RFC 6781

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                        O. Kolkman
Request for Comments: 6781                                    W. Mekking
Obsoletes: 4641                                               NLnet Labs
Category: Informational                                        R. Gieben
ISSN: 2070-1721                                                SIDN Labs
                                                           December 2012

                DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2


   This document describes a set of practices for operating the DNS with
   security extensions (DNSSEC).  The target audience is zone
   administrators deploying DNSSEC.

   The document discusses operational aspects of using keys and
   signatures in the DNS.  It discusses issues of key generation, key
   storage, signature generation, key rollover, and related policies.

   This document obsoletes RFC 4641, as it covers more operational
   ground and gives more up-to-date requirements with respect to key
   sizes and the DNSSEC operations.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Not all documents
   approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                     [Page 1]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2012 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

   This document may contain material from IETF Documents or IETF
   Contributions published or made publicly available before November
   10, 2008.  The person(s) controlling the copyright in some of this
   material may not have granted the IETF Trust the right to allow
   modifications of such material outside the IETF Standards Process.
   Without obtaining an adequate license from the person(s) controlling
   the copyright in such materials, this document may not be modified
   outside the IETF Standards Process, and derivative works of it may
   not be created outside the IETF Standards Process, except to format
   it for publication as an RFC or to translate it into languages other
   than English.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................4
      1.1. The Use of the Term 'key' ..................................5
      1.2. Time Definitions ...........................................6
   2. Keeping the Chain of Trust Intact ...............................6
   3. Key Generation and Storage ......................................7
      3.1. Operational Motivation for Zone Signing Keys and
           Key Signing Keys ...........................................8
      3.2. Practical Consequences of KSK and ZSK Separation ..........10
           3.2.1. Rolling a KSK That Is Not a Trust Anchor ...........10
           3.2.2. Rolling a KSK That Is a Trust Anchor ...............11
           3.2.3. The Use of the SEP Flag ............................12
      3.3. Key Effectivity Period ....................................12
      3.4. Cryptographic Considerations ..............................14
           3.4.1. Signature Algorithm ................................14
           3.4.2. Key Sizes ..........................................14
           3.4.3. Private Key Storage ................................16
           3.4.4. Key Generation .....................................17
           3.4.5. Differentiation for 'High-Level' Zones? ............17

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                     [Page 2]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   4. Signature Generation, Key Rollover, and Related Policies .......18
      4.1. Key Rollovers .............................................18
           4.1.1. Zone Signing Key Rollovers .........................18
         Pre-Publish Zone Signing Key Rollover .....19
         Double-Signature Zone Signing Key Rollover 21
         Pros and Cons of the Schemes ..............23
           4.1.2. Key Signing Key Rollovers ..........................23
         Special Considerations for RFC 5011
                           KSK Rollover ..............................26
           4.1.3. Single-Type Signing Scheme Key Rollover ............26
           4.1.4. Algorithm Rollovers ................................28
         Single-Type Signing Scheme
                           Algorithm Rollover ........................32
         Algorithm Rollover, RFC 5011 Style ........32
         Single Signing Type Algorithm
                           Rollover, RFC 5011 Style ..................33
         NSEC-to-NSEC3 Algorithm Rollover ..........34
           4.1.5. Considerations for Automated Key Rollovers .........34
      4.2. Planning for Emergency Key Rollover .......................35
           4.2.1. KSK Compromise .....................................35
         Emergency Key Rollover Keeping the
                           Chain of Trust Intact .....................36
         Emergency Key Rollover Breaking
                           the Chain of Trust ........................37
           4.2.2. ZSK Compromise .....................................37
           4.2.3. Compromises of Keys Anchored in Resolvers ..........38
           4.2.4. Stand-By Keys ......................................38
      4.3. Parent Policies ...........................................39
           4.3.1. Initial Key Exchanges and Parental Policies
                  Considerations .....................................39
           4.3.2. Storing Keys or Hashes? ............................40
           4.3.3. Security Lameness ..................................40
           4.3.4. DS Signature Validity Period .......................41
           4.3.5. Changing DNS Operators .............................42
         Cooperating DNS Operators .................42
         Non-Cooperating DNS Operators .............44
      4.4. Time in DNSSEC ............................................46
           4.4.1. Time Considerations ................................46
           4.4.2. Signature Validity Periods .........................48
         Maximum Value .............................48
         Minimum Value .............................49
         Differentiation between RRsets ............50

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                     [Page 3]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   5. "Next Record" Types ............................................51
      5.1. Differences between NSEC and NSEC3 ........................51
      5.2. NSEC or NSEC3 .............................................52
      5.3. NSEC3 Parameters ..........................................53
           5.3.1. NSEC3 Algorithm ....................................53
           5.3.2. NSEC3 Iterations ...................................53
           5.3.3. NSEC3 Salt .........................................54
           5.3.4. Opt-Out ............................................54
   6. Security Considerations ........................................54
   7. Acknowledgments ................................................55
   8. Contributors ...................................................55
   9. References .....................................................56
      9.1. Normative References ......................................56
      9.2. Informative References ....................................56
   Appendix A. Terminology ...........................................59
   Appendix B. Typographic Conventions ...............................61
   Appendix C. Transition Figures for Special Cases of Algorithm
               Rollovers .............................................64
   Appendix D. Transition Figure for Changing DNS Operators ..........68
   Appendix E. Summary of Changes from RFC 4641 ......................70

1.  Introduction

   This document describes how to run a DNS Security (DNSSEC)-enabled
   environment.  It is intended for operators who have knowledge of the
   DNS (see RFC 1034 [RFC1034] and RFC 1035 [RFC1035]) and want to
   deploy DNSSEC (RFC 4033 [RFC4033], RFC 4034 [RFC4034], RFC 4035
   [RFC4035], and RFC 5155 [RFC5155]).  The focus of the document is on
   serving authoritative DNS information and is aimed at zone owners,
   name server operators, registries, registrars, and registrants.  It
   assumes that there is no direct relationship between those entities
   and the operators of validating recursive name servers (validators).

   During workshops and early operational deployment, operators and
   system administrators have gained experience about operating the DNS
   with security extensions (DNSSEC).  This document translates these
   experiences into a set of practices for zone administrators.
   Although the DNS Root has been signed since July 15, 2010 and now
   more than 80 secure delegations are provisioned in the root, at the
   time of this writing there still exists relatively little experience
   with DNSSEC in production environments below the Top-Level Domain
   (TLD) level; this document should therefore explicitly not be seen as
   representing 'Best Current Practices'.  Instead, it describes the
   decisions that should be made when deploying DNSSEC, gives the
   choices available for each one, and provides some operational
   guidelines.  The document does not give strong recommendations.  That
   may be the subject for a future version of this document.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                     [Page 4]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   The procedures herein are focused on the maintenance of signed zones
   (i.e., signing and publishing zones on authoritative servers).  It is
   intended that maintenance of zones, such as re-signing or key
   rollovers, be transparent to any verifying clients.

   The structure of this document is as follows.  In Section 2, we
   discuss the importance of keeping the "chain of trust" intact.
   Aspects of key generation and storage of keys are discussed in
   Section 3; the focus in this section is mainly on the security of the
   private part of the key(s).  Section 4 describes considerations
   concerning the public part of the keys.  Sections 4.1 and 4.2 deal
   with the rollover, or replacement, of keys.  Section 4.3 discusses
   considerations on how parents deal with their children's public keys
   in order to maintain chains of trust.  Section 4.4 covers all kinds
   of timing issues around key publication.  Section 5 covers the
   considerations regarding selecting and using the NSEC or NSEC3
   [RFC5155] Resource Record.

   The typographic conventions used in this document are explained in
   Appendix B.

   Since we describe operational suggestions and there are no protocol
   specifications, the RFC 2119 [RFC2119] language does not apply to
   this document, though we do use quotes from other documents that do
   include the RFC 2119 language.

   This document obsoletes RFC 4641 [RFC4641].

1.1.  The Use of the Term 'key'

   It is assumed that the reader is familiar with the concept of
   asymmetric cryptography, or public-key cryptography, on which DNSSEC
   is based (see the definition of 'asymmetric cryptography' in RFC 4949
   [RFC4949]).  Therefore, this document will use the term 'key' rather
   loosely.  Where it is written that 'a key is used to sign data', it
   is assumed that the reader understands that it is the private part of
   the key pair that is used for signing.  It is also assumed that the
   reader understands that the public part of the key pair is published
   in the DNSKEY Resource Record (DNSKEY RR) and that it is the public
   part that is used in signature verification.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                     [Page 5]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

1.2.  Time Definitions

   In this document, we will be using a number of time-related terms.
   The following definitions apply:

   Signature validity period:  The period that a signature is valid.  It
      starts at the (absolute) time specified in the signature inception
      field of the RRSIG RR and ends at the (absolute) time specified in
      the expiration field of the RRSIG RR.  The document sometimes also
      uses the term 'validity period', which means the same.

   Signature publication period:  The period that a signature is
      published.  It starts at the time the signature is introduced in
      the zone for the first time and ends at the time when the
      signature is removed or replaced with a new signature.  After one
      stops publishing an RRSIG in a zone, it may take a while before
      the RRSIG has expired from caches and has actually been removed
      from the DNS.

   Key effectivity period:  The period during which a key pair is
      expected to be effective.  It is defined as the time between the
      earliest inception time stamp and the last expiration date of any
      signature made with this key, regardless of any discontinuity in
      the use of the key.  The key effectivity period can span multiple
      signature validity periods.

   Maximum/Minimum Zone Time to Live (TTL):  The maximum or minimum
      value of the TTLs from the complete set of RRs in a zone, that are
      used by validators or resolvers.  Note that the minimum TTL is not
      the same as the MINIMUM field in the SOA RR.  See RFC 2308
      [RFC2308] for more information.

2.  Keeping the Chain of Trust Intact

   Maintaining a valid chain of trust is important because broken chains
   of trust will result in data being marked as Bogus (as defined in
   RFC 4033 [RFC4033] Section 5), which may cause entire (sub)domains to
   become invisible to verifying clients.  The administrators of secured
   zones need to realize that, to verifying clients, their zone is part
   of a chain of trust.

   As mentioned in the introduction, the procedures herein are intended
   to ensure that maintenance of zones, such as re-signing or key
   rollovers, will be transparent to the verifying clients on the

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                     [Page 6]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   Administrators of secured zones will need to keep in mind that data
   published on an authoritative primary server will not be immediately
   seen by verifying clients; it may take some time for the data to be
   transferred to other (secondary) authoritative name servers and
   clients may be fetching data from caching non-authoritative servers.
   In this light, note that the time until the data is available on the
   slave can be negligible when using NOTIFY [RFC1996] and Incremental
   Zone Transfer (IXFR) [RFC1995].  It increases when Authoritative
   (full) Zone Transfers (AXFRs) are used in combination with NOTIFY.
   It increases even more if you rely on the full zone transfers being
   based only on the SOA timing parameters for refresh.

   For the verifying clients, it is important that data from secured
   zones can be used to build chains of trust, regardless of whether the
   data came directly from an authoritative server, a caching name
   server, or some middle box.  Only by carefully using the available
   timing parameters can a zone administrator ensure that the data
   necessary for verification can be obtained.

   The responsibility for maintaining the chain of trust is shared by
   administrators of secured zones in the chain of trust.  This is most
   obvious in the case of a 'key compromise' when a tradeoff must be
   made between maintaining a valid chain of trust and replacing the
   compromised keys as soon as possible.  Then zone administrators will
   have to decide between keeping the chain of trust intact -- thereby
   allowing for attacks with the compromised key -- or deliberately
   breaking the chain of trust and making secured subdomains invisible
   to security-aware resolvers (also see Section 4.2).

3.  Key Generation and Storage

   This section describes a number of considerations with respect to the
   use of keys.  For the design of an operational procedure for key
   generation and storage, a number of decisions need to be made:

   o  Does one differentiate between Zone Signing Keys and Key Signing
      Keys or is the use of one type of key sufficient?

   o  Are Key Signing Keys (likely to be) in use as trust anchors

   o  What are the timing parameters that are allowed by the operational

   o  What are the cryptographic parameters that fit the operational

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                     [Page 7]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   The following section discusses the considerations that need to be
   taken into account when making those choices.

3.1.  Operational Motivation for Zone Signing Keys and Key Signing Keys

   The DNSSEC validation protocol does not distinguish between different
   types of DNSKEYs.  The motivations to differentiate between keys are
   purely operational; validators will not make a distinction.

   For operational reasons, described below, it is possible to designate
   one or more keys to have the role of Key Signing Keys (KSKs).  These
   keys will only sign the apex DNSKEY RRset in a zone.  Other keys can
   be used to sign all the other RRsets in a zone that require
   signatures.  They are referred to as Zone Signing Keys (ZSKs).  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.

   If the two functions are separated, then for almost any method of key
   management and zone signing, the KSK is used less frequently than the
   ZSK.  Once a DNSKEY RRset is signed with the KSK, all the keys in the
   RRset can be used as ZSKs.  If there has been an event that increases
   the risk that a ZSK is compromised, it can be simply replaced with a
   ZSK rollover.  The new RRset is then re-signed with the KSK.

   Changing a key that is a Secure Entry Point (SEP) [RFC4034] for a
   zone can be relatively expensive, as it involves interaction with
   third parties: When a key is only pointed to by a Delegation Signer
   (DS) [RFC4034] record in the parent zone, one needs to complete the
   interaction with the parent and wait for the updated DS record to
   appear in the DNS.  In the case where a key is configured as a trust
   anchor, one has to wait until one has sufficient confidence that all
   trust anchors have been replaced.  In fact, it may be that one is not
   able to reach the complete user-base with information about the key

   Given the assumption that for KSKs the SEP flag is set, the KSK can
   be distinguished from a ZSK by examining the flag field in the DNSKEY
   RR: If the flag field is an odd number, it is a KSK; otherwise, it is
   a ZSK.

   There is also a risk that keys can be compromised through theft or
   loss.  For keys that are installed on file-systems of name servers
   that are connected to the network (e.g., for dynamic updates), that
   risk is relatively high.  Where keys are stored on Hardware Security
   Modules (HSMs) or stored off-line, such risk is relatively low.
   However, storing keys off-line or with more limitations on access
   control has a negative effect on the operational flexibility.  By

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                     [Page 8]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   separating the KSK and ZSK functionality, these risks can be managed
   while making the tradeoff against the involved costs.  For example, a
   KSK can be stored off-line or with more limitations on access control
   than ZSKs, which need to be readily available for operational
   purposes such as the addition or deletion of zone data.  A KSK stored
   on a smartcard that is kept in a safe, combined with a ZSK stored on
   a file-system accessible by operators for daily routine use, may
   provide better protection against key compromise without losing much
   operational flexibility.  It must be said that some HSMs give the
   option to have your keys online, giving more protection and hardly
   affecting the operational flexibility.  In those cases, a KSK-ZSK
   split is not more beneficial than the Single-Type Signing Scheme.

