursive mode
      that changes some of the answers that it returns based on policy
      criteria, such as to prevent access to malware sites or
      objectionable content.  In general, a stub resolver has no idea
      whether upstream resolvers implement such policy or, if they do,
      the exact policy about what changes will be made.  In some cases,
      the user of the stub resolver has selected the policy-implementing
      resolver with the explicit intention of using it to implement the
      policies.  In other cases, policies are imposed without the user
      of the stub resolver being informed.

   Open resolver:  A full-service resolver that accepts and processes
      queries from any (or nearly any) stub resolver.  This is sometimes
      also called a "public resolver", although the term "public
      resolver" is used more with open resolvers that are meant to be
      open, as compared to the vast majority of open resolvers that are
      probably misconfigured to be open.

   View:  A configuration for a DNS server that allows it to provide
      different answers depending on attributes of the query.
      Typically, views differ by the source IP address of a query, but
      can also be based on the destination IP address, the type of query
      (such as AXFR), whether it is recursive, and so on.  Views are
      often used to provide more names or different addresses to queries
      from "inside" a protected network than to those "outside" that
      network.  Views are not a standardized part of the DNS, but they
      are widely implemented in server software.

   Passive DNS:  A mechanism to collect large amounts of DNS data by
      storing DNS responses from servers.  Some of these systems also
      collect the DNS queries associated with the responses; this can
      raise privacy issues.  Passive DNS databases can be used to answer
      historical questions about DNS zones such as which records were
      available for them at what times in the past.  Passive DNS
      databases allow searching of the stored records on keys other than
      just the name, such as "find all names which have A records of a
      particular value".

   Anycast:  "The practice of making a particular service address
      available in multiple, discrete, autonomous locations, such that
      datagrams sent are routed to one of several available locations."
      (Quoted from [RFC4786], Section 2)

   Split DNS:  "Where a corporate network serves up partly or completely
      different DNS inside and outside its firewall.  There are many
      possible variants on this; the basic point is that the
      correspondence between a given FQDN (fully qualified domain name)
      and a given IPv4 address is no longer universal and stable over
      long periods."  (Quoted from [RFC2775], Section 3.8)

6.  Zones

   This section defines terms that are used when discussing zones that
   are being served or retrieved.

   Zone:  "Authoritative information is organized into units called
      'zones', and these zones can be automatically distributed to the
      name servers which provide redundant service for the data in a
      zone."  (Quoted from [RFC1034], Section 2.4)

   Child:  "The entity on record that has the delegation of the domain
      from the Parent."  (Quoted from [RFC7344], Section 1.1)

   Parent:  "The domain in which the Child is registered."  (Quoted from
      [RFC7344], Section 1.1) Earlier, "parent name server" was defined
      in [RFC0882] as "the name server that has authority over the place
      in the domain name space that will hold the new domain".  (Note
      that [RFC0882] was obsoleted by [RFC1034] and [RFC1035].)
      [RFC0819] also has some description of the relationship between
      parents and children.


      (a) "The domain name that appears at the top of a zone (just below
      the cut that separates the zone from its parent).  The name of the
      zone is the same as the name of the domain at the zone's origin."
      (Quoted from [RFC2181], Section 6.)  These days, this sense of
      "origin" and "apex" (defined below) are often used

      (b) The domain name within which a given relative domain name
      appears in zone files.  Generally seen in the context of
      "$ORIGIN", which is a control entry defined in [RFC1035],
      Section 5.1, as part of the master file format.  For example, if
      the $ORIGIN is set to "", then a master file line for
      "www" is in fact an entry for "".

   Apex:  The point in the tree at an owner of an SOA and corresponding
      authoritative NS RRset.  This is also called the "zone apex".
      [RFC4033] defines it as "the name at the child's side of a zone
      cut".  The "apex" can usefully be thought of as a data-theoretic
      description of a tree structure, and "origin" is the name of the
      same concept when it is implemented in zone files.  The
      distinction is not always maintained in use, however, and one can
      find uses that conflict subtly with this definition.  [RFC1034]
      uses the term "top node of the zone" as a synonym of "apex", but
      that term is not widely used.  These days, the first sense of
      "origin" (above) and "apex" are often used interchangeably.

   Zone cut:  The delimitation point between two zones where the origin
      of one of the zones is the child of the other zone.

      "Zones are delimited by 'zone cuts'.  Each zone cut separates a
      'child' zone (below the cut) from a 'parent' zone (above the cut).
      (Quoted from [RFC2181], Section 6; note that this is barely an
      ostensive definition.)  Section 4.2 of [RFC1034] uses "cuts" as
      'zone cut'."