   It is worth mentioning that there's not much point in obsessively
   protecting the key if you don't protect the zone files, which also
   live on the file-systems.

   Finally, there is a risk of cryptanalysis of the key material.  The
   costs of such analysis are correlated to the length of the key.
   However, cryptanalysis arguments provide no strong motivation for a
   KSK/ZSK split.  Suppose one differentiates between a KSK and a ZSK,
   whereby the KSK effectivity period is X times the ZSK effectivity
   period.  Then, in order for the resistance to cryptanalysis to be the
   same for the KSK and the ZSK, the KSK needs to be X times stronger
   than the ZSK.  Since for all practical purposes X will be somewhere
   on the order of 10 to 100, the associated key sizes will vary only by
   about a byte in size for symmetric keys.  When translated to
   asymmetric keys, the size difference is still too insignificant to
   warrant a key-split; it only marginally affects the packet size and
   signing speed.

   The arguments for differentiation between the ZSK and KSK are weakest

   o  the exposure to risk is low (e.g., when keys are stored on HSMs);

   o  one can be certain that a key is not used as a trust anchor;

   o  maintenance of the various keys cannot be performed through tools
      (is prone to human error); and

   o  the interaction through the child-parent provisioning chain -- in
      particular, the timely appearance of a new DS record in the parent
      zone in emergency situations -- is predictable.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                     [Page 9]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   If the above arguments hold, then the costs of the operational
   complexity of a KSK-ZSK split may outweigh the costs of operational
   flexibility, and choosing a Single-Type Signing Scheme is a
   reasonable option.  In other cases, we advise that the separation
   between KSKs and ZSKs is made.

3.2.  Practical Consequences of KSK and ZSK Separation

   A key that acts only as a Zone Signing Key is used to sign all the
   data except the DNSKEY RRset in a zone on a regular basis.  When a
   ZSK is to be rolled, no interaction with the parent is needed.  This
   allows for a relatively short key effectivity period.

   A key with only the Key Signing Key role is to be used to sign the
   DNSKEY RRs in a zone.  If a KSK is to be rolled, there may be
   interactions with other parties.  These can include the
   administrators of the parent zone or administrators of verifying
   resolvers that have the particular key configured as secure entry
   points.  In the latter case, everyone relying on the trust anchor
   needs to roll over to the new key, a process that may be subject to
   stability costs if automated trust anchor rollover mechanisms (e.g.,
   RFC 5011 [RFC5011]) are not in place.  Hence, the key effectivity
   period of these keys can and should be made much longer.

3.2.1.  Rolling a KSK That Is Not a Trust Anchor

   There are three schools of thought on rolling a KSK that is not a
   trust anchor:

   1.  It should be done frequently and regularly (possibly every few
       months), so that a key rollover remains an operational routine.

   2.  It should be done frequently but irregularly.  "Frequently" means
       every few months, again based on the argument that a rollover is
       a practiced and common operational routine; "irregular" means
       with a large jitter, so that third parties do not start to rely
       on the key and will not be tempted to configure it as a trust

   3.  It should only be done when it is known or strongly suspected
       that the key can be or has been compromised, or in conjunction
       with operator change policies and procedures, like when a new
       algorithm or key storage is required.

   There is no widespread agreement on which of these three schools of
   thought is better for different deployments of DNSSEC.  There is a
   stability cost every time a non-anchor KSK is rolled over, but it is
   possibly low if the communication between the child and the parent is

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 10]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   good.  On the other hand, the only completely effective way to tell
   if the communication is good is to test it periodically.  Thus,
   rolling a KSK with a parent is only done for two reasons: to test and
   verify the rolling system to prepare for an emergency, and in the
   case of (preventing) an actual emergency.

   Finally, in most cases a zone administrator cannot be fully certain
   that the zone's KSK is not in use as a trust anchor somewhere.  While
   the configuration of trust anchors is not the responsibility of the
   zone administrator, there may be stability costs for the validator
   administrator that (wrongfully) configured the trust anchor when the
   zone administrator rolls a KSK.

3.2.2.  Rolling a KSK That Is a Trust Anchor

   The same operational concerns apply to the rollover of KSKs that are
   used as trust anchors: If a trust anchor replacement is done
   incorrectly, the entire domain that the trust anchor covers will
   become Bogus until the trust anchor is corrected.

   In a large number of cases, it will be safe to work from the
   assumption that one's keys are not in use as trust anchors.  If a
   zone administrator publishes a DNSSEC signing policy and/or a DNSSEC
   practice statement [DNSSEC-DPS], that policy or statement should be
   explicit regarding whether or not the existence of trust anchors will
   be taken into account.  There may be cases where local policies
   enforce the configuration of trust anchors on zones that are mission
   critical (e.g., in enterprises where the trust anchor for the
   enterprise domain is configured in the enterprise's validator).  It
   is expected that the zone administrators are aware of such

   One can argue that because of the difficulty of getting all users of
   a trust anchor to replace an old trust anchor with a new one, a KSK
   that is a trust anchor should never be rolled unless it is known or
   strongly suspected that the key has been compromised.  In other
   words, the costs of a KSK rollover are prohibitively high because
   some users cannot be reached.

   However, the "operational habit" argument also applies to trust
   anchor reconfiguration at the clients' validators.  If a short key
   effectivity period is used and the trust anchor configuration has to
   be revisited on a regular basis, the odds that the configuration
   tends to be forgotten are smaller.  In fact, the costs for those
   users can be minimized by automating the rollover with RFC 5011
   [RFC5011] and by rolling the key regularly (and advertising such) so

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 11]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   that the operators of validating resolvers will put the appropriate
   mechanism in place to deal with these stability costs: In other
   words, budget for these costs instead of incurring them unexpectedly.

   It is therefore preferable to roll KSKs that are expected to be used
   as trust anchors on a regular basis if and only if those rollovers
   can be tracked using standardized (e.g., RFC 5011 [RFC5011])

3.2.3.  The Use of the SEP Flag

   The so-called SEP [RFC4035] flag 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.

   While the SEP flag does not play any role in validation, it is used
   in practice for operational purposes such as for the rollover
   mechanism described in RFC 5011 [RFC5011].  The common convention is
   to set the SEP flag on any key that is used for key exchanges with
   the parent and/or potentially used for configuration 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.

   Note: Some signing tools may assume a KSK/ZSK split and use the
   (non-)presence of the SEP flag to determine which key is to be used
   for signing zone data; these tools may get confused when a Single-
   Type Signing Scheme is used.

3.3.  Key Effectivity Period

   In general, the available key length sets an upper limit on the key
   effectivity period.  For all practical purposes, it is sufficient to
   define the key effectivity period based on purely operational
   requirements and match the key length to that value.  Ignoring the
   operational perspective, a reasonable effectivity period for KSKs
   that have corresponding DS records in the parent zone is on the order
   of two decades or longer.  That is, if one does not plan to test the
   rollover procedure, the key should be effective essentially forever
   and only rolled over in case of emergency.

   When one opts for a regular key rollover, a reasonable key
   effectivity period for KSKs that have a parent zone is one year,
   meaning you have the intent to replace them after 12 months.  The key
   effectivity period is merely a policy parameter and should not be

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 12]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   considered a constant value.  For example, the real key effectivity
   period may be a little bit longer than 12 months, because not all
   actions needed to complete the rollover could be finished in time.

   As argued above, this annual rollover gives an operational practice
   of rollovers for both the zone and validator administrators.
   Besides, in most environments a year is a time span that is easily
   planned and communicated.

   Where keys are stored online and the exposure to various threats of
   compromise is fairly high, an intended key effectivity period of a
   month is reasonable for Zone Signing Keys.

   Although very short key effectivity periods are theoretically
   possible, when replacing keys one has to take into account the
   rollover considerations discussed in Sections 4.1 and 4.4.  Key
   replacement endures for a couple of Maximum Zone TTLs, depending on
   the rollover scenario.  Therefore, a multiple of Maximum Zone TTL
   durations is a reasonable lower limit on the key effectivity period.
   Forcing a shorter key effectivity period will result in an
   unnecessary and inconveniently large DNSKEY RRset published in the

   The motivation for having the ZSK's effectivity period shorter than
   the KSK's effectivity period is rooted in the operational
   consideration that it is more likely that operators have more
   frequent read access to the ZSK than to the KSK.  Thus, in cases
   where the ZSK cannot be afforded the same level of protection as the
   KSK (such as when zone keys are kept online), and where the risk of
   unauthorized disclosure of the ZSK's private key is not negligible
   (e.g., when HSMs are not in use), the ZSK's effectivity period should
   be kept shorter than the KSK's effectivity period.

   In fact, if the risk of loss, theft, or other compromise is the same
   for a ZSK and a KSK, there is little reason to choose different
   effectivity periods for ZSKs and KSKs.  And when the split between
   ZSKs and KSKs is not made, the argument is redundant.

   There are certainly cases in which the use of a Single-Type Signing
   Scheme with a long key effectivity period is a good choice, for
   example, where the costs and risks of compromise, and the costs and
   risks involved with having to perform an emergency roll, are low.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 13]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

3.4.  Cryptographic Considerations

3.4.1.  Signature Algorithm

   At the time of this writing, there are three types of signature
   algorithms that can be used in DNSSEC: RSA, Digital Signature
   Algorithm (DSA), and GOST.  Proposals for other algorithms are in the
   making.  All three are fully specified in many freely available
   documents and are widely considered to be patent-free.  The creation
   of signatures with RSA and DSA takes roughly the same time, but DSA
   is about ten times slower for signature verification.  Also note
   that, in the context of DNSSEC, DSA is limited to a maximum of
   1024-bit keys.

   We suggest the use of RSA/SHA-256 as the preferred signature
   algorithm and RSA/SHA-1 as an alternative.  Both have advantages and
   disadvantages.  RSA/SHA-1 has been deployed for many years, while
   RSA/SHA-256 has only begun to be deployed.  On the other hand, it is
   expected that if effective attacks on either algorithm appear, they
   will appear for RSA/SHA-1 first.  RSA/MD5 should not be considered
   for use because RSA/MD5 will very likely be the first common-use
   signature algorithm to be targeted for an effective attack.

   At the time of publication, it is known that the SHA-1 hash has
   cryptanalysis issues, and work is in progress to address them.  The
   use of public-key algorithms based on hashes stronger than SHA-1
   (e.g., SHA-256) is recommended, if these algorithms are available in
   implementations (see RFC 5702 [RFC5702] and RFC 4509 [RFC4509]).

   Also, at the time of publication, digital signature algorithms based
   on Elliptic Curve (EC) Cryptography with DNSSEC (GOST [RFC5933],
   Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) [RFC6605]) are
   being standardized and implemented.  The use of EC has benefits in
   terms of size.  On the other hand, one has to balance that against
   the amount of validating resolver implementations that will not
   recognize EC signatures and thus treat the zone as insecure.  Beyond
   the observation of this tradeoff, we will not discuss this further.

3.4.2.  Key Sizes

   This section assumes RSA keys, as suggested in the previous section.

   DNSSEC signing keys should be large enough to avoid all known
   cryptographic attacks during the effectivity period of the key.  To
   date, despite huge efforts, no one has broken a regular 1024-bit key;
   in fact, the best completed attack is estimated to be the equivalent
   of a 700-bit key.  An attacker breaking a 1024-bit signing key would
   need to expend phenomenal amounts of networked computing power in a

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 14]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   way that would not be detected in order to break a single key.
   Because of this, it is estimated that most zones can safely use
   1024-bit keys for at least the next ten years.  (A 1024-bit
   asymmetric key has an approximate equivalent strength of a symmetric
   80-bit key.)

   Depending on local policy (e.g., owners of keys that are used as
   extremely high value trust anchors, or non-anchor keys that may be
   difficult to roll over), it may be advisable to use lengths longer
   than 1024 bits.  Typically, the next larger key size used is
   2048 bits, which has the approximate equivalent strength of a
   symmetric 112-bit key (RFC 3766 [RFC3766]).  Signing and verifying
   with a 2048-bit key takes longer than with a 1024-bit key.  The
   increase depends on software and hardware implementations, but public
   operations (such as verification) are about four times slower, while
   private operations (such as signing) are about eight times slower.

   Another way to decide on the size of a key to use is to remember that
   the effort it takes for an attacker to break a 1024-bit key is the
   same, regardless of how the key is used.  If an attacker has the
   capability of breaking a 1024-bit DNSSEC key, he also has the
   capability of breaking one of the many 1024-bit Transport Layer
   Security (TLS) [RFC5246] trust anchor keys that are currently
   installed in web browsers.  If the value of a DNSSEC key is lower to
   the attacker than the value of a TLS trust anchor, the attacker will
   use the resources to attack the latter.

   It is possible that there will be an unexpected improvement in the
   ability for attackers to break keys and that such an attack would
   make it feasible to break 1024-bit keys but not 2048-bit keys.  If
   such an improvement happens, it is likely that there will be a huge
   amount of publicity, particularly because of the large number of
   1024-bit TLS trust anchors built into popular web browsers.  At that
   time, all 1024-bit keys (both ones with parent zones and ones that
   are trust anchors) can be rolled over and replaced with larger keys.

   Earlier documents (including the previous version of this document)
   urged the use of longer keys in situations where a particular key was
   "heavily used".  That advice may have been true 15 years ago, but it
   is not true today when using RSA algorithms and keys of 1024 bits or

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 15]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

3.4.3.  Private Key Storage

   It is preferred that, where possible, zone private keys and the zone
   file master copy that is to be signed be kept and used in off-line,
   non-network-connected, physically secure machines only.
   Periodically, an application can be run to add authentication to a
   zone by adding RRSIG and NSEC/NSEC3 RRs.  Then the augmented file can
   be transferred to the master.

   When relying on dynamic update [RFC3007] or any other update
   mechanism that runs at a regular interval to manage a signed zone, be
   aware that at least one private key of the zone will have to reside
   on the master server or reside on an HSM to which the server has
   access.  This key is only as secure as the amount of exposure the
   server receives to unknown clients and on the level of security of
   the host.  Although not mandatory, one could administer a zone using
   a "hidden master" scheme to minimize the risk.  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.  The
   name servers in the NS RRset are able to receive zone updates through
   IXFR, AXFR, or an out-of-band distribution mechanism, possibly in
   combination with NOTIFY or another mechanism to trigger zone

   The ideal situation is to have a one-way information flow to the
   network to avoid the possibility of tampering from the network.
   Keeping the zone master on-line on the network and simply cycling it
   through an off-line signer does not do this.  The on-line version
   could still be tampered with if the host it resides on is
   compromised.  For maximum security, the master copy of the zone file
   should be off-net and should not be updated based on an unsecured
   network-mediated communication.

   The ideal situation may not be achievable because of economic
   tradeoffs between risks and costs.  For instance, keeping a zone file
   off-line is not practical and will increase the costs of operating a
   DNS zone.  So, in practice, the machines on which zone files are
   maintained will be connected to a network.  Operators are advised to
   take security measures to shield the master copy against unauthorized
   access in order to prevent modification of DNS data before it is

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 16]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   Similarly, the choice for storing a private key in an HSM will be
   influenced by a tradeoff between various concerns:

   o  The risks that an unauthorized person has unnoticed read access to
      the private key.

   o  The remaining window of opportunity for the attacker.

   o  The economic impact of the possible attacks (for a TLD, that
      impact will typically be higher than for an individual user).

   o  The costs of rolling the (compromised) keys.  (The cost of rolling
      a ZSK is lowest, and the cost of rolling a KSK that is in wide use
      as a trust anchor is highest.)

   o  The costs of buying and maintaining an HSM.

   For dynamically updated secured zones [RFC3007], both the master copy
   and the private key that is used to update signatures on updated RRs
   will need to be on-line.

3.4.4.  Key Generation

   Careful generation of all keys is a sometimes overlooked but
   absolutely essential element in any cryptographically secure system.
   The strongest algorithms used with the longest keys are still of no
   use if an adversary can guess enough to lower the size of the likely
   key space so that it can be exhaustively searched.  Technical
   suggestions for the generation of random keys will be found in
   RFC 4086 [RFC4086] and NIST SP 800-90A [NIST-SP-800-90A].  In
   particular, one should carefully assess whether the random number
   generator used during key generation adheres to these suggestions.
   Typically, HSMs tend to provide a good facility for key generation.

   Keys with a long effectivity period are particularly sensitive, as
   they will represent a more valuable target and be subject to attack
   for a longer time than short-period keys.  It is preferred that long-
   term key generation occur off-line in a manner isolated from the
   network via an air gap or, at a minimum, high-level secure hardware.

3.4.5.  Differentiation for 'High-Level' Zones?

   An earlier version of this document (RFC 4641 [RFC4641]) made a
   differentiation between key lengths for KSKs used for zones that are
   high in the DNS hierarchy and those for KSKs used lower down in the

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 17]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   This distinction is now considered irrelevant.  Longer key lengths
   for keys higher in the hierarchy are not useful because the
   cryptographic guidance is that everyone should use keys that no one
   can break.  Also, it is impossible to judge which zones are more or
   less valuable to an attacker.  An attack can only take place if the
   key compromise goes unnoticed and the attacker can act as a man-in-
   the-middle (MITM).  For example, if example.com is compromised, and
   the attacker forges answers for somebank.example.com. and sends them
   out during an MITM, when the attack is discovered it will be simple
   to prove that example.com has been compromised, and the KSK will be

4.  Signature Generation, Key Rollover, and Related Policies

4.1.  Key Rollovers

   Regardless of whether a zone uses periodic key rollovers or only
   rolls keys in case of an irregular event, key rollovers are a fact of
   life when using DNSSEC.  Zone administrators who are in the process
   of rolling their keys have to take into account the fact that data
   published in previous versions of their zone still lives in caches.
   When deploying DNSSEC, this becomes an important consideration;
   ignoring data that may be in caches may lead to loss of service for

   The most pressing example of this occurs when zone material signed
   with an old key is being validated by a resolver that does not have
   the old zone key cached.  If the old key is no longer present in the
   current zone, this validation fails, marking the data Bogus.
   Alternatively, an attempt could be made to validate data that is
   signed with a new key against an old key that lives in a local cache,
   also resulting in data being marked Bogus.

   The typographic conventions used in the diagrams below are explained
   in Appendix B.

4.1.1.  Zone Signing Key Rollovers

   If the choice for splitting ZSKs and KSKs has been made, then those
   two types of keys can be rolled separately, and ZSKs can be rolled
   without taking into account DS records from the parent or the
   configuration of such a key as the trust anchor.

   For "Zone Signing Key rollovers", there are two ways to make sure
   that during the rollover data still cached can be verified with the
   new key sets or newly generated signatures can be verified with the
   keys still in caches.  One scheme, described in Section, uses

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 18]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   key pre-publication; the other uses double signatures, as described
   in Section  The pros and cons are described in
   Section  Pre-Publish Zone Signing Key Rollover

   This section shows how to perform a ZSK rollover without the need to
   sign all the data in a zone twice -- the "Pre-Publish key rollover".
   This method has advantages in the case of a key compromise.  If the
   old key is compromised, the new key has already been distributed in
   the DNS.  The zone administrator is then able to quickly switch to
   the new key and remove the compromised key from the zone.  Another
   major advantage is that the zone size does not double, as is the case
   with the Double-Signature ZSK rollover.

   Pre-Publish key rollover from DNSKEY_Z_10 to DNSKEY_Z_11 involves
   four stages as follows:

     initial            new DNSKEY          new RRSIGs
     SOA_0              SOA_1               SOA_2
     RRSIG_Z_10(SOA)    RRSIG_Z_10(SOA)     RRSIG_Z_11(SOA)

     DNSKEY_K_1         DNSKEY_K_1          DNSKEY_K_1
     DNSKEY_Z_10        DNSKEY_Z_10         DNSKEY_Z_10
                        DNSKEY_Z_11         DNSKEY_Z_11

     DNSKEY removal



                    Figure 1: Pre-Publish Key Rollover

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 19]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   initial:  Initial version of the zone: DNSKEY_K_1 is the Key Signing
      Key.  DNSKEY_Z_10 is used to sign all the data of the zone, i.e.,
      it is the Zone Signing Key.

   new DNSKEY:  DNSKEY_Z_11 is introduced into the key set (note that no
      signatures are generated with this key yet, but this does not
      secure against brute force attacks on its public key).  The
      minimum duration of this pre-roll phase is the time it takes for
      the data to propagate to the authoritative servers, plus the TTL
      value of the key set.

   new RRSIGs:  At the "new RRSIGs" stage, DNSKEY_Z_11 is used to sign
      the data in the zone exclusively (i.e., all the signatures from
      DNSKEY_Z_10 are removed from the zone).  DNSKEY_Z_10 remains
      published in the key set.  This way, data that was loaded into
      caches from the zone in the "new DNSKEY" step can still be
      verified with key sets fetched from this version of the zone.  The
      minimum time that the key set including DNSKEY_Z_10 is to be
      published is the time that it takes for zone data from the
      previous version of the zone to expire from old caches, i.e., the
      time it takes for this zone to propagate to all authoritative
      servers, plus the Maximum Zone TTL value of any of the data in the
      previous version of the zone.

   DNSKEY removal:  DNSKEY_Z_10 is removed from the zone.  The key set,
      now only containing DNSKEY_K_1 and DNSKEY_Z_11, is re-signed with

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 20]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   The above scheme can be simplified by always publishing the "future"
   key immediately after the rollover.  The scheme would look as
   follows (we show two rollovers); the future key is introduced in "new
   DNSKEY" as DNSKEY_Z_12 and again a newer one, numbered 13, in "new
   DNSKEY (II)":

       initial             new RRSIGs          new DNSKEY
       SOA_0               SOA_1               SOA_2
       RRSIG_Z_10(SOA)     RRSIG_Z_11(SOA)     RRSIG_Z_11(SOA)

       DNSKEY_K_1          DNSKEY_K_1          DNSKEY_K_1
       DNSKEY_Z_10         DNSKEY_Z_10         DNSKEY_Z_11
       DNSKEY_Z_11         DNSKEY_Z_11         DNSKEY_Z_12

       new RRSIGs (II)     new DNSKEY (II)
       SOA_3               SOA_4
       RRSIG_Z_12(SOA)     RRSIG_Z_12(SOA)

       DNSKEY_K_1          DNSKEY_K_1
       DNSKEY_Z_11         DNSKEY_Z_12
       DNSKEY_Z_12         DNSKEY_Z_13

             Figure 2: Pre-Publish Zone Signing Key Rollover,
                           Showing Two Rollovers

   Note that the key introduced in the "new DNSKEY" phase is not used
   for production yet; the private key can thus be stored in a
   physically secure manner and does not need to be 'fetched' every time
   a zone needs to be signed.  Double-Signature Zone Signing Key Rollover

   This section shows how to perform a ZSK rollover using the double
   zone data signature scheme, aptly named "Double-Signature rollover".

   During the "new DNSKEY" stage, the new version of the zone file will
   need to propagate to all authoritative servers and the data that
   exists in (distant) caches will need to expire, requiring at least
   the propagation delay plus the Maximum Zone TTL of previous versions
   of the zone.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 21]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   Double-Signature ZSK rollover involves three stages as follows:

      initial             new DNSKEY         DNSKEY removal
      SOA_0               SOA_1              SOA_2
      RRSIG_Z_10(SOA)     RRSIG_Z_10(SOA)
                          RRSIG_Z_11(SOA)    RRSIG_Z_11(SOA)
      DNSKEY_K_1          DNSKEY_K_1         DNSKEY_K_1
      DNSKEY_Z_10         DNSKEY_Z_10
                          DNSKEY_Z_11        DNSKEY_Z_11

           Figure 3: Double-Signature Zone Signing Key Rollover

   initial:  Initial version of the zone: DNSKEY_K_1 is the Key Signing
      Key.  DNSKEY_Z_10 is used to sign all the data of the zone, i.e.,
      it is the Zone Signing Key.

   new DNSKEY:  At the "new DNSKEY" stage, DNSKEY_Z_11 is introduced
      into the key set and all the data in the zone is signed with
      DNSKEY_Z_10 and DNSKEY_Z_11.  The rollover period will need to
      continue until all data from version 0 (i.e., the version of the
      zone data containing SOA_0) of the zone has been replaced in all
      secondary servers and then has expired from remote caches.  This
      will take at least the propagation delay plus the Maximum Zone TTL
      of version 0 of the zone.

   DNSKEY removal:  DNSKEY_Z_10 is removed from the zone, as are all
      signatures created with it.  The key set, now only containing
      DNSKEY_Z_11, is re-signed with DNSKEY_K_1 and DNSKEY_Z_11.

   At every instance, RRSIGs from the previous version of the zone can
   be verified with the DNSKEY RRset from the current version and vice
   versa.  The duration of the "new DNSKEY" phase and the period between
   rollovers should be at least the propagation delay to secondary
   servers plus the Maximum Zone TTL of the previous version of the

   Note that in this example we assumed for simplicity that the zone was
   not modified during the rollover.  In fact, new data can be
   introduced at any time during this period, as long as it is signed
   with both keys.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 22]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012  Pros and Cons of the Schemes

   Pre-Publish key rollover:  This rollover does not involve signing the
      zone data twice.  Instead, before the actual rollover, the new key
      is published in the key set and thus is available for
      cryptanalysis attacks.  A small disadvantage is that this process
      requires four stages.  Also, the Pre-Publish scheme involves more
      parental work when used for KSK rollovers, as explained in
      Section 4.1.2.

   Double-Signature ZSK rollover:  The drawback of this approach is that
      during the rollover the number of signatures in your zone doubles;
      this may be prohibitive if you have very big zones.  An advantage
      is that it only requires three stages.

4.1.2.  Key Signing Key Rollovers

   For the rollover of a Key Signing Key, the same considerations as for
   the rollover of a Zone Signing Key apply.  However, we can use a
   Double-Signature scheme to guarantee that old data (only the apex key
   set) in caches can be verified with a new key set and vice versa.
   Since only the key set is signed with a KSK, zone size considerations
   do not apply.

   Note that KSK rollovers and ZSK rollovers are different in the sense
   that a KSK rollover requires interaction with the parent (and
   possibly replacing trust anchors) and the ensuing delay while waiting
   for it.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 23]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

    initial            new DNSKEY        DS change    DNSKEY removal
    SOA_0 -----------------------------> SOA_1 ------------------------>
    RRSIG_par(SOA) --------------------> RRSIG_par(SOA) --------------->
    DS_K_1 ----------------------------> DS_K_2 ----------------------->
    RRSIG_par(DS) ---------------------> RRSIG_par(DS) ---------------->

    SOA_0              SOA_1 -----------------------> SOA_2
    RRSIG_Z_10(SOA)    RRSIG_Z_10(SOA) -------------> RRSIG_Z_10(SOA)

    DNSKEY_K_1         DNSKEY_K_1 ------------------>
                       DNSKEY_K_2 ------------------> DNSKEY_K_2
    DNSKEY_Z_10        DNSKEY_Z_10 -----------------> DNSKEY_Z_10
    RRSIG_K_1(DNSKEY)  RRSIG_K_1 (DNSKEY) ---------->
                       RRSIG_K_2 (DNSKEY) ----------> RRSIG_K_2(DNSKEY)

           Figure 4: Stages of Deployment for a Double-Signature
                         Key Signing Key Rollover

   initial:  Initial version of the zone.  The parental DS points to
      DNSKEY_K_1.  Before the rollover starts, the child will have to
      verify what the TTL is of the DS RR that points to DNSKEY_K_1 --
      it is needed during the rollover, and we refer to the value as

   new DNSKEY:  During the "new DNSKEY" phase, the zone administrator
      generates a second KSK, DNSKEY_K_2.  The key is provided to the
      parent, and the child will have to wait until a new DS RR has been
      generated that points to DNSKEY_K_2.  After that DS RR has been
      published on all servers authoritative for the parent's zone, the
      zone administrator has to wait at least TTL_DS to make sure that
      the old DS RR has expired from caches.

   DS change:  The parent replaces DS_K_1 with DS_K_2.

   DNSKEY removal:  DNSKEY_K_1 has been removed.

   The scenario above puts the responsibility for maintaining a valid
   chain of trust with the child.  It also is based on the premise that
   the parent only has one DS RR (per algorithm) per zone.  An
   alternative mechanism has been considered.  Using an established
   trust relationship, the interaction can be performed in-band, and the
   removal of the keys by the child can possibly be signaled by the
   parent.  In this mechanism, there are periods where there are two DS

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 24]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   RRs at the parent.  This is known as a KSK Double-DS rollover and is
   shown in Figure 5.  This method has some drawbacks for KSKs.  We
   first describe the rollover scheme and then indicate these drawbacks.

     initial         new DS         new DNSKEY       DS removal
     SOA_0           SOA_1 ------------------------> SOA_2
     RRSIG_par(SOA)  RRSIG_par(SOA) ---------------> RRSIG_par(SOA)
     DS_K_1          DS_K_1 ----------------------->
                     DS_K_2 -----------------------> DS_K_2
     RRSIG_par(DS)   RRSIG_par(DS) ----------------> RRSIG_par(DS)

     SOA_0 -----------------------> SOA_1 ---------------------------->
     RRSIG_Z_10(SOA) -------------> RRSIG_Z_10(SOA) ------------------>

     DNSKEY_K_1 ------------------> DNSKEY_K_2 ----------------------->
     DNSKEY_Z_10 -----------------> DNSKEY_Z_10 ---------------------->
     RRSIG_K_1 (DNSKEY) ----------> RRSIG_K_2 (DNSKEY) --------------->

              Figure 5: Stages of Deployment for a Double-DS
                         Key Signing Key Rollover

   When the child zone wants to roll, it notifies the parent during the
   "new DS" phase and submits the new key (or the corresponding DS) to
   the parent.  The parent publishes DS_K_1 and DS_K_2, pointing to
   DNSKEY_K_1 and DNSKEY_K_2, respectively.  During the rollover ("new
   DNSKEY" phase), which can take place as soon as the new DS set
   propagated through the DNS, the child replaces DNSKEY_K_1 with
   DNSKEY_K_2.  If the old key has expired from caches, at the "DS
   removal" phase the parent can be notified that the old DS record can
   be deleted.