   Delegation:  The process by which a separate zone is created in the
      name space beneath the apex of a given domain.  Delegation happens
      when an NS RRset is added in the parent zone for the child origin.
      Delegation inherently happens at a zone cut.  The term is also
      commonly a noun: the new zone that is created by the act of

   Glue records:  "[Resource records] which are not part of the
      authoritative data [of the zone], and are address resource records
      for the [name servers in subzones].  These RRs are only necessary
      if the name server's name is 'below' the cut, and are only used as
      part of a referral response."  Without glue "we could be faced
      with the situation where the NS RRs tell us that in order to learn
      a name server's address, we should contact the server using the
      address we wish to learn."  (Definition from [RFC1034],
      Section 4.2.1)

      A later definition is that glue "includes any record in a zone
      file that is not properly part of that zone, including nameserver
      records of delegated sub-zones (NS records), address records that
      accompany those NS records (A, AAAA, etc), and any other stray
      data that might appear" ([RFC2181], Section 5.4.1).  Although glue
      is sometimes used today with this wider definition in mind, the
      context surrounding the [RFC2181] definition suggests it is
      intended to apply to the use of glue within the document itself
      and not necessarily beyond.


      (a) An adjective to describe a name server whose name is either
      subordinate to or (rarely) the same as the zone origin.  In-
      bailiwick name servers require glue records in their parent zone
      (using the first of the definitions of "glue records" in the
      definition above).

      (b) Data for which the server is either authoritative, or else
      authoritative for an ancestor of the owner name.  This sense of
      the term normally is used when discussing the relevancy of glue
      records in a response.  For example, the server for the parent
      zone "" might reply with glue records for
      "".  Because the "" zone is a
      descendant of the "" zone, the glue records are in-

   Out-of-bailiwick:  The antonym of in-bailiwick.

   Authoritative data:  "All of the RRs attached to all of the nodes
      from the top node of the zone down to leaf nodes or nodes above
      cuts around the bottom edge of the zone."  (Quoted from [RFC1034],
      Section 4.2.1) It is noted that this definition might
      inadvertently also include any NS records that appear in the zone,
      even those that might not truly be authoritative because there are
      identical NS RRs below the zone cut.  This reveals the ambiguity
      in the notion of authoritative data, because the parent-side NS
      records authoritatively indicate the delegation, even though they
      are not themselves authoritative data.

   Root zone:  The zone whose apex is the zero-length label.  Also
      sometimes called "the DNS root".

   Empty non-terminals: non-terminals (ENT):  "Domain names that own no resource
      records but have subdomains that do."  (Quoted from [RFC4592],
      Section 2.2.2.)  A typical example is in SRV records: in the name
      "", it is likely that "" has
      no RRsets, but that "" has (at least) an SRV

   Delegation-centric zone:  A zone that consists mostly of delegations
      to child zones.  This term is used in contrast to a zone that
      might have some delegations to child zones, but also has many data
      resource records for the zone itself and/or for child zones.  The
      term is used in [RFC4956] and [RFC5155], but is not defined there.

   Wildcard:  [RFC1034] defined "wildcard", but in a way that turned out
      to be confusing to implementers.  Special treatment is given to
      RRs with owner names starting with the label "*".  "Such RRs are
      called 'wildcards'.  Wildcard RRs can be thought of as
      instructions for synthesizing RRs."  (Quoted from [RFC1034],
      Section 4.3.3) For an extended discussion of wildcards, including
      clearer definitions, see [RFC4592].

   Asterisk label:  "The first octet is the normal label type and length
      for a 1-octet-long label, and the second octet is the ASCII
      representation for the '*' character.  A descriptive name of a
      label equaling that value is an 'asterisk label'."  (Quoted from
      [RFC4592], Section 2.1.1)

   Wildcard domain name:  "A 'wildcard domain name' is defined by having
      its initial (i.e., leftmost or least significant) label be
      asterisk label."  (Quoted from [RFC4592], Section 2.1.1)

   Closest encloser:  "The longest existing ancestor of a name."
      (Quoted from [RFC5155], Section 1.3) An earlier definition is "The
      node in the zone's tree of existing domain names that has the most
      labels matching the query name (consecutively, counting from the
      root label downward).  Each match is a 'label match' and the order
      of the labels is the same."  (Quoted from [RFC4592],
      Section 3.3.1)

   Closest provable encloser:  "The longest ancestor of a name that can
      be proven to exist.  Note that this is only different from the
      closest encloser in an Opt-Out zone."  (Quoted from [RFC5155],
      Section 1.3)

   Next closer name:  "The name one label longer than the closest
      provable encloser of a name."  (Quoted from [RFC5155],
      Section 1.3)

   Source of Synthesis:  "The source of synthesis is defined in the
      context of a query process as that wildcard domain name
      immediately descending from the closest encloser, provided that
      this wildcard domain name exists.  'Immediately descending' means
      that the source of synthesis has a name of the form: <asterisk
      label>.<closest encloser>."  (Quoted from [RFC4592],
      Section 3.3.1)

   Occluded name:  "The addition of a delegation point via dynamic
      update will render all subordinate domain names to be in a limbo,
      still part of the zone, but not available to the lookup process.
      The addition of a DNAME resource record has the same impact.  The
      subordinate names are said to be 'occluded'."  (Quoted from
      [RFC5936], Section 3.5)

   Fast flux DNS:  This "occurs when a domain is found in DNS using A
      records to multiple IP addresses, each of which has a very short
      Time-to-Live (TTL) value associated with it.  This means that the
      domain resolves to varying IP addresses over a short period of
      time."  (Quoted from [RFC6561], Section 1.1.5, with typo
      corrected) It is often used to deliver malware.  Because the
      addresses change so rapidly, it is difficult to ascertain all the
      hosts.  It should be noted that the technique also works with AAAA
      records, but such use is not frequently observed on the Internet
      as of this writing.

   Reverse DNS, reverse lookup:  "The process of mapping an address to a
      name is generally known as a 'reverse lookup', and the IN-
      ADDR.ARPA and IP6.ARPA zones are said to support the 'reverse
      DNS'."  (Quoted from [RFC5855], Section 1)

   Forward lookup:  "Hostname-to-address translation".  (Quoted from
      [RFC2133], Section 6)

   arpa: Address and Routing Parameter Area Domain:  "The 'arpa' domain
      was originally established as part of the initial deployment of
      the DNS, to provide a transition mechanism from the Host Tables
      that were common in the ARPANET, as well as a home for the IPv4
      reverse mapping domain.  During 2000, the abbreviation was
      redesignated to 'Address and Routing Parameter Area' in the hope
      of reducing confusion with the earlier network name."  (Quoted
      from [RFC3172], Section 2.)

   Infrastructure domain:  A domain whose "role is to support the
      operating infrastructure of the Internet".  (Quoted from
      [RFC3172], Section 2.)

   Service name:  "Service names are the unique key in the Service Name
      and Transport Protocol Port Number registry.  This unique symbolic
      name for a service may also be used for other purposes, such as in
      DNS SRV records."  (Quoted from [RFC6335], Section 5.)

7.  Registration Model

   Registry:  The administrative operation of a zone that allows
      registration of names within that zone.  People often use this
      term to refer only to those organizations that perform
      registration in large delegation-centric zones (such as TLDs); but
      formally, whoever decides what data goes into a zone is the
      registry for that zone.  This definition of "registry" is from a
      DNS point of view; for some zones, the policies that determine
      what can go in the zone are decided by superior zones and not the
      registry operator.

   Registrant:  An individual or organization on whose behalf a name in
      a zone is registered by the registry.  In many zones, the registry
      and the registrant may be the same entity, but in TLDs they often
      are not.

   Registrar:  A service provider that acts as a go-between for
      registrants and registries.  Not all registrations require a
      registrar, though it is common to have registrars involved in
      registrations in TLDs.

   EPP:  The Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP), which is commonly
      used for communication of registration information between
      registries and registrars.  EPP is defined in [RFC5730].

   WHOIS:  A protocol specified in [RFC3912], often used for querying
      registry databases.  WHOIS data is frequently used to associate
      registration data (such as zone management contacts) with domain
      names.  The term "WHOIS data" is often used as a synonym for the
      registry database, even though that database may be served by
      different protocols, particularly RDAP.  The WHOIS protocol is
      also used with IP address registry data.

   RDAP:  The Registration Data Access Protocol, defined in [RFC7480],
      [RFC7481], [RFC7482], [RFC7483], [RFC7484], and [RFC7485].  The
      RDAP protocol and data format are meant as a replacement for

   DNS operator:  An entity responsible for running DNS servers.  For a
      zone's authoritative servers, the registrant may act as their own
      DNS operator, or their registrar may do it on their behalf, or
      they may use a third-party operator.  For some zones, the registry
      function is performed by the DNS operator plus other entities who
      decide about the allowed contents of the zone.

8.  General DNSSEC

   Most DNSSEC terms are defined in [RFC4033], [RFC4034], [RFC4035], and
   [RFC5155].  The terms that have caused confusion in the DNS community
   are highlighted here.

   DNSSEC-aware and DNSSEC-unaware:  These two terms, which are used in
      some RFCs, have not been formally defined.  However, Section 2 of
      [RFC4033] defines many types of resolvers and validators,
      including "non-validating security-aware stub resolver", "non-
      validating stub resolver", "security-aware name server",
      "security-aware recursive name server", "security-aware resolver",
      "security-aware stub resolver", and "security-oblivious
      'anything'".  (Note that the term "validating resolver", which is
      used in some places in DNSSEC-related documents, is also not

   Signed zone:  "A zone whose RRsets are signed and that contains
      properly constructed DNSKEY, Resource Record Signature (RRSIG),
      Next Secure (NSEC), and (optionally) DS records."  (Quoted from
      [RFC4033], Section 2.)  It has been noted in other contexts that
      the zone itself is not really signed, but all the relevant RRsets
      in the zone are signed.  Nevertheless, if a zone that should be
      signed contains any RRsets that are not signed (or opted out),
      those RRsets will be treated as bogus, so the whole zone needs to
      be handled in some way.