   The drawbacks of this scheme are that during the "new DS" phase, the
   parent cannot verify the match between the DS_K_2 RR and DNSKEY_K_2
   using the DNS, as DNSKEY_K_2 is not yet published.  Besides, we
   introduce a "security lame" key (see Section 4.3.3).  Finally, the
   child-parent interaction consists of two steps.  The "Double
   Signature" method only needs one interaction.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 25]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012  Special Considerations for RFC 5011 KSK Rollover

   The scenario sketched above assumes that the KSK is not in use as a
   trust anchor but that validating name servers exclusively depend on
   the parental DS record to establish the zone's security.  If it is
   known that validating name servers have configured trust anchors,
   then that needs to be taken into account.  Here, we assume that zone
   administrators will deploy RFC 5011 [RFC5011] style rollovers.

   RFC 5011 style rollovers increase the duration of key rollovers: The
   key to be removed must first be revoked.  Thus, before the DNSKEY_K_1
   removal phase, DNSKEY_K_1 must be published for one more Maximum Zone
   TTL with the REVOKE bit set.  The revoked key must be self-signed, so
   in this phase the DNSKEY RRset must also be signed with DNSKEY_K_1.

4.1.3.  Single-Type Signing Scheme Key Rollover

   The rollover of a key when a Single-Type Signing Scheme is used is
   subject to the same requirement as the rollover of a KSK or ZSK:
   During any stage of the rollover, the chain of trust needs to
   continue to validate for any combination of data in the zone as well
   as data that may still live in distant caches.

   There are two variants for this rollover.  Since the choice for a
   Single-Type Signing Scheme is motivated by operational simplicity, we
   describe the most straightforward rollover scheme first.

     initial           new DNSKEY      DS change     DNSKEY removal
     SOA_0 --------------------------> SOA_1 ---------------------->
     RRSIG_par(SOA) -----------------> RRSIG_par(SOA) ------------->
     DS_S_1 -------------------------> DS_S_2 --------------------->
     RRSIG_par(DS_S_1) --------------> RRSIG_par(DS_S_2) ---------->

     SOA_0             SOA_1 ----------------------> SOA_2
     RRSIG_S_1(SOA)    RRSIG_S_1(SOA) ------------->
                       RRSIG_S_2(SOA) -------------> RRSIG_S_2(SOA)
     DNSKEY_S_1        DNSKEY_S_1 ----------------->
                       DNSKEY_S_2 -----------------> DNSKEY_S_2
     RRSIG_S_1(DNSKEY) RRSIG_S_1(DNSKEY) ---------->
                       RRSIG_S_2(DNSKEY) ----------> RRSIG_S_2(DNSKEY)

             Figure 6: Stages of the Straightforward Rollover
                      in a Single-Type Signing Scheme

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 26]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   initial:  Parental DS points to DNSKEY_S_1.  All RRsets in the zone
      are signed with DNSKEY_S_1.

   new DNSKEY:  A new key (DNSKEY_S_2) is introduced, and all the RRsets
      are signed with both DNSKEY_S_1 and DNSKEY_S_2.

   DS change:  After the DNSKEY RRset with the two keys had time to
      propagate into distant caches (that is, the key set exclusively
      containing DNSKEY_S_1 has been expired), the parental DS record
      can be changed.

   DNSKEY removal:  After the DS RRset containing DS_S_1 has expired
      from distant caches, DNSKEY_S_1 can be removed from the DNSKEY

   In this first variant, the new signatures and new public key are
   added to the zone.  Once they are propagated, the DS at the parent is
   switched.  If the old DS has expired from the caches, the old
   signatures and old public key can be removed from the zone.

   This rollover has the drawback that it introduces double signatures
   over all data of the zone.  Taking these zone size considerations
   into account, it is possible to not introduce the signatures made
   with DNSKEY_S_2 at the "new DNSKEY" step.  Instead, signatures of
   DNSKEY_S_1 are replaced with signatures of DNSKEY_S_2 in an
   additional stage between the "DS change" and "DNSKEY removal" step:
   After the DS RRset containing DS_S_1 has expired from distant caches,
   the signatures can be swapped.  Only after the new signatures made
   with DNSKEY_S_2 have been propagated can the old public key
   DNSKEY_S_1 be removed from the DNSKEY RRset.

   The second variant of the Single-Type Signing Scheme Key rollover is
   the Double-DS rollover.  In this variant, one introduces a new DNSKEY
   into the key set and submits the new DS to the parent.  The new key
   is not yet used to sign RRsets.  The signatures made with DNSKEY_S_1
   are replaced with signatures made with DNSKEY_S_2 at the moment that
   DNSKEY_S_2 and DS_S_2 have been propagated.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 27]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   initial            new DS         new RRSIG         DS removal
   SOA_0              SOA_1 -------------------------> SOA_2
   RRSIG_par(SOA)     RRSIG_par(SOA) ----------------> RRSIG_par(SOA)
   DS_S_1             DS_S_1 ------------------------>
                      DS_S_2 ------------------------> DS_S_2
   RRSIG_par(DS)      RRSIG_par(DS) -----------------> RRSIG_par(DS)

   SOA_0              SOA_1          SOA_2             SOA_3

   DNSKEY_S_1         DNSKEY_S_1     DNSKEY_S_1
                      DNSKEY_S_2     DNSKEY_S_2        DNSKEY_S_2
   RRSIG_S_1 (DNSKEY)                RRSIG_S_2(DNSKEY) RRSIG_S_2(DNSKEY)

       Figure 7: Stages of Deployment for a Double-DS Rollover in a
                        Single-Type Signing Scheme

4.1.4.  Algorithm Rollovers

   A special class of key rollovers is the one needed for a change of
   signature algorithms (either adding a new algorithm, removing an old
   algorithm, or both).  Additional steps are needed to retain integrity
   during this rollover.  We first describe the generic case; special
   considerations for rollovers that involve trust anchors and single-
   type keys are discussed later.

   There exist both a conservative and a liberal approach for algorithm
   rollover.  This has to do with Section 2.2 of RFC 4035 [RFC4035]:

      There MUST be an RRSIG for each RRset using at least one DNSKEY
      of each algorithm in the zone apex DNSKEY RRset.  The apex
      DNSKEY RRset itself MUST be signed by each algorithm appearing
      in the DS RRset located at the delegating parent (if any).

   The conservative approach interprets this section very strictly,
   meaning that it expects that every RRset has a valid signature for
   every algorithm signaled by the zone apex DNSKEY RRset, including
   RRsets in caches.  The liberal approach uses a more loose
   interpretation of the section and limits the rule to RRsets in the
   zone at the authoritative name servers.  There is a reasonable
   argument for saying that this is valid, because the specific section
   is a subsection of Section 2 ("Zone Signing") of RFC 4035.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 28]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   When following the more liberal approach, algorithm rollover is just
   as easy as a regular Double-Signature KSK rollover (Section 4.1.2).
   Note that the Double-DS KSK rollover method cannot be used, since
   that would introduce a parental DS of which the apex DNSKEY RRset has
   not been signed with the introduced algorithm.

   However, there are implementations of validators known to follow the
   more conservative approach.  Performing a Double-Signature KSK
   algorithm rollover will temporarily make your zone appear as Bogus by
   such validators during the rollover.  Therefore, the rollover
   described in this section will explain the stages of deployment and
   will assume that the conservative approach is used.

   When adding a new algorithm, the signatures should be added first.
   After the TTL of RRSIGs has expired and caches have dropped the old
   data covered by those signatures, the DNSKEY with the new algorithm
   can be added.

   After the new algorithm has been added, the DS record can be
   exchanged using Double-Signature KSK rollover.

   When removing an old algorithm, the DS for the algorithm should be
   removed from the parent zone first, followed by the DNSKEY and the
   signatures (in the child zone).

   Figure 8 describes the steps.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 29]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

    initial              new RRSIGs           new DNSKEY
    SOA_0 -------------------------------------------------------->
    RRSIG_par(SOA) ----------------------------------------------->
    DS_K_1 ------------------------------------------------------->
    RRSIG_par(DS_K_1) -------------------------------------------->

    SOA_0                SOA_1                SOA_2
    RRSIG_Z_10(SOA)      RRSIG_Z_10(SOA)      RRSIG_Z_10(SOA)
                         RRSIG_Z_11(SOA)      RRSIG_Z_11(SOA)

    DNSKEY_K_1           DNSKEY_K_1           DNSKEY_K_1
    DNSKEY_Z_10          DNSKEY_Z_10          DNSKEY_Z_10

    new DS               DNSKEY removal       RRSIGs removal
    SOA_1 ------------------------------------------------------->
    RRSIG_par(SOA) ---------------------------------------------->
    DS_K_2 ------------------------------------------------------>
    RRSIG_par(DS_K_2) ------------------------------------------->

    -------------------> SOA_3                SOA_4
    -------------------> RRSIG_Z_10(SOA)
    -------------------> RRSIG_Z_11(SOA)      RRSIG_Z_11(SOA)

    -------------------> DNSKEY_K_2           DNSKEY_K_2
    -------------------> DNSKEY_Z_11          DNSKEY_Z_11
    -------------------> RRSIG_K_2(DNSKEY)    RRSIG_K_2(DNSKEY)

        Figure 8: Stages of Deployment during an Algorithm Rollover

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 30]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   initial:  Describes the state of the zone before any transition is
      done.  The number of the keys may vary, but all keys (in DNSKEY
      records) for the zone use the same algorithm.

   new RRSIGs:  The signatures made with the new key over all records in
      the zone are added, but the key itself is not.  This step is
      needed to propagate the signatures created with the new algorithm
      to the caches.  If this is not done, it is possible for a resolver
      to retrieve the new DNSKEY RRset (containing the new algorithm)
      but to have RRsets in its cache with signatures created by the old
      DNSKEY RRset (i.e., without the new algorithm).

      The RRSIG for the DNSKEY RRset does not need to be pre-published
      (since these records will travel together) and does not need
      special processing in order to keep them synchronized.

   new DNSKEY:  After the old data has expired from caches, the new key
      can be added to the zone.

   new DS:  After the cache data for the old DNSKEY RRset has expired,
      the DS record for the new key can be added to the parent zone and
      the DS record for the old key can be removed in the same step.

   DNSKEY removal:  After the cache data for the old DS RRset has
      expired, the old algorithm can be removed.  This time, the old key
      needs to be removed first, before removing the old signatures.

   RRSIGs removal:  After the cache data for the old DNSKEY RRset has
      expired, the old signatures can also be removed during this step.

   Below, we deal with a few special cases of algorithm rollovers:

   1: Single-Type Signing Scheme Algorithm rollover:  when there is no
      differentiation between ZSKs and KSKs (Section

   2: RFC 5011 Algorithm rollover:  when trust anchors can track the
      roll via RFC 5011 style rollover (Section

   3: 1 and 2 combined:  when a Single-Type Signing Scheme Algorithm
      rollover is performed RFC 5011 style (Section

   In addition to the narrative below, these special cases are
   represented in Figures 12, 13, and 14 in Appendix C.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 31]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012  Single-Type Signing Scheme Algorithm Rollover

   If one key is used that acts as both ZSK and KSK, the same scheme and
   figure as above (Figure 8 in Section 4.1.4) applies, whereby all
   DNSKEY_Z_* records from the table are removed and all RRSIG_Z_* are
   replaced with RRSIG_S_*.  All DNSKEY_K_* records are replaced with
   DNSKEY_S_*, and all RRSIG_K_* records are replaced with RRSIG_S_*.
   The requirement to sign with both algorithms and make sure that old
   RRSIGs have the opportunity to expire from distant caches before
   introducing the new algorithm in the DNSKEY RRset is still valid.

   This is shown in Figure 12 in Appendix C.  Algorithm Rollover, RFC 5011 Style

   Trust anchor algorithm rollover is almost as simple as a regular
   RFC 5011-based rollover.  However, the old trust anchor must be
   revoked before it is removed from the zone.

   The timeline (see Figure 13 in Appendix C) is similar to that of
   Figure 8 above, but after the "new DS" step, an additional step is
   required where the DNSKEY is revoked.  The details of this step
   ("revoke DNSKEY") are shown in Figure 9 below.

     revoke DNSKEY




      Figure 9: The Revoke DNSKEY State That Is Added to an Algorithm
                     Rollover when RFC 5011 Is in Use

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 32]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   There is one exception to the requirement from RFC 4035 quoted in
   Section 4.1.4 above: While all zone data must be signed with an
   unrevoked key, it is permissible to sign the key set with a revoked
   key.  The somewhat esoteric argument is as follows:

   Resolvers that do not understand the RFC 5011 REVOKE flag will handle
   DNSKEY_K_1_REVOKED the same as if it were DNSKEY_K_1.  In other
   words, they will handle the revoked key as a normal key, and thus
   RRsets signed with this key will validate.  As a result, the
   signature matches the algorithm listed in the DNSKEY RRset.

   Resolvers that do implement RFC 5011 will remove DNSKEY_K_1 from the
   set of trust anchors.  That is okay, since they have already added
   DNSKEY_K_2 as the new trust anchor.  Thus, algorithm 2 is the only
   signaled algorithm by now.  That is, we only need RRSIG_K_2(DNSKEY)
   to authenticate the DNSKEY RRset, and we are still compliant with
   Section 2.2 of RFC 4035: There must be an RRSIG for each RRset using
   at least one DNSKEY of each algorithm in the zone apex DNSKEY RRset.  Single Signing Type Algorithm Rollover, RFC 5011 Style

   If a decision is made to perform an RFC 5011 style rollover with a
   Single Signing Scheme key, it should be noted that Section 2.1 of
   RFC 5011 states:

      Once the resolver sees the REVOKE bit, it MUST NOT use this key
      as a trust anchor or for any other purpose except to validate
      the RRSIG it signed over the DNSKEY RRset specifically for the
      purpose of validating the revocation.

   This means that once DNSKEY_S_1 is revoked, it cannot be used to
   validate its signatures over non-DNSKEY RRsets.  Thus, those RRsets
   should be signed with a shadow key, DNSKEY_Z_10, during the algorithm
   rollover.  The shadow key can be removed at the same time the revoked
   DNSKEY_S_1 is removed from the zone.  In other words, the zone must
   temporarily fall back to a KSK/ZSK split model during the rollover.