      It should also be noted that, since the publication of [RFC6840],
      NSEC records are no longer required for signed zones: a signed
      zone might include NSEC3 records instead.  [RFC7129] provides
      additional background commentary and some context for the NSEC and
      NSEC3 mechanisms used by DNSSEC to provide authenticated denial-
      of-existence responses.  NSEC and NSEC3 are described below.

   Unsigned zone:  Section 2 of [RFC4033] defines this as "a zone that
      is not signed".  Section 2 of [RFC4035] defines this as "A zone
      that does not include these records [properly constructed DNSKEY,
      Resource Record Signature (RRSIG), Next Secure (NSEC), and
      (optionally) DS records] according to the rules in this section".
      There is an important note at the end of Section 5.2 of [RFC4035]
      that defines an additional situation in which a zone is considered
      unsigned: "If the resolver does not support any of the algorithms
      listed in an authenticated DS RRset, then the resolver will not be
      able to verify the authentication path to the child zone.  In this
      case, the resolver SHOULD treat the child zone as if it were

   NSEC:  "The NSEC record allows a security-aware resolver to
      authenticate a negative reply for either name or type non-
      existence with the same mechanisms used to authenticate other DNS
      replies."  (Quoted from [RFC4033], Section 3.2.)  In short, an
      NSEC record provides authenticated denial of existence.

      "The NSEC resource record lists two separate things: the next
      owner name (in the canonical ordering of the zone) that contains
      authoritative data or a delegation point NS RRset, and the set of
      RR types present at the NSEC RR's owner name."  (Quoted from
      Section 4 of RFC 4034)

   NSEC3:  Like the NSEC record, the NSEC3 record also provides
      authenticated denial of existence; however, NSEC3 records mitigate
      against zone enumeration and support Opt-Out.  NSEC resource
      records require associated NSEC3PARAM resource records.  NSEC3 and
      NSEC3PARAM resource records are defined in [RFC5155].

      Note that [RFC6840] says that [RFC5155] "is now considered part of
      the DNS Security Document Family as described by Section 10 of
      [RFC4033]".  This means that some of the definitions from earlier
      RFCs that only talk about NSEC records should probably be
      considered to be talking about both NSEC and NSEC3.

   Opt-out:  "The Opt-Out Flag indicates whether this NSEC3 RR may cover
      unsigned delegations."  (Quoted from [RFC5155], Section
      Opt-out tackles the high costs of securing a delegation to an
      insecure zone.  When using Opt-Out, names that are an insecure
      delegation (and empty non-terminals that are only derived from
      insecure delegations) don't require an NSEC3 record or its
      corresponding RRSIG records.  Opt-Out NSEC3 records are not able
      to prove or deny the existence of the insecure delegations.
      (Adapted from [RFC7129], Section 5.1)

   Zone enumeration:  "The practice of discovering the full content of a
      zone via successive queries."  (Quoted from [RFC5155],
      Section 1.3.)  This is also sometimes called "zone walking".  Zone
      enumeration is different from zone content guessing where the
      guesser uses a large dictionary of possible labels and sends
      successive queries for them, or matches the contents of NSEC3
      records against such a dictionary.

   Validation:  Validation, in the context of DNSSEC, refers to the

      *  Checking the validity of DNSSEC signatures

      *  Checking the validity of DNS responses, such as those including
         authenticated denial of existence

      *  Building an authentication chain from a trust anchor to a DNS
         response or individual DNS RRsets in a response

      The first two definitions above consider the only the validity of
      individual DNSSEC components such as the RRSIG validity or NSEC
      proof validity.  The third definition considers the components of
      the entire DNSSEC authentication chain, and thus requires
      "configured knowledge of at least one authenticated DNSKEY or DS
      RR" (as described in [RFC4035], Section 5).

      [RFC4033], Section 2, says that a "Validating Security-Aware Stub
      Resolver... performs signature validation" and uses a trust anchor
      "as a starting point for building the authentication chain to a
      signed DNS response", and thus uses the first and third
      definitions above.  The process of validating an RRSIG RR is
      described in [RFC4035], Section 5.3.

      [RFC5155] refers to validating responses throughout the document,
      in the context of hashed authenticated denial of existence; this
      uses the second definition above.

      The terms term "authentication" and "verification" are is used interchangeably with "validation"
      "validation", in the sense of the third definition above.
      [RFC4033], Section 2, describes the chain linking trust anchor to
      DNS data as the "authentication chain".  A response is considered
      to be authentic if "all RRsets in the Answer and Authority
      sections of the response [are considered] to be authentic"
      ([RFC4035]).  DNS data or responses deemed to be authentic or
      validated have a security status of "secure" ([RFC4035],
      Section 4.3; [RFC4033], Section 5).  "Authenticating both DNS keys
      and data is a matter of local policy, which may extend or even
      override the [DNSSEC] protocol extensions" ([RFC4033],
      Section 3.1).

      The term "verification", when used, is usually synonym for

   Key signing key (KSK):  DNSSEC keys that "only sign the apex DNSKEY
      RRset in a zone."(Quoted from [RFC6781], Section 3.1)

   Zone signing key (ZSK):  "DNSSEC keys that can be used to sign all
      the RRsets in a zone that require signatures, other than the apex
      DNSKEY RRset."  (Quoted from [RFC6781], Section 3.1) Note that the
      roles KSK and ZSK are not mutually exclusive: a single key can be
      both KSK and ZSK at the same time.  Also note that a ZSK is
      sometimes used to sign the apex DNSKEY RRset.

   Combined signing key (CSK):  "In cases where the differentiation
      between the KSK and ZSK is not made, i.e., where keys have the
      role of both KSK and ZSK, we talk about a Single-Type Signing
      Scheme."  (Quoted from [RFC6781], Section 3.1) This is sometimes
      called a "combined signing key" or CSK.  It is operational
      practice, not protocol, that determines whether a particular key
      is a ZSK, a KSK, or a CSK.

   Secure Entry Point (SEP):  A flag in the DNSKEY RDATA that "can be
      used to distinguish between keys that are intended to be used as
      the secure entry point into the zone when building chains of
      trust, i.e., they are (to be) pointed to by parental DS RRs or
      configured as a trust anchor.  Therefore, it is suggested that the
      SEP flag be set on keys that are used as KSKs and not on keys that
      are used as ZSKs, while in those cases where a distinction between
      a KSK and ZSK is not made (i.e., for a Single-Type Signing
      Scheme), it is suggested that the SEP flag be set on all keys."
      (Quoted from [RFC6781], Section 3.2.3.)  Note that the SEP flag is
      only a hint, and its presence or absence may not be used to
      disqualify a given DNSKEY RR from use as a KSK or ZSK during

      The original defintion of SEPs was in [RFC3757].  That definition
      clearly indicated that the SEP was a key, not just a bit in the
      key.  The abstract of [RFC3757] says: "With the Delegation Signer
      (DS) resource record (RR), the concept of a public key acting as a
      secure entry point (SEP) has been introduced.  During exchanges of
      public keys with the parent there is a need to differentiate SEP
      keys from other public keys in the Domain Name System KEY (DNSKEY)
      resource record set.  A flag bit in the DNSKEY RR is defined to
      indicate that DNSKEY is to be used as a SEP."  That definition of
      the SEP as a key was made obsolete by [RFC4034], and the
      definition from [RFC6781] is consistent with [RFC4034].

   Trust anchor:  "A configured DNSKEY RR or DS RR hash of a DNSKEY RR.
      A validating security-aware resolver uses this public key or hash
      as a starting point for building the authentication chain to a
      signed DNS response."  (Quoted from [RFC4033], Section 2)

   DNSSEC Policy (DP):  A statement that "sets forth the security
      requirements and standards to be implemented for a DNSSEC-signed
      zone."  (Quoted from [RFC6841], Section 2)

   DNSSEC Practice Statement (DPS):  "A practices disclosure document
      that may support and be a supplemental document to the DNSSEC
      Policy (if such exists), and it states how the management of a
      given zone implements procedures and controls at a high level."
      (Quoted from [RFC6841], Section 2)

   Hardware security module (HSM):  A specialized piece of hardware that
      is used to create keys for signatures and to sign messages.  In
      DNSSEC, HSMs are often used to hold the private keys for KSKs and
      ZSKs and to create the RRSIG records at periodic intervals.

   Signing software:  Authoritative DNS servers that supports DNSSEC
      often contains software that facilitates the creation and
      maintenance of DNSSEC signatures in zones.  There is also stand-
      alone software that can be used to sign a zone regardless of
      whether the authoritative server itself supports signing.
      Sometimes signing software can support particular HSMs as part of
      the signing process.