   In other words, the rule that at every RRset there must be at least
   one signature for each algorithm used in the DNSKEY RRset still
   applies.  This means that a different key with the same algorithm,
   other than the revoked key, must sign the entire zone.  Thus, more
   operations are needed if the Single-Type Signing Scheme is used.
   Before rolling the algorithm, a new key must be introduced with the
   same algorithm as the key that is a candidate for revocation.  That
   key can than temporarily act as a ZSK during the algorithm rollover.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 33]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   As with algorithm rollover RFC 5011 style, while all zone data must
   be signed with an unrevoked key, it is permissible to sign the key
   set with a revoked key using the same esoteric argument given in

   The lesson of all of this is that a Single-Type Signing Scheme
   algorithm rollover using RFC 5011 is as complicated as the name of
   the rollover implies: Reverting to a split-key scheme for the
   duration of the rollover may be preferable.  NSEC-to-NSEC3 Algorithm Rollover

   A special case is the rollover from an NSEC signed zone to an NSEC3
   signed zone.  In this case, algorithm numbers are used to signal
   support for NSEC3 but they do not mandate the use of NSEC3.
   Therefore, NSEC records should remain in the zone until the rollover
   to a new algorithm has completed and the new DNSKEY RRset has
   populated distant caches, at the end of the "new DNSKEY" stage.  At
   that point, the validators that have not implemented NSEC3 will treat
   the zone as unsecured as soon as they follow the chain of trust to
   the DS that points to a DNSKEY of the new algorithm, while validators
   that support NSEC3 will happily validate using NSEC.  Turning on
   NSEC3 can then be done during the "new DS" step: increasing the
   serial number, introducing the NSEC3PARAM record to signal that
   NSEC3-authenticated data related to denial of existence should be
   served, and re-signing the zone.

   In summary, an NSEC-to-NSEC3 rollover is an ordinary algorithm
   rollover whereby NSEC is used all the time and only after that
   rollover finished NSEC3 needs to be deployed.  The procedures are
   also listed in Sections 10.4 and 10.5 of RFC 5155 [RFC5155].

4.1.5.  Considerations for Automated Key Rollovers

   As keys must be renewed periodically, there is some motivation to
   automate the rollover process.  Consider the following:

   o  ZSK rollovers are easy to automate, as only the child zone is

   o  A KSK rollover needs interaction between the parent and child.
      Data exchange is needed to provide the new keys to the parent;
      consequently, this data must be authenticated, and integrity must
      be guaranteed in order to avoid attacks on the rollover.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 34]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

4.2.  Planning for Emergency Key Rollover

   This section deals with preparation for a possible key compromise.
   It is advisable to have a documented procedure ready for those times
   when a key compromise is suspected or confirmed.

   When the private material of one of a zone's keys is compromised, it
   can be used by an attacker for as long as a valid trust chain exists.
   A trust chain remains intact for

   o  as long as a signature over the compromised key in the trust chain
      is valid, and

   o  as long as the DS RR in the parent zone points to the
      (compromised) key signing the DNSKEY RRset, and

   o  as long as the (compromised) key is anchored in a resolver and is
      used as a starting point for validation (this is generally the
      hardest to update).

   While a trust chain to a zone's compromised key exists, your
   namespace is vulnerable to abuse by anyone who has obtained
   illegitimate possession of the key.  Zone administrators have to make
   a decision as to whether the abuse of the compromised key is worse
   than having data in caches that cannot be validated.  If the zone
   administrator chooses to break the trust chain to the compromised
   key, data in caches signed with this key cannot be validated.
   However, if the zone administrator chooses to take the path of a
   regular rollover, during the rollover the malicious key holder can
   continue to spoof data so that it appears to be valid.

4.2.1.  KSK Compromise

   A compromised KSK can be used to sign the key set of an attacker's
   version of the zone.  That zone could be used to poison the DNS.

   A zone containing a DNSKEY RRset with a compromised KSK is vulnerable
   as long as the compromised KSK is configured as the trust anchor or a
   DS record in the parent zone points to it.

   Therefore, when the KSK has been compromised, the trust anchor or the
   parent DS record should be replaced as soon as possible.  It is local
   policy whether to break the trust chain during the emergency
   rollover.  The trust chain would be broken when the compromised KSK
   is removed from the child's zone while the parent still has a DS
   record pointing to the compromised KSK.  The assumption is that there

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 35]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   is only one DS record at the parent.  If there are multiple DS
   records, this does not apply, although the chain of trust of this
   particular key is broken.

   Note that an attacker's version of the zone still uses the
   compromised KSK, and the presence of the corresponding DS record in
   the parent would cause the data in this zone to appear as valid.
   Removing the compromised key would cause the attacker's version of
   the zone to appear as valid and the original zone as Bogus.
   Therefore, we advise administrators not to remove the KSK before the
   parent has a DS record for the new KSK in place.  Emergency Key Rollover Keeping the Chain of Trust Intact

   If it is desired to perform an emergency key rollover in a manner
   that keeps the chain of trust intact, the timing of the replacement
   of the KSK is somewhat critical.  The goal is to remove the
   compromised KSK as soon as the new DS RR is available at the parent.
   This means ensuring that the signature made with a new KSK over the
   key set that contains the compromised KSK expires just after the new
   DS appears at the parent.  Expiration of that signature will cause
   expiration of that key set from the caches.

   The procedure is as follows:

   1.  Introduce a new KSK into the key set; keep the compromised KSK in
       the key set.  Lower the TTL for DNSKEYs so that the DNSKEY RRset
       will expire from caches sooner.

   2.  Sign the key set, with a short validity period.  The validity
       period should expire shortly after the DS is expected to appear
       in the parent and the old DSs have expired from caches.  This
       provides an upper limit on how long the compromised KSK can be
       used in a replay attack.

   3.  Upload the DS for this new key to the parent.

   4.  Follow the procedure of the regular KSK rollover: Wait for the DS
       to appear at the authoritative servers, and then wait as long as
       the TTL of the old DS RRs.  If necessary, re-sign the DNSKEY
       RRset and modify/extend the expiration time.

   5.  Remove the compromised DNSKEY RR from the zone, and re-sign the
       key set using your "normal" TTL and signature validity period.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 36]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   An additional danger of a key compromise is that the compromised key
   could be used to facilitate a legitimate-looking DNSKEY/DS rollover
   and/or name server changes at the parent.  When that happens, the
   domain may be in dispute.  An authenticated out-of-band and secure
   notify mechanism to contact a parent is needed in this case.

   Note that this is only a problem when the DNSKEY and/or DS records
   are used to authenticate communication with the parent.  Emergency Key Rollover Breaking the Chain of Trust

   There are two methods to perform an emergency key rollover in a
   manner that breaks the chain of trust.  The first method causes the
   child zone to appear Bogus to validating resolvers.  The other causes
   the child zone to appear Insecure.  These are described below.

   In the method that causes the child zone to appear Bogus to
   validating resolvers, the child zone replaces the current KSK with a
   new one and re-signs the key set.  Next, it sends the DS of the new
   key to the parent.  Only after the parent has placed the new DS in
   the zone is the child's chain of trust repaired.  Note that until
   that time, the child zone is still vulnerable to spoofing: The
   attacker is still in possession of the compromised key that the DS
   points to.

   An alternative method of breaking the chain of trust is by removing
   the DS RRs from the parent zone altogether.  As a result, the child
   zone would become Insecure.  After the DS has expired from distant
   caches, the keys and signatures are removed from the child zone, new
   keys and signatures are introduced, and finally, a new DS is
   submitted to the parent.

4.2.2.  ZSK Compromise

   Primarily because there is no interaction with the parent required
   when a ZSK is compromised, the situation is less severe than with a
   KSK compromise.  The zone must still be re-signed with a new ZSK as
   soon as possible.  As this is a local operation and requires no
   communication between the parent and child, this can be achieved
   fairly quickly.  However, one has to take into account that -- just
   as with a normal rollover -- the immediate disappearance of the old
   compromised key may lead to verification problems.  Also note that
   until the RRSIG over the compromised ZSK has expired, the zone may
   still be at risk.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 37]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

4.2.3.  Compromises of Keys Anchored in Resolvers

   A key can also be pre-configured in resolvers as a trust anchor.  If
   trust anchor keys are compromised, the administrators of resolvers
   using these keys should be notified of this fact.  Zone
   administrators may consider setting up a mailing list to communicate
   the fact that a SEP key is about to be rolled over.  This
   communication will of course need to be authenticated by some means,
   e.g., by using digital signatures.

   End-users faced with the task of updating an anchored key should
   always verify the new key.  New keys should be authenticated out-of-
   band, for example, through the use of an announcement website that is
   secured using Transport Layer Security (TLS) [RFC5246].

4.2.4.  Stand-By Keys

   Stand-by keys are keys that are published in your zone but are not
   used to sign RRsets.  There are two reasons why someone would want to
   use stand-by keys.  One is to speed up the emergency key rollover.
   The other is to recover from a disaster that leaves your production
   private keys inaccessible.

   The way to deal with stand-by keys differs for ZSKs and KSKs.  To
   make a stand-by ZSK, you need to publish its DNSKEY RR.  To make a
   stand-by KSK, you need to get its DS RR published at the parent.

   Assuming you have your normal DNS operation, to prepare stand-by keys
   you need to:

   o  Generate a stand-by ZSK and KSK.  Store them safely in a location
      different than the place where the currently used ZSK and KSK are

   o  Pre-publish the DNSKEY RR of the stand-by ZSK in the zone.

   o  Pre-publish the DS of the stand-by KSK in the parent zone.

   Now suppose a disaster occurs and disables access to the currently
   used keys.  To recover from that situation, follow these procedures:

   o  Set up your DNS operations and introduce the stand-by KSK into the

   o  Post-publish the disabled ZSK and sign the zone with the stand-by

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 38]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   o  After some time, when the new signatures have been propagated, the
      old keys, old signatures, and the old DS can be removed.

   o  Generate a new stand-by key set at a different location and
      continue "normal" operation.

4.3.  Parent Policies

4.3.1.  Initial Key Exchanges and Parental Policies Considerations

   The initial key exchange is always subject to the policies set by the
   parent.  It is specifically important in a registry-registrar-
   registrant model where a registry maintains the parent zone, and the
   registrant (the user of the child-domain name) deals with the
   registry through an intermediary called a registrar (see [RFC3375]
   for a comprehensive definition).  The key material is to be passed
   from the DNS operator to the parent via a registrar, where both the
   DNS operator and registrar are selected by the registrant and might
   be different organizations.  When designing a key exchange policy,
   one should take into account that the authentication and
   authorization mechanisms used during a key exchange should be as
   strong as the authentication and authorization mechanisms used for
   the exchange of delegation information between the parent and child.
   That is, there is no implicit need in DNSSEC to make the
   authentication process stronger than it is for regular DNS.

   Using the DNS itself as the source for the actual DNSKEY material has
   the benefit that it reduces the chances of user error.  A DNSKEY
   query tool can make use of the SEP bit [RFC4035] to select the proper
   key(s) from a DNSSEC key set, thereby reducing the chance that the
   wrong DNSKEY is sent.  It can validate the self-signature over a key,
   thereby verifying the ownership of the private key material.
   Fetching the DNSKEY from the DNS ensures that the chain of trust
   remains intact once the parent publishes the DS RR indicating that
   the child is secure.

   Note: Out-of-band verification is still needed when the key material
   is fetched for the first time, even via DNS.  The parent can never be
   sure whether or not the DNSKEY RRs have been spoofed.

   With some types of key rollovers, the DNSKEY is not pre-published,
   and a DNSKEY query tool is not able to retrieve the successor key.
   In this case, the out-of-band method is required.  This also allows
   the child to determine the digest algorithm of the DS record.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 39]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

4.3.2.  Storing Keys or Hashes?

   When designing a registry system, one should consider whether to
   store the DNSKEYs and/or the corresponding DSs.  Since a child zone
   might wish to have a DS published using a message digest algorithm
   not yet understood by the registry, the registry can't count on being
   able to generate the DS record from a raw DNSKEY.  Thus, we suggest
   that registry systems should be able to store DS RRs, even if they
   also store DNSKEYs (see also "DNSSEC Trust Anchor Configuration and
   Maintenance" [DNSSEC-TRUST-ANCHOR]).

   The storage considerations also relate to the design of the customer
   interface and the method by which data is transferred between the
   registrant and registry: Will the child-zone administrator be able to
   upload DS RRs with unknown hash algorithms, or does the interface
   only allow DNSKEYs?  When registries support the Extensible
   Provisioning Protocol (EPP) [RFC5910], that can be used for
   registrar-registry interactions, since that protocol allows the
   transfer of both DS and, optionally, DNSKEY RRs.  There is no
   standardized way to move the data between the customer and the
   registrar.  Different registrars have different mechanisms, ranging
   from simple web interfaces to various APIs.  In some cases, the use
   of the DNSSEC extensions to EPP may be applicable.

   Having an out-of-band mechanism such as a registry directory (e.g.,
   Whois) to find out which keys are used to generate DS Resource
   Records for specific owners and/or zones may also help with

4.3.3.  Security Lameness

   Security lameness is defined as the state whereby the parent has a DS
   RR pointing to a nonexistent DNSKEY RR.  Security lameness may occur
   temporarily during a Double-DS rollover scheme.  However, care should
   be taken that not all DS RRs are pointing to a nonexistent DNSKEY RR,
   which will cause the child's zone to be marked Bogus by verifying DNS

   As part of a comprehensive delegation check, the parent could, at key
   exchange time, verify that the child's key is actually configured in
   the DNS.  However, if a parent does not understand the hashing
   algorithm used by the child, the parental checks are limited to only
   comparing the key id.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 40]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   Child zones should be very careful in removing DNSKEY material --
   specifically, SEP keys -- for which a DS RR exists.

   Once a zone is "security lame", a fix (e.g., removing a DS RR) will
   take time to propagate through the DNS.

4.3.4.  DS Signature Validity Period

   Since the DS can be replayed as long as it has a valid signature, a
   short signature validity period for the DS RRSIG minimizes the time
   that a child is vulnerable in the case of a compromise of the child's
   KSK(s).  A signature validity period that is too short introduces the
   possibility that a zone is marked Bogus in the case of a
   configuration error in the signer.  There may not be enough time to
   fix the problems before signatures expire (this is a generic
   argument; also see Section 4.4.2).  Something as mundane as zone
   administrator unavailability during weekends shows the need for DS
   signature validity periods longer than two days.  Just like any
   signature validity period, we suggest an absolute minimum for the DS
   signature validity period of a few days.

   The maximum signature validity period of the DS record depends on how
   long child zones are willing to be vulnerable after a key compromise.
   On the other hand, shortening the DS signature validity period
   increases the operational risk for the parent.  Therefore, the parent
   may have a policy to use a signature validity period that is
   considerably longer than the child would hope for.

   A compromise between the policy/operational constraints of the parent
   and minimizing damage for the child may result in a DS signature
   validity period somewhere between a week and several months.

   In addition to the signature validity period, which sets a lower
   bound on the number of times the zone administrator will need to sign
   the zone data and an upper bound on the time that a child is
   vulnerable after key compromise, there is the TTL value on the DS
   RRs.  Shortening the TTL reduces the damage of a successful replay
   attack.  It does mean that the authoritative servers will see more
   queries.  But on the other hand, a short TTL lowers the persistence
   of DS RRsets in caches, thereby increasing the speed with which
   updated DS RRsets propagate through the DNS.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 41]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

4.3.5.  Changing DNS Operators

   The parent-child relationship is often described in terms of a
   registry-registrar-registrant model, where a registry maintains the
   parent zone and the registrant (the user of the child-domain name)
   deals with the registry through an intermediary called a registrar
   [RFC3375].  Registrants may outsource the maintenance of their DNS
   system, including the maintenance of DNSSEC key material, to the
   registrar or to another third party, referred to here as the DNS

   For various reasons, a registrant may want to move between DNS
   operators.  How easy this move will be depends principally on the DNS
   operator from which the registrant is moving (the losing operator),
   as the losing operator has control over the DNS zone and its keys.
   The following sections describe the two cases: where the losing
   operator cooperates with the new operator (the gaining operator), and
   where the two do not cooperate.  Cooperating DNS Operators

   In this scenario, it is assumed that the losing operator will not
   pass any private key material to the gaining operator (that would
   constitute a trivial case) but is otherwise fully cooperative.

   In this environment, the change could be made with a Pre-Publish ZSK
   rollover, whereby the losing operator pre-publishes the ZSK of the
   gaining operator, combined with a Double-Signature KSK rollover where
   the two registrars exchange public keys and independently generate a
   signature over those key sets that they combine and both publish in
   their copy of the zone.  Once that is done, they can use their own
   private keys to sign any of their zone content during the transfer.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 42]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

    initial            |        pre-publish                    |
     NS_A                            NS_A
     DS_A                            DS_A
    Child at A:            Child at A:        Child at B:
     SOA_A0                 SOA_A1             SOA_B0
     RRSIG_Z_A(SOA)         RRSIG_Z_A(SOA)     RRSIG_Z_B(SOA)

     NS_A                   NS_A               NS_B
     RRSIG_Z_A(NS)          NS_B               RRSIG_Z_B(NS)

     DNSKEY_Z_A             DNSKEY_Z_A         DNSKEY_Z_A
                            DNSKEY_Z_B         DNSKEY_Z_B
     DNSKEY_K_A             DNSKEY_K_A         DNSKEY_K_A
                            DNSKEY_K_B         DNSKEY_K_B
                            RRSIG_K_B(DNSKEY)  RRSIG_K_B(DNSKEY)

          re-delegation                |   post-migration      |
              NS_B                           NS_B
              DS_B                           DS_B
    Child at A:        Child at B:           Child at B:

     SOA_A1             SOA_B0                SOA_B1
     RRSIG_Z_A(SOA)     RRSIG_Z_B(SOA)        RRSIG_Z_B(SOA)

     NS_A               NS_B                  NS_B
     NS_B               RRSIG_Z_B(NS)         RRSIG_Z_B(NS)

     DNSKEY_Z_A         DNSKEY_Z_A
     DNSKEY_Z_B         DNSKEY_Z_B            DNSKEY_Z_B
     DNSKEY_K_A         DNSKEY_K_A
     DNSKEY_K_B         DNSKEY_K_B            DNSKEY_K_B

               Figure 10: Rollover for Cooperating Operators

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 43]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   In this figure, A denotes the losing operator and B the gaining
   operator.  RRSIG_Z is the RRSIG produced by a ZSK, RRSIG_K is
   produced with a KSK, and the appended A or B indicates the producers
   of the key pair.  "Child at A" is how the zone content is represented
   by the losing DNS operator, and "Child at B" is how the zone content
   is represented by the gaining DNS operator.

   The zone is initially delegated from the parent to the name servers
   of operator A.  Operator A uses his own ZSK and KSK to sign the zone.
   The cooperating operator A will pre-publish the new NS record and the
   ZSK and KSK of operator B, including the RRSIG over the DNSKEY RRset
   generated by the KSK of operator B.  Operator B needs to publish the
   same DNSKEY RRset.  When that DNSKEY RRset has populated the caches,
   the re-delegation can be made, which involves adjusting the NS and DS
   records in the parent zone to point to operator B.  And after all
   DNSSEC records related to operator A have expired from the caches,
   operator B can stop publishing the keys and signatures belonging to
   operator A, and vice versa.

   The requirement to exchange signatures has a couple of drawbacks.  It
   requires more operational overhead, because not only do the operators
   have to exchange public keys but they also have to exchange the
   signatures of the new DNSKEY RRset.  This drawback does not exist if
   the Double-Signature KSK rollover is replaced with a Double-DS KSK
   rollover.  See Figure 15 in Appendix D for the diagram.

   Thus, if the registry and registrars allow DS records to be published
   that do not point to a published DNSKEY in the child zone, the
   Double-DS KSK rollover is preferred (see Figure 5), in combination
   with the Pre-Publish ZSK rollover.  This does not require sharing the
   KSK signatures between the operators, but both operators still have
   to publish each other's ZSKs.  Non-Cooperating DNS Operators

   In the non-cooperating case, matters are more complicated.  The
   losing operator may not cooperate and leave the data in the DNS as
   is.  In extreme cases, the losing operator may become obstructive and
   publish a DNSKEY RR with a high TTL and corresponding signature
   validity period so that registrar A's DNSKEY could end up in caches
   for (in theory at least) decades.

   The problem arises when a validator tries to validate with the losing
   operator's key and there is no signature material produced with the
   losing operator available in the delegation path after re-delegation
   from the losing operator to the gaining operator has taken place.
   One could imagine a rollover scenario where the gaining operator
   takes a copy of all RRSIGs created by the losing operator and

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 44]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   publishes those in conjunction with its own signatures, but that
   would not allow any changes in the zone content.  Since a
   re-delegation took place, the NS RRset has by definition changed, so
   such a rollover scenario will not work.  Besides, if zone transfers
   are not allowed by the losing operator and NSEC3 is deployed in the
   losing operator's zone, then the gaining operator's zone will not
   have certainty that all of the losing operator's RRSIGs have been

   The only viable operation for the registrant is to have his zone go
   Insecure for the duration of the change.  The registry should be
   asked to remove the DS RR pointing to the losing operator's DNSKEY
   and to change the NS RRset to point to the gaining operator.  Once
   this has propagated through the DNS, the registry should be asked to
   insert the DS record pointing to the (newly signed) zone at
   operator B.

   Note that some behaviors of resolver implementations may aid in the
   process of changing DNS operators:

   o  TTL sanity checking, as described in RFC 2308 [RFC2308], will
      limit the impact of the actions of an obstructive losing operator.
      Resolvers that implement TTL sanity checking will use an upper
      limit for TTLs on RRsets in responses.

   o  If RRsets at the zone cut (are about to) expire, the resolver
      restarts its search above the zone cut.  Otherwise, the resolver
      risks continuing to use a name server that might be un-delegated
      by the parent.

   o  Limiting the time that DNSKEYs that seem to be unable to validate
      signatures are cached and/or trying to recover from cases where
      DNSKEYs do not seem to be able to validate data also reduce the
      effects of the problem of non-cooperating registrars.

   However, there is no operational methodology to work around this
   business issue, and proper contractual relationships between all
   involved parties seem to be the only solution to cope with these
   problems.  It should be noted that in many cases, the problem with
   temporary broken delegations already exists when a zone changes from
   one DNS operator to another.  Besides, it is often the case that when
   operators are changed, the services that are referenced by that zone
   also change operators, possibly involving some downtime.

   In any case, to minimize such problems, the classic configuration is
   to have relatively short TTLs on all involved Resource Records.  That
   will solve many of the problems regarding changes to a zone,
   regardless of whether DNSSEC is used.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 45]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

4.4.  Time in DNSSEC

   Without DNSSEC, all times in the DNS are relative.  The SOA fields
   REFRESH, RETRY, and EXPIRATION are timers used to determine the time
   that has elapsed after a slave server synchronized with a master
   server.  The TTL value and the SOA RR minimum TTL parameter [RFC2308]
   are used to determine how long a forwarder should cache data (or
   negative responses) after it has been fetched from an authoritative
   server.  By using a signature validity period, DNSSEC introduces the
   notion of an absolute time in the DNS.  Signatures in DNSSEC have an
   expiration date after which the signature is marked as invalid and
   the signed data is to be considered Bogus.

   The considerations in this section are all qualitative and focused on
   the operational and managerial issues.  A more thorough quantitative
   analysis of rollover timing parameters can be found in "DNSSEC Key
   Timing Considerations" [DNSSEC-KEY-TIMING].

4.4.1.  Time Considerations

   Because of the expiration of signatures, one should consider the

   o  We suggest that the Maximum Zone TTL value of your zone data be
      smaller than your signature validity period.

         If the TTL duration was similar to that of the signature
         validity period, then all RRsets fetched during the validity
         period would be cached until the signature expiration time.
         Section 8.1 of RFC 4033 [RFC4033] suggests that "the resolver
         may use the time remaining before expiration of the signature
         validity period of a signed RRset as an upper bound for the
         TTL".  As a result, the query load on authoritative servers
         would peak at the signature expiration time, as this is also
         the time at which records simultaneously expire from caches.

         Having a TTL that is at least a few times smaller than your
         signature validity period avoids query load peaks.

   o  We suggest that the signature publication period end at least one
      Maximum Zone TTL duration (but preferably a minimum of a few days)
      before the end of the signature validity period.

         Re-signing a zone shortly before the end of the signature
         validity period may cause the simultaneous expiration of data
         from caches.  This in turn may lead to peaks in the load on
         authoritative servers.  To avoid this, schemes are deployed

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 46]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

         whereby the zone is periodically visited for a re-signing
         operation, and those signatures that are within a so-called
         Refresh Period from signature expiration are recreated.  Also
         see Section 4.4.2 below.

         In the case of an operational error, you would have one Maximum
         Zone TTL duration to resolve the problem.  Re-signing a zone a
         few days before the end of the signature validity period
         ensures that the signatures will survive at least a (long)
         weekend in case of such operational havoc.  This is called the
         Refresh Period (see Section 4.4.2).

   o  We suggest that the Minimum Zone TTL be long enough to both fetch
      and verify all the RRs in the trust chain.  In workshop
      environments, it has been demonstrated [NIST-Workshop] that a low
      TTL (under 5 to 10 minutes) caused disruptions because of the
      following two problems:

      1.  During validation, some data may expire before the validation
          is complete.  The validator should be able to keep all data
          until it is completed.  This applies to all RRs needed to
          complete the chain of trust: DS, DNSKEY, RRSIG, and the final
          answers, i.e., the RRset that is returned for the initial

      2.  Frequent verification causes load on recursive name servers.
          Data at delegation points, DS, DNSKEY, and RRSIG RRs benefits
          from caching.  The TTL on those should be relatively long.
          Data at the leaves in the DNS tree has less impact on
          recursive name servers.

   o  Slave servers will need to be able to fetch newly signed zones
      well before the RRSIGs in the zone served by the slave server pass
      their signature expiration time.

         When a slave server is out of synchronization with its master
         and data in a zone is signed by expired signatures, it may be
         better for the slave server not to give out any answer.

         Normally, a slave server that is not able to contact a master
         server for an extended period will expire a zone.  When that
         happens, the server will respond differently to queries for
         that zone.  Some servers issue SERVFAIL, whereas others turn
         off the AA bit in the answers.  The time of expiration is set
         in the SOA record and is relative to the last successful
         refresh between the master and the slave servers.  There exists
         no coupling between the signature expiration of RRSIGs in the
         zone and the expire parameter in the SOA.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 47]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

         If the server serves a DNSSEC-secured zone, then it may happen
         that the signatures expire well before the SOA expiration timer
         counts down to zero.  It is not possible to completely prevent
         this by modifying the SOA parameters.

         However, the effects can be minimized where the SOA expiration
         time is equal to or shorter than the Refresh Period (see
         Section 4.4.2).

         The consequence of an authoritative server not being able to
         update a zone for an extended period of time is that signatures
         may expire.  In this case, non-secure resolvers will continue
         to be able to resolve data served by the particular slave
         servers, while security-aware resolvers will experience
         problems because of answers being marked as Bogus.

         We suggest that the SOA expiration timer be approximately one
         third or a quarter of the signature validity period.  It will
         allow problems with transfers from the master server to be
         noticed before signatures time out.

         We also suggest that operators of name servers that supply
         secondary services develop systems to identify upcoming
         signature expirations in zones they slave and take appropriate
         action where such an event is detected.

         When determining the value for the expiration parameter, one
         has to take the following into account: What are the chances
         that all secondaries expire the zone?  How quickly can the
         administrators of the secondary servers be reached to load a
         valid zone?  These questions are not DNSSEC-specific but may
         influence the choice of your signature validity periods.

4.4.2.  Signature Validity Periods  Maximum Value

   The first consideration for choosing a maximum signature validity
   period is the risk of a replay attack.  For low-value, long-term
   stable resources, the risks may be minimal, and the signature
   validity period may be several months.  Although signature validity
   periods of many years are allowed, the same "operational habit"
   arguments as those given in Section 3.2.2 play a role: When a zone is
   re-signed with some regularity, then zone administrators remain
   conscious of the operational necessity of re-signing.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 48]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012  Minimum Value

   The minimum value of the signature validity period is set for the
   time by which one would like to survive operational failure in
   provisioning: At what time will a failure be noticed, and at what
   time is action expected to be taken?  By answering these questions,
   availability of zone administrators during (long) weekends or time
   taken to access backup media can be taken into account.  The result
   could easily suggest a minimum signature validity period of a few

   Note, however, that the argument above is assuming that zone data has
   just been signed and published when the problem occurred.  In
   practice, it may be that a zone is signed according to a frequency
   set by the Re-Sign Period, whereby the signer visits the zone content
   and only refreshes signatures that are within a given amount of time
   (the Refresh Period) of expiration.  The Re-Sign Period must be
   smaller than the Refresh Period in order for zone data to be signed
   in a timely fashion.

   If an operational problem occurs during re-signing, then the
   signatures in the zone to expire first are the ones that have been
   generated longest ago.  In the worst case, these signatures are the
   Refresh Period minus the Re-Sign Period away from signature

   To make matters slightly more complicated, some signers vary the
   signature validity period over a small range (the jitter interval) so
   that not all signatures expire at the same time.

   In other words, the minimum signature validity period is set by first
   choosing the Refresh Period (usually a few days), then defining the
   Re-Sign Period in such a way that the Refresh Period minus the
   Re-Sign Period, minus the maximum jitter sets the time in which
   operational havoc can be resolved.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 49]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   The relationship between signature times is illustrated in Figure 11.