9.  DNSSEC States

   A validating resolver can determine that a response is in one of four
   states: secure, insecure, bogus, or indeterminate.  These states are
   defined in [RFC4033] and [RFC4035], although the two definitions
   differ a bit.  This document makes no effort to reconcile the two
   definitions, and takes no position as to whether they need to be

   Section 5 of [RFC4033] says:

      A validating resolver can determine the following 4 states:

      Secure: The validating resolver has a trust anchor, has a chain
         of trust, and is able to verify all the signatures in the

      Insecure: The validating resolver has a trust anchor, a chain
         of trust, and, at some delegation point, signed proof of the
         non-existence of a DS record.  This indicates that subsequent
         branches in the tree are provably insecure.  A validating
         resolver may have a local policy to mark parts of the domain
         space as insecure.

      Bogus: The validating resolver has a trust anchor and a secure
         delegation indicating that subsidiary data is signed, but
         the response fails to validate for some reason: missing
         signatures, expired signatures, signatures with unsupported
         algorithms, data missing that the relevant NSEC RR says
         should be present, and so forth.

      Indeterminate: There is no trust anchor that would indicate that a
         specific portion of the tree is secure.  This is the default
         operation mode.

   Section 4.3 of [RFC4035] says:

      A security-aware resolver must be able to distinguish between four

      Secure: An RRset for which the resolver is able to build a chain
          of signed DNSKEY and DS RRs from a trusted security anchor to
          the RRset.  In this case, the RRset should be signed and is
          subject to signature validation, as described above.

      Insecure: An RRset for which the resolver knows that it has no
         chain of signed DNSKEY and DS RRs from any trusted starting
         point to the RRset.  This can occur when the target RRset lies
         in an unsigned zone or in a descendent [sic] of an unsigned
         zone.  In this case, the RRset may or may not be signed, but
         the resolver will not be able to verify the signature.

      Bogus: An RRset for which the resolver believes that it ought to
         be able to establish a chain of trust but for which it is
         unable to do so, either due to signatures that for some reason
         fail to validate or due to missing data that the relevant
         DNSSEC RRs indicate should be present.  This case may indicate
         an attack but may also indicate a configuration error or some
         form of data corruption.

      Indeterminate: An RRset for which the resolver is not able to
         determine whether the RRset should be signed, as the resolver
         is not able to obtain the necessary DNSSEC RRs.  This can occur
         when the security-aware resolver is not able to contact
         security-aware name servers for the relevant zones.

10.  Security Considerations

   These definitions do not change any security considerations for the

11.  IANA Considerations


12.  References

12.1.  Normative References

              Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, "IANA Root Files",
              2016, <>.

   [RFC0882]  Mockapetris, P., "Domain names: Concepts and facilities",
              RFC 882, DOI 10.17487/RFC0882, November 1983,

   [RFC1034]  Mockapetris, P., "Domain names - concepts and facilities",
              STD 13, RFC 1034, DOI 10.17487/RFC1034, November 1987,

   [RFC1035]  Mockapetris, P., "Domain names - implementation and
              specification", STD 13, RFC 1035, DOI 10.17487/RFC1035,
              November 1987, <>.

   [RFC1123]  Braden, R., Ed., "Requirements for Internet Hosts -
              Application and Support", STD 3, RFC 1123,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC1123, October 1989,

   [RFC1996]  Vixie, P., "A Mechanism for Prompt Notification of Zone
              Changes (DNS NOTIFY)", RFC 1996, DOI 10.17487/RFC1996,
              August 1996, <>.

   [RFC2136]  Vixie, P., Ed., Thomson, S., Rekhter, Y., and J. Bound,
              "Dynamic Updates in the Domain Name System (DNS UPDATE)",
              RFC 2136, DOI 10.17487/RFC2136, April 1997,

   [RFC2181]  Elz, R. and R. Bush, "Clarifications to the DNS
              Specification", RFC 2181, DOI 10.17487/RFC2181, July 1997,

   [RFC2182]  Elz, R., Bush, R., Bradner, S., and M. Patton, "Selection
              and Operation of Secondary DNS Servers", BCP 16, RFC 2182,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2182, July 1997,

   [RFC2308]  Andrews, M., "Negative Caching of DNS Queries (DNS
              NCACHE)", RFC 2308, DOI 10.17487/RFC2308, March 1998,

   [RFC4033]  Arends, R., Austein, R., Larson, M., Massey, D., and S.
              Rose, "DNS Security Introduction and Requirements",
              RFC 4033, DOI 10.17487/RFC4033, March 2005,

   [RFC4034]  Arends, R., Austein, R., Larson, M., Massey, D., and S.
              Rose, "Resource Records for the DNS Security Extensions",
              RFC 4034, DOI 10.17487/RFC4034, March 2005,

   [RFC4035]  Arends, R., Austein, R., Larson, M., Massey, D., and S.
              Rose, "Protocol Modifications for the DNS Security
              Extensions", RFC 4035, DOI 10.17487/RFC4035, March 2005,

   [RFC4592]  Lewis, E., "The Role of Wildcards in the Domain Name
              System", RFC 4592, DOI 10.17487/RFC4592, July 2006,

   [RFC5155]  Laurie, B., Sisson, G., Arends, R., and D. Blacka, "DNS
              Security (DNSSEC) Hashed Authenticated Denial of
              Existence", RFC 5155, DOI 10.17487/RFC5155, March 2008,

   [RFC5730]  Hollenbeck, S., "Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP)",
              STD 69, RFC 5730, DOI 10.17487/RFC5730, August 2009,

   [RFC5855]  Abley, J. and T. Manderson, "Nameservers for IPv4 and IPv6
              Reverse Zones", BCP 155, RFC 5855, DOI 10.17487/RFC5855,
              May 2010, <>.

   [RFC5936]  Lewis, E. and A. Hoenes, Ed., "DNS Zone Transfer Protocol
              (AXFR)", RFC 5936, DOI 10.17487/RFC5936, June 2010,

   [RFC6561]  Livingood, J., Mody, N., and M. O'Reirdan,
              "Recommendations for the Remediation of Bots in ISP
              Networks", RFC 6561, DOI 10.17487/RFC6561, March 2012,

   [RFC6672]  Rose, S. and W. Wijngaards, "DNAME Redirection in the
              DNS", RFC 6672, DOI 10.17487/RFC6672, June 2012,

   [RFC6781]  Kolkman, O., Mekking, W., and R. Gieben, "DNSSEC
              Operational Practices, Version 2", RFC 6781,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6781, December 2012,

   [RFC6840]  Weiler, S., Ed. and D. Blacka, Ed., "Clarifications and
              Implementation Notes for DNS Security (DNSSEC)", RFC 6840,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6840, February 2013,

   [RFC6841]  Ljunggren, F., Eklund Lowinder, AM., and T. Okubo, "A
              Framework for DNSSEC Policies and DNSSEC Practice
              Statements", RFC 6841, DOI 10.17487/RFC6841, January 2013,

   [RFC6891]  Damas, J., Graff, M., and P. Vixie, "Extension Mechanisms
              for DNS (EDNS(0))", STD 75, RFC 6891,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6891, April 2013,

   [RFC7344]  Kumari, W., Gudmundsson, O., and G. Barwood, "Automating
              DNSSEC Delegation Trust Maintenance", RFC 7344,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7344, September 2014,

   [RFC7719]  Hoffman, P., Sullivan, A., and K. Fujiwara, "DNS
              Terminology", RFC 7719, DOI 10.17487/RFC7719, December
              2015, <>.

12.2.  Informative References

   [DBOUND]   IETF, "Domain Boundaries (dbound) Working Group", 2016,

              Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, "Resource Record (RR)
              TYPEs", 2017,

   [RFC0819]  Su, Z. and J. Postel, "The Domain Naming Convention for
              Internet User Applications", RFC 819,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC0819, August 1982,

   [RFC0952]  Harrenstien, K., Stahl, M., and E. Feinler, "DoD Internet
              host table specification", RFC 952, DOI 10.17487/RFC0952,
              October 1985, <>.

   [RFC1995]  Ohta, M., "Incremental Zone Transfer in DNS", RFC 1995,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC1995, August 1996,

   [RFC2133]  Gilligan, R., Thomson, S., Bound, J., and W. Stevens,
              "Basic Socket Interface Extensions for IPv6", RFC 2133,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2133, April 1997,

   [RFC2775]  Carpenter, B., "Internet Transparency", RFC 2775,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2775, February 2000,

   [RFC3172]  Huston, G., Ed., "Management Guidelines & Operational
              Requirements for the Address and Routing Parameter Area
              Domain ("arpa")", BCP 52, RFC 3172, DOI 10.17487/RFC3172,
              September 2001, <>.

   [RFC3757]  Kolkman, O., Schlyter, J., and E. Lewis, "Domain Name
              System KEY (DNSKEY) Resource Record (RR) Secure Entry
              Point (SEP) Flag", RFC 3757, DOI 10.17487/RFC3757, April
              2004, <>.

   [RFC3912]  Daigle, L., "WHOIS Protocol Specification", RFC 3912,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC3912, September 2004,

   [RFC4641]  Kolkman, O. and R. Gieben, "DNSSEC Operational Practices",
              RFC 4641, DOI 10.17487/RFC4641, September 2006,

   [RFC4697]  Larson, M. and P. Barber, "Observed DNS Resolution
              Misbehavior", BCP 123, RFC 4697, DOI 10.17487/RFC4697,
              October 2006, <>.

   [RFC4786]  Abley, J. and K. Lindqvist, "Operation of Anycast
              Services", BCP 126, RFC 4786, DOI 10.17487/RFC4786,
              December 2006, <>.