   Inception          Signing                                 Expiration
   time               time                                    time
   |                  |                                 |     |     |
   |                  |                                 |     |     |

   | Inception offset |                                       |
   |<---------------->|            Validity Period            |
   |               |<---------------------------------------->|

   Inception          Signing Reuse   Reuse   Reuse   New     Expiration
   time               time                            RRSIG   time
   |                  |       |       |       |       |       |
   |                  |       |       |       |       |       |
                       <-----> <-----> <-----> <----->
                     Re-Sign Period

                                                |   Refresh   |
                                                |   Period    |

                  Figure 11: Signature Timing Parameters

   Note that in the figure the validity of the signature starts shortly
   before the signing time.  That is done to deal with validators that
   might have some clock skew.  This is called the inception offset, and
   it should be chosen so that false negatives are minimized to a
   reasonable level.  Differentiation between RRsets

   It is possible to vary signature validity periods between signatures
   over different RRsets in the zone.  In practice, this could be done
   when zones contain highly volatile data (which may be the case in
   dynamic-update environments).  Note, however, that the risk of replay
   (e.g., by stale secondary servers) should be the leading factor in
   determining the signature validity period, since the TTLs on the data
   itself are still the primary parameter for cache expiry.

   In some cases, the risk of replaying existing data might be different
   from the risk of replaying the denial of data.  In those cases, the
   signature validity period on NSEC or NSEC3 records may be tweaked

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 50]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   When a zone contains secure delegations, then a relatively short
   signature validity period protects the child against replay attacks
   in the case where the child's key is compromised (see Section 4.3.4).
   Since there is a higher operational risk for the parent registry when
   choosing a short validity period and a higher operational risk for
   the child when choosing a long validity period, some (price)
   differentiation may occur for validity periods between individual DS
   RRs in a single zone.

   There seem to be no other arguments for differentiation in validity

5.  "Next Record" Types

   One of the design tradeoffs made during the development of DNSSEC was
   to separate the signing and serving operations instead of performing
   cryptographic operations as DNS requests are being serviced.  It is
   therefore necessary to create records that cover the very large
   number of nonexistent names that lie between the names that do exist.

   There are two mechanisms to provide authenticated proof of
   nonexistence of domain names in DNSSEC: a clear-text one and an
   obfuscated-data one.  Each mechanism:

   o  includes a list of all the RRTYPEs present, which can be used to
      prove the nonexistence of RRTYPEs at a certain name;

   o  stores only the name for which the zone is authoritative (that is,
      glue in the zone is omitted); and

   o  uses a specific RRTYPE to store information about the RRTYPEs
      present at the name: The clear-text mechanism uses NSEC, and the
      obfuscated-data mechanism uses NSEC3.

5.1.  Differences between NSEC and NSEC3

   The clear-text mechanism (NSEC) is implemented using a sorted linked
   list of names in the zone.  The obfuscated-data mechanism (NSEC3) is
   similar but first hashes the names using a one-way hash function,
   before creating a sorted linked list of the resulting (hashed)

   The NSEC record requires no cryptographic operations aside from the
   validation of its associated signature record.  It is human readable
   and can be used in manual queries to determine correct operation.
   The disadvantage is that it allows for "zone walking", where one can
   request all the entries of a zone by following the linked list of
   NSEC RRs via the "Next Domain Name" field.  Though all agree that DNS

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 51]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   data is accessible through query mechanisms, for some zone
   administrators this behavior is undesirable for policy, regulatory,
   or other reasons.

   Furthermore, NSEC requires a signature over every RR in the zone
   file, thereby ensuring that any denial of existence is
   cryptographically signed.  However, in a large zone file containing
   many delegations, very few of which are to signed zones, this may
   produce unacceptable additional overhead, especially where insecure
   delegations are subject to frequent updates (a typical example might
   be a TLD operator with few registrants using secure delegations).
   NSEC3 allows intervals between two secure delegations to "opt out",
   in which case they may contain one or more insecure delegations, thus
   reducing the size and cryptographic complexity of the zone at the
   expense of the ability to cryptographically deny the existence of
   names in a specific span.

   The NSEC3 record uses a hashing method of the requested name.  To
   increase the workload required to guess entries in the zone, the
   number of hashing iterations can be specified in the NSEC3 record.
   Additionally, a salt can be specified that also modifies the hashes.
   Note that NSEC3 does not give full protection against information
   leakage from the zone (you can still derive the size of the zone,
   which RRTYPEs are in there, etc.).

5.2.  NSEC or NSEC3

   The first motivation to deploy NSEC3 -- prevention of zone
   enumeration -- only makes sense when zone content is not highly
   structured or trivially guessable.  Highly structured zones, such as
   in-addr.arpa., ip6.arpa., and e164.arpa., can be trivially enumerated
   using ordinary DNS properties, while for small zones that only
   contain records in the apex of the zone and a few common names such
   as "www" or "mail", guessing zone content and proving completeness is
   also trivial when using NSEC3.  In these cases, the use of NSEC is
   preferred to ease the work required by signers and validating

   For large zones where there is an implication of "not readily
   available" names, such as those where one has to sign a
   non-disclosure agreement before obtaining it, NSEC3 is preferred.
   The second reason to consider NSEC3 is "Opt-Out", which can reduce
   the number of NSEC3 records required.  This is discussed further
   below (Section 5.3.4).

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 52]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

5.3.  NSEC3 Parameters

   NSEC3 is controlled by a number of parameters, some of which can be
   varied: This section discusses the choice of those parameters.

5.3.1.  NSEC3 Algorithm

   The NSEC3 hashing algorithm is performed on the Fully Qualified
   Domain Name (FQDN) in its uncompressed form.  This ensures that brute
   force work done by an attacker for one FQDN cannot be reused for
   another FQDN attack, as these entries are by definition unique.

   At the time of this writing, there is only one NSEC3 hash algorithm
   defined.  [RFC5155] specifically states: "When specifying a new hash
   algorithm for use with NSEC3, a transition mechanism MUST also be
   defined".  Therefore, this document does not consider NSEC3 hash
   algorithm transition.

5.3.2.  NSEC3 Iterations

   One of the concerns with NSEC3 is that a pre-calculated dictionary
   attack could be performed in order to assess whether or not certain
   domain names exist within a zone.  Two mechanisms are introduced in
   the NSEC3 specification to increase the costs of such dictionary
   attacks: iterations and salt.

   The iterations parameter defines the number of additional times the
   hash function has been performed.  A higher value results in greater
   resiliency against dictionary attacks, at a higher computational cost
   for both the server and resolver.

   RFC 5155 Section 10.3 [RFC5155] considers the tradeoffs between
   incurring cost during the signing process and imposing costs to the
   validating name server, while still providing a reasonable barrier
   against dictionary attacks.  It provides useful limits of iterations
   for a given RSA key size.  These are 150 iterations for 1024-bit
   keys, 500 iterations for 2048-bit keys, and 2,500 iterations for
   4096-bit keys.  Choosing a value of 100 iterations is deemed to be a
   sufficiently costly, yet not excessive, value: In the worst-case
   scenario, the performance of name servers would be halved, regardless
   of key size [NSEC3-HASH-PERF].

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 53]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

5.3.3.  NSEC3 Salt

   While the NSEC3 iterations parameter increases the cost of hashing a
   dictionary word, the NSEC3 salt reduces the lifetime for which that
   calculated hash can be used.  A change of the salt value by the zone
   administrator would cause an attacker to lose all pre-calculated work
   for that zone.

   There must be a complete NSEC3 chain using the same salt value, that
   matches the salt value in the NSEC3PARAM record.  NSEC3 salt changes
   do not need special rollover procedures.  Since changing the salt
   requires that all the NSEC3 records be regenerated and thus requires
   generating new RRSIGs over these NSEC3 records, it makes sense to
   align the change of the salt with a change of the Zone Signing Key,
   as that process in itself already usually requires that all RRSIGs be
   regenerated.  If there is no critical dependency on incremental
   signing and the zone can be signed with little effort, there is no
   need for such alignment.

5.3.4.  Opt-Out

   The Opt-Out mechanism was introduced to allow for a gradual
   introduction of signed records in zones that contain mostly
   delegation records.  The use of the Opt-Out flag changes the meaning
   of the NSEC3 span from authoritative denial of the existence of names
   within the span to proof that DNSSEC is not available for the
   delegations within the span.  This allows for the addition or removal
   of the delegations covered by the span without recalculating or
   re-signing RRs in the NSEC3 RR chain.

   Opt-Out is specified to be used only over delegation points and will
   therefore only bring relief to zones with a large number of insecure
   delegations.  This consideration typically holds for large TLDs and
   similar zones; in most other circumstances, Opt-Out should not be
   deployed.  Further considerations can be found in Section 12.2 of
   RFC 5155 [RFC5155].

6.  Security Considerations

   DNSSEC adds data origin authentication and data integrity to the DNS,
   using digital signatures over Resource Record sets.  DNSSEC does not
   protect against denial-of-service attacks, nor does it provide
   confidentiality.  For more general security considerations related to
   DNSSEC, please see RFC 4033 [RFC4033], RFC 4034 [RFC4034], and
   RFC 4035 [RFC4035].

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 54]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   This document tries to assess the operational considerations to
   maintain a stable and secure DNSSEC service.  When performing key
   rollovers, it is important to keep in mind that it takes time for the
   data to be propagated to the verifying clients.  It is also important
   to note that this data may be cached.  Not taking into account the
   'data propagation' properties in the DNS may cause validation
   failures, because cached data may mismatch data fetched from the
   authoritative servers; this will make secured zones unavailable to
   security-aware resolvers.

7.  Acknowledgments

   Significant parts of the text of this document are copied from
   RFC 4641 [RFC4641].  That document was edited by Olaf Kolkman and
   Miek Gieben.  Other people that contributed or were otherwise
   involved in that work were, in random order: Rip Loomis, Olafur
   Gudmundsson, Wesley Griffin, Michael Richardson, Scott Rose, Rick van
   Rein, Tim McGinnis, Gilles Guette, Olivier Courtay, Sam Weiler, Jelte
   Jansen, Niall O'Reilly, Holger Zuleger, Ed Lewis, Hilarie Orman,
   Marcos Sanz, Peter Koch, Mike StJohns, Emma Bretherick, Adrian
   Bedford, Lindy Foster, and O. Courtay.

   For this version of the document, we would like to acknowledge people
   who were actively involved in the compilation of the document.  In
   random order: Mark Andrews, Patrik Faltstrom, Tony Finch, Alfred
   Hoenes, Bill Manning, Scott Rose, Wouter Wijngaards, Antoin
   Verschuren, Marc Lampo, George Barwood, Sebastian Castro, Suresh
   Krishnaswamy, Eric Rescorla, Stephen Morris, Olafur Gudmundsson,
   Ondrej Sury, and Rickard Bellgrim.

8.  Contributors

   Significant contributions to this document were from:

      Paul Hoffman, who contributed on the choice of cryptographic
      parameters and addressing some of the trust anchor issues;

      Jelte Jansen, who provided the initial text in Section 4.1.4;

      Paul Wouters, who provided the initial text for Section 5, and
      Alex Bligh, who improved it.

   The figure in Section 4.4.2 was adapted from the OpenDNSSEC user

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 55]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

9.  References

9.1.  Normative References

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

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

   [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.

   [RFC4509]  Hardaker, W., "Use of SHA-256 in DNSSEC Delegation Signer
              (DS) Resource Records (RRs)", RFC 4509, May 2006.

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

   [RFC5702]  Jansen, J., "Use of SHA-2 Algorithms with RSA in DNSKEY
              and RRSIG Resource Records for DNSSEC", RFC 5702,
              October 2009.

9.2.  Informative References

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

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

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

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

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 56]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   [RFC3007]  Wellington, B., "Secure Domain Name System (DNS) Dynamic
              Update", RFC 3007, November 2000.

   [RFC3375]  Hollenbeck, S., "Generic Registry-Registrar Protocol
              Requirements", RFC 3375, September 2002.

   [RFC3766]  Orman, H. and P. Hoffman, "Determining Strengths For
              Public Keys Used For Exchanging Symmetric Keys", BCP 86,
              RFC 3766, April 2004.

   [RFC4086]  Eastlake, D., Schiller, J., and S. Crocker, "Randomness
              Requirements for Security", BCP 106, RFC 4086, June 2005.

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

   [RFC4949]  Shirey, R., "Internet Security Glossary, Version 2",
              RFC 4949, August 2007.

   [RFC5011]  StJohns, M., "Automated Updates of DNS Security (DNSSEC)
              Trust Anchors", RFC 5011, September 2007.

   [RFC5910]  Gould, J. and S. Hollenbeck, "Domain Name System (DNS)
              Security Extensions Mapping for the Extensible
              Provisioning Protocol (EPP)", RFC 5910, May 2010.

   [RFC5933]  Dolmatov, V., Chuprina, A., and I. Ustinov, "Use of GOST
              Signature Algorithms in DNSKEY and RRSIG Resource Records
              for DNSSEC", RFC 5933, July 2010.

   [RFC6605]  Hoffman, P. and W. Wijngaards, "Elliptic Curve Digital
              Signature Algorithm (DSA) for DNSSEC", RFC 6605,
              April 2012.

              Rose, S., "NIST DNSSEC workshop notes", July 2001,

              Barker, E. and J. Kelsey, "Recommendation for Random
              Number Generation Using Deterministic Random Bit
              Generators", NIST Special Publication 800-90A,
              January 2012.

   [RFC5246]  Dierks, T. and E. Rescorla, "The Transport Layer Security
              (TLS) Protocol Version 1.2", RFC 5246, August 2008.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 57]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

              Morris, S., Ihren, J., and J. Dickinson, "DNSSEC Key
              Timing Considerations", Work in Progress, July 2012.

              Ljunggren, F., Eklund Lowinder, AM., and T. Okubo, "A
              Framework for DNSSEC Policies and DNSSEC Practice
              Statements", Work in Progress, November 2012.

              Larson, M. and O. Gudmundsson, "DNSSEC Trust Anchor
              Configuration and Maintenance", Work in Progress,
              October 2010.

              Schaeffer, Y., "NSEC3 Hash Performance", NLnet Labs
              document 2010-002, March 2010.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 58]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

Appendix A.  Terminology

   In this document, there is some jargon used that is defined in other
   documents.  In most cases, we have not copied the text from the
   documents defining the terms but have given a more elaborate
   explanation of the meaning.  Note that these explanations should not
   be seen as authoritative.

   Anchored key:  A DNSKEY configured in resolvers around the globe.
      This key is hard to update, hence the term 'anchored'.

   Bogus:  Also see Section 5 of RFC 4033 [RFC4033].  An RRset in DNSSEC
      is marked "Bogus" when a signature of an RRset does not validate
      against a DNSKEY.

   Key rollover:  A key rollover (also called key supercession in some
      environments) is the act of replacing one key pair with another at
      the end of a key effectivity period.

   Key Signing Key or KSK:  A Key Signing Key (KSK) is a key that is
      used exclusively for signing the apex key set.  The fact that a
      key is a KSK is only relevant to the signing tool.