   [RFC4956]  Arends, R., Kosters, M., and D. Blacka, "DNS Security
              (DNSSEC) Opt-In", RFC 4956, DOI 10.17487/RFC4956, July
              2007, <>.

   [RFC5625]  Bellis, R., "DNS Proxy Implementation Guidelines",
              BCP 152, RFC 5625, DOI 10.17487/RFC5625, August 2009,

   [RFC5890]  Klensin, J., "Internationalized Domain Names for
              Applications (IDNA): Definitions and Document Framework",
              RFC 5890, DOI 10.17487/RFC5890, August 2010,

   [RFC5891]  Klensin, J., "Internationalized Domain Names in
              Applications (IDNA): Protocol", RFC 5891,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5891, August 2010,

   [RFC5892]  Faltstrom, P., Ed., "The Unicode Code Points and
              Internationalized Domain Names for Applications (IDNA)",
              RFC 5892, DOI 10.17487/RFC5892, August 2010,

   [RFC5893]  Alvestrand, H., Ed. and C. Karp, "Right-to-Left Scripts
              for Internationalized Domain Names for Applications
              (IDNA)", RFC 5893, DOI 10.17487/RFC5893, August 2010,

   [RFC5894]  Klensin, J., "Internationalized Domain Names for
              Applications (IDNA): Background, Explanation, and
              Rationale", RFC 5894, DOI 10.17487/RFC5894, August 2010,

   [RFC6055]  Thaler, D., Klensin, J., and S. Cheshire, "IAB Thoughts on
              Encodings for Internationalized Domain Names", RFC 6055,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6055, February 2011,

   [RFC6265]  Barth, A., "HTTP State Management Mechanism", RFC 6265,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6265, April 2011,

   [RFC6303]  Andrews, M., "Locally Served DNS Zones", BCP 163,
              RFC 6303, DOI 10.17487/RFC6303, July 2011,

   [RFC6335]  Cotton, M., Eggert, L., Touch, J., Westerlund, M., and S.
              Cheshire, "Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
              Procedures for the Management of the Service Name and
              Transport Protocol Port Number Registry", BCP 165,
              RFC 6335, DOI 10.17487/RFC6335, August 2011,

   [RFC6365]  Hoffman, P. and J. Klensin, "Terminology Used in
              Internationalization in the IETF", BCP 166, RFC 6365,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6365, September 2011,

   [RFC7129]  Gieben, R. and W. Mekking, "Authenticated Denial of
              Existence in the DNS", RFC 7129, DOI 10.17487/RFC7129,
              February 2014, <>.

   [RFC7480]  Newton, A., Ellacott, B., and N. Kong, "HTTP Usage in the
              Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)", RFC 7480,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7480, March 2015,

   [RFC7481]  Hollenbeck, S. and N. Kong, "Security Services for the
              Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)", RFC 7481,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7481, March 2015,

   [RFC7482]  Newton, A. and S. Hollenbeck, "Registration Data Access
              Protocol (RDAP) Query Format", RFC 7482,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7482, March 2015,

   [RFC7483]  Newton, A. and S. Hollenbeck, "JSON Responses for the
              Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)", RFC 7483,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7483, March 2015,

   [RFC7484]  Blanchet, M., "Finding the Authoritative Registration Data
              (RDAP) Service", RFC 7484, DOI 10.17487/RFC7484, March
              2015, <>.

   [RFC7485]  Zhou, L., Kong, N., Shen, S., Sheng, S., and A. Servin,
              "Inventory and Analysis of WHOIS Registration Objects",
              RFC 7485, DOI 10.17487/RFC7485, March 2015,

Appendix A.  Definitions Updated by this Document

   The following definitions from RFCs are updated by this document:

   o  Forwarder in [RFC2308]

   o  Secure Entry Point (SEP) in [RFC3757]


   The following is the Acknowledgements for RFC 7719.  Additional
   acknowledgements may be added as this draft is worked on.

   The authors gratefully acknowledge all of the authors of DNS-related
   RFCs that proceed this one.  Comments from Tony Finch, Stephane
   Bortzmeyer, Niall O'Reilly, Colm MacCarthaigh, Ray Bellis, John
   Kristoff, Robert Edmonds, Paul Wouters, Shumon Huque, Paul Ebersman,
   David Lawrence, Matthijs Mekking, Casey Deccio, Bob Harold, Ed Lewis,
   John Klensin, David Black, and many others in the DNSOP Working Group
   helped shape RFC 7719.

   Additional people contributed to this document, including: John

Authors' Addresses

   Paul Hoffman


   Andrew Sullivan
   150 Dow Street, Tower 2
   Manchester, NH  03101
   United States


   Kazunori Fujiwara
   Japan Registry Services Co., Ltd.
   Chiyoda First Bldg. East 13F, 3-8-1 Nishi-Kanda
   Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo  101-0065

   Phone: +81 3 5215 8451