   Key size:  The term 'key size' can be substituted by 'modulus size'
      throughout the document for RSA keys.  It is mathematically more
      correct to use modulus size for RSA keys, but as this is a
      document directed at operators we feel more at ease with the term
      'key size'.

   Private and public keys:  DNSSEC secures the DNS through the use of
      public-key cryptography.  Public-key cryptography is based on the
      existence of two (mathematically related) keys, a public key and a
      private key.  The public keys are published in the DNS by the use
      of the DNSKEY Resource Record (DNSKEY RR).  Private keys should
      remain private.

   Refresh Period:  The period before the expiration time of the
      signature, during which the signature is refreshed by the signer.

   Re-Sign Period:  This refers to the frequency with which a signing
      pass on the zone is performed.  The Re-Sign Period defines when
      the zone is exposed to the signer.  And on the signer, not all
      signatures in the zone have to be regenerated: That depends on the
      Refresh Period.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 59]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   Secure Entry Point (SEP) key:  A KSK that has a DS record in the
      parent zone pointing to it or that is configured as a trust
      anchor.  Although not required by the protocol, we suggest that
      the SEP flag [RFC4034] be set on these keys.

   Self-signature:  This only applies to signatures over DNSKEYs; a
      signature made with DNSKEY x over DNSKEY x is called a self-
      signature.  Note: Without further information, self-signatures
      convey no trust.  They are useful to check the authenticity of the
      DNSKEY, i.e., they can be used as a hash.

   Signing jitter:  A random variation in the signature validity period
      of RRSIGs in a zone to prevent all of them from expiring at the
      same time.

   Signer:  The system that has access to the private key material and
      signs the Resource Record sets in a zone.  A signer may be
      configured to sign only parts of the zone, e.g., only those RRsets
      for which existing signatures are about to expire.

   Singing the zone file:  The term used for the event where an
      administrator joyfully signs its zone file while producing melodic
      sound patterns.

   Single-Type Signing Scheme:  A signing scheme whereby the distinction
      between Zone Signing Keys and Key Signing Keys is not made.

   Zone administrator:  The 'role' that is responsible for signing a
      zone and publishing it on the primary authoritative server.

   Zone Signing Key (ZSK):  A key that is used for signing all data in a
      zone (except, perhaps, the DNSKEY RRset).  The fact that a key is
      a ZSK is only relevant to the signing tool.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 60]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

Appendix B.  Typographic Conventions

   The following typographic conventions are used in this document:

   Key notation:  A key is denoted by DNSKEY_x_y, where x is an
      identifier for the type of key: K for Key Signing Key, Z for Zone
      Signing Key, and S when there is no distinction made between KSKs
      and ZSKs but the key is used as a secure entry point.  The 'y'
      denotes a number or an identifier; y could be thought of as the
      key id.

   RRsets ignored:  If the signatures of non-DNSKEY RRsets have the same
      parameters as the SOA, then those are not mentioned; e.g., in the
      example below, the SOA is signed with the same parameters as the
      foo.example.com A RRset and the latter is therefore ignored in the
      abbreviated notation.

   RRset notations:  RRs are only denoted by the type.  All other
      information -- owner, class, rdata, and TTL -- is left out.  Thus:
      "example.com 3600 IN A" is reduced to "A".  RRsets are a
      list of RRs.  An example of this would be "A1, A2", specifying the
      RRset containing two "A" records.  This could again be abbreviated
      to just "A".

   Signature notation:  Signatures are denoted as RRSIG_x_y(type), which
      means that the RRset with the specific RRTYPE 'type' is signed
      with DNSKEY_x_y.  Signatures in the parent zone are denoted as

   SOA representation:  SOAs are represented as SOA_x, where x is the
      serial number.

   DS representation:  DSs are represented as DS_x_y, where x and y are
      identifiers similar to the key notation: x is an identifier for
      the type of key the DS record refers to; y is the 'key id' of the
      key it refers to.

   Zone representation:  Using the above notation we have simplified the
      representation of a signed zone by leaving out all unnecessary
      details, such as the names, and by representing all data by

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 61]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

   Using this notation, the following signed zone:

   example.com.  3600  IN SOA   ns1.example.com. olaf.example.net. (
                           2005092303 ; serial
                           450        ; refresh (7 minutes 30 seconds)
                           600        ; retry (10 minutes)
                           345600     ; expire (4 days)
                           300        ; minimum (5 minutes)
          3600    RRSIG    SOA 5 2 3600 20120824013000 (
                           20100424013000 14 example.com.
                           OMY3rTMA2qorupQXjQ== )
          3600    NS       ns1.example.com.
          3600    NS       ns2.example.com.
          3600    NS       ns3.example.com.
          3600    RRSIG    NS 5 2 3600 20120824013000 (
                           20100424013000 14 example.com.
                           zAgaJM/MeG08KpeHhg== )
          3600    TXT      "Net::DNS  domain"
          3600    RRSIG    TXT 5 2 3600 20120824013000 (
                           20100424013000 14 example.com.
                           BcQ1o99vwn+IS4+J1g== )
          300     NSEC     foo.example.com. NS SOA TXT RRSIG NSEC DNSKEY
          300     RRSIG    NSEC 5 2 300 20120824013000 (
                           20100424013000 14 example.com.
                           PkXNI/Vgf4t3xZaIyw== )
          3600    DNSKEY   256 3 5 (
                           ) ; key id = 14
          3600    DNSKEY   257 3 5 (
                           ) ; key id = 15

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 62]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

          3600    RRSIG    DNSKEY 5 2 3600 20120824013000 (
                           20100424013000 14 example.com.
                           QhhmMwV3tIxJk2eDRQ== )
          3600    RRSIG    DNSKEY 5 2 3600 20120824013000 (
                           20100424013000 15 example.com.
                           JWL70YiUnUG3m9OL9w== )
  foo.example.com.  3600  IN A
          3600    RRSIG    A 5 3 3600 20120824013000 (
                           20100424013000 14 example.com.
                           JPV/SA4BkoFxIcPrDQ== )
          300     NSEC     example.com. A RRSIG NSEC
          300     RRSIG    NSEC 5 3 300 20120824013000 (
                           20100424013000 14 example.com.
                           Qe000JyzObxx27pY8A== )

   is reduced to the following representation:


   The rest of the zone data has the same signature as the SOA record,
   i.e., an RRSIG created with DNSKEY_K_14.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 63]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

Appendix C.  Transition Figures for Special Cases of Algorithm Rollovers

   The figures in this appendix complement and illustrate the special
   cases of algorithm rollovers as described in Section 4.1.4.

    initial              new RRSIGs           new DNSKEY
    SOA_0 -------------------------------------------------------->
    RRSIG_par(SOA) ----------------------------------------------->
    DS_S_1 ------------------------------------------------------->
    RRSIG_par(DS_S_1) -------------------------------------------->

    SOA_0                SOA_1                SOA_2
    RRSIG_S_1(SOA)       RRSIG_S_1(SOA)       RRSIG_S_1(SOA)
                         RRSIG_S_2(SOA)       RRSIG_S_2(SOA)

    DNSKEY_S_1           DNSKEY_S_1           DNSKEY_S_1
                         RRSIG_S_2(DNSKEY)    RRSIG_S_2(DNSKEY)

    new DS               DNSKEY removal       RRSIGs removal
    SOA_1 ------------------------------------------------------->
    RRSIG_par(SOA) ---------------------------------------------->
    DS_S_2 ------------------------------------------------------>
    RRSIG_par(DS_S_2) ------------------------------------------->

    -------------------> SOA_3                SOA_4
    -------------------> RRSIG_S_1(SOA)
    -------------------> RRSIG_S_2(SOA)       RRSIG_S_2(SOA)

    -------------------> DNSKEY_S_2           DNSKEY_S_2
    -------------------> RRSIG_S_1(DNSKEY)
    -------------------> RRSIG_S_2(DNSKEY)    RRSIG_S_2(DNSKEY)

           Figure 12: Single-Type Signing Scheme Algorithm Roll

   Also see Section

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 64]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

    initial              new RRSIGs           new DNSKEY
    SOA_0 -------------------------------------------------------->
    RRSIG_par(SOA) ----------------------------------------------->
    DS_K_1 ------------------------------------------------------->
    RRSIG_par(DS_K_1) -------------------------------------------->

    SOA_0                SOA_1                SOA_2
    RRSIG_Z_1(SOA)       RRSIG_Z_1(SOA)       RRSIG_Z_1(SOA)
                         RRSIG_Z_2(SOA)       RRSIG_Z_2(SOA)

    DNSKEY_K_1           DNSKEY_K_1           DNSKEY_K_1
    DNSKEY_Z_1           DNSKEY_Z_1           DNSKEY_Z_1

    new DS               revoke DNSKEY        DNSKEY removal
    SOA_1 ------------------------------------------------------->
    RRSIG_par(SOA) ---------------------------------------------->
    DS_K_2 ------------------------------------------------------>
    RRSIG_par(DS_K_2) ------------------------------------------->

    -------------------> SOA_3                SOA_4
    -------------------> RRSIG_Z_1(SOA)       RRSIG_Z_1(SOA)
    -------------------> RRSIG_Z_2(SOA)       RRSIG_Z_2(SOA)

    -------------------> DNSKEY_K_1_REVOKED
    -------------------> DNSKEY_K_2           DNSKEY_K_2
    -------------------> DNSKEY_Z_2           DNSKEY_Z_2
    -------------------> RRSIG_K_1(DNSKEY)
    -------------------> RRSIG_K_2(DNSKEY)    RRSIG_K_2(DNSKEY)

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 65]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

    RRSIGs removal





                 Figure 13: RFC 5011 Style Algorithm Roll

   Also see Section

    initial              new RRSIGs           new DNSKEY
    SOA_0 -------------------------------------------------------->
    RRSIG_par(SOA) ----------------------------------------------->
    DS_S_1 ------------------------------------------------------->
    RRSIG_par(DS_S_1) -------------------------------------------->

    SOA_0                SOA_1                SOA_2
    RRSIG_Z_10(SOA)      RRSIG_Z_10(SOA)      RRSIG_Z_10(SOA)
                         RRSIG_S_2(SOA)       RRSIG_S_2(SOA)

    DNSKEY_S_1           DNSKEY_S_1           DNSKEY_S_1
    DNSKEY_Z_10          DNSKEY_Z_10          DNSKEY_Z_10
                         RRSIG_S_2(DNSKEY)    RRSIG_S_2(DNSKEY)

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 66]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

    new DS               revoke DNSKEY        DNSKEY removal
    SOA_1 ------------------------------------------------------->
    RRSIG_par(SOA) ---------------------------------------------->
    DS_S_2 ------------------------------------------------------>
    RRSIG_par(DS_S_2) ------------------------------------------->

    -------------------> SOA_3                SOA_4

    -------------------> RRSIG_Z_10(SOA)
    -------------------> RRSIG_S_2(SOA)       RRSIG_S_2(SOA)

    -------------------> DNSKEY_S_1_REVOKED
    -------------------> DNSKEY_Z_10
    -------------------> DNSKEY_S_2           DNSKEY_S_2
    -------------------> RRSIG_S_1(DNSKEY)    RRSIG_S_1(DNSKEY)
    -------------------> RRSIG_S_2(DNSKEY)    RRSIG_S_2(DNSKEY)

    RRSIGs removal





            Figure 14: RFC 5011 Algorithm Roll in a Single-Type
                        Signing Scheme Environment

   Also see Section

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 67]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

Appendix D.  Transition Figure for Changing DNS Operators

   The figure in this Appendix complements and illustrates the special
   case of changing DNS operators as described in Section

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 68]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

    new DS             |        pre-publish                    |
     NS_A                            NS_A
     DS_A DS_B                       DS_A DS_B
    Child at A:            Child at A:        Child at B:
     SOA_A0                 SOA_A1             SOA_B0
     RRSIG_Z_A(SOA)         RRSIG_Z_A(SOA)     RRSIG_Z_B(SOA)

     NS_A                   NS_A               NS_B
     RRSIG_Z_A(NS)          NS_B               RRSIG_Z_B(NS)

     DNSKEY_Z_A             DNSKEY_Z_A         DNSKEY_Z_A
                            DNSKEY_Z_B         DNSKEY_Z_B
     DNSKEY_K_A             DNSKEY_K_A         DNSKEY_K_B
                            RRSIG_K_B(DNSKEY)  RRSIG_K_B(DNSKEY)

          re-delegation                |   post-migration      |
              NS_B                           NS_B
              DS_A DS_B                      DS_B
    Child at A:        Child at B:           Child at B:

     SOA_A1             SOA_B0                SOA_B1
     RRSIG_Z_A(SOA)     RRSIG_Z_B(SOA)        RRSIG_Z_B(SOA)

     NS_A               NS_B                  NS_B
     NS_B               RRSIG_Z_B(NS)         RRSIG_Z_B(NS)

     DNSKEY_Z_A         DNSKEY_Z_A
     DNSKEY_Z_B         DNSKEY_Z_B            DNSKEY_Z_B
     DNSKEY_K_A         DNSKEY_K_B            DNSKEY_K_B

   Figure 15: An Alternative Rollover Approach for Cooperating Operators

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 69]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

Appendix E.  Summary of Changes from RFC 4641

   This document differs from RFC 4641 [RFC4641] in the following ways:

   o  Addressed the errata listed on

   o  Recommended RSA/SHA-256 in addition to RSA/SHA-1.

   o  Did a complete rewrite of Section 3.5 of RFC 4641 (Section 3.4.2
      of this document), removing the table and suggesting a key size of
      1024 for keys in use for less than 8 years, issued up to at least

   o  Removed the KSK for high-level zones consideration.

   o  Added text on algorithm rollover.

   o  Added text on changing (non-cooperating) DNS registrars.

   o  Did a significant rewrite of Section 3, whereby the argument is
      made that the timescales for rollovers are made purely on
      operational arguments.

   o  Added Section 5.

   o  Introduced Single-Type Signing Scheme terminology and made the
      arguments for the choice of a Single-Type Signing Scheme more

   o  Added a section about stand-by keys.

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 70]

RFC 6781         DNSSEC Operational Practices, Version 2   December 2012

Authors' Addresses

   Olaf M. Kolkman
   NLnet Labs
   Science Park 400
   Amsterdam  1098 XH
   The Netherlands

   EMail: olaf@nlnetlabs.nl
   URI:   http://www.nlnetlabs.nl

   W. (Matthijs) Mekking
   NLnet Labs
   Science Park 400
   Amsterdam  1098 XH
   The Netherlands

   EMail: matthijs@nlnetlabs.nl
   URI:   http://www.nlnetlabs.nl

   R. (Miek) Gieben
   SIDN Labs
   Meander 501
   Arnhem  6825 MD
   The Netherlands

   EMail: miek.gieben@sidn.nl
   URI:   http://www.sidn.nl

Kolkman, et al.               Informational                    [Page 71]