Network Working Group                                         D. Eastlake
Request for Comments: 2535                                            IBM
Obsoletes: 2065                                                March 1999
Updates: 2181, 1035, 1034
Category: Standards Track

                 Domain Name System Security Extensions

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.


   Extensions to the Domain Name System (DNS) are described that provide
   data integrity and authentication to security aware resolvers and
   applications through the use of cryptographic digital signatures.
   These digital signatures are included in secured zones as resource
   records.  Security can also be provided through non-security aware
   DNS servers in some cases.

   The extensions provide for the storage of authenticated public keys
   in the DNS.  This storage of keys can support general public key
   distribution services as well as DNS security.  The stored keys
   enable security aware resolvers to learn the authenticating key of
   zones in addition to those for which they are initially configured.
   Keys associated with DNS names can be retrieved to support other
   protocols.  Provision is made for a variety of key types and

   In addition, the security extensions provide for the optional
   authentication of DNS protocol transactions and requests.

   This document incorporates feedback on RFC 2065 from early
   implementers and potential users.

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   The significant contributions and suggestions of the following
   persons (in alphabetic order) to DNS security are gratefully

      James M. Galvin
      John Gilmore
      Olafur Gudmundsson
      Charlie Kaufman
      Edward Lewis
      Thomas Narten
      Radia J. Perlman
      Jeffrey I. Schiller
      Steven (Xunhua) Wang
      Brian Wellington

Table of Contents

   1. Overview of Contents....................................4
   2. Overview of the DNS Extensions..........................5
   2.1 Services Not Provided..................................5
   2.2 Key Distribution.......................................5
   2.3 Data Origin Authentication and Integrity...............6
   2.3.1 The SIG Resource Record..............................7
   2.3.2 Authenticating Name and Type Non-existence...........7
   2.3.3 Special Considerations With Time-to-Live.............7
   2.3.4 Special Considerations at Delegation Points..........8
   2.3.5 Special Considerations with CNAME....................8
   2.3.6 Signers Other Than The Zone..........................9
   2.4 DNS Transaction and Request Authentication.............9
   3. The KEY Resource Record................................10
   3.1 KEY RDATA format......................................10
   3.1.1 Object Types, DNS Names, and Keys...................11
   3.1.2 The KEY RR Flag Field...............................11
   3.1.3 The Protocol Octet..................................13
   3.2 The KEY Algorithm Number Specification................14
   3.3 Interaction of Flags, Algorithm, and Protocol Bytes...15
   3.4 Determination of Zone Secure/Unsecured Status.........15
   3.5 KEY RRs in the Construction of Responses..............17
   4. The SIG Resource Record................................17
   4.1 SIG RDATA Format......................................17
   4.1.1 Type Covered Field..................................18
   4.1.2 Algorithm Number Field..............................18
   4.1.3 Labels Field........................................18
   4.1.4 Original TTL Field..................................19

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   4.1.5 Signature Expiration and Inception Fields...........19
   4.1.6 Key Tag Field.......................................20
   4.1.7 Signer's Name Field.................................20
   4.1.8 Signature Field.....................................20 Calculating Transaction and Request SIGs..........21
   4.2 SIG RRs in the Construction of Responses..............21
   4.3 Processing Responses and SIG RRs......................22
   4.4 Signature Lifetime, Expiration, TTLs, and Validity....23
   5. Non-existent Names and Types...........................24
   5.1 The NXT Resource Record...............................24
   5.2 NXT RDATA Format......................................25
   5.3 Additional Complexity Due to Wildcards................26
   5.4 Example...............................................26
   5.5 Special Considerations at Delegation Points...........27
   5.6 Zone Transfers........................................27
   5.6.1 Full Zone Transfers.................................28
   5.6.2 Incremental Zone Transfers..........................28
   6. How to Resolve Securely and the AD and CD Bits.........29
   6.1 The AD and CD Header Bits.............................29
   6.2 Staticly Configured Keys..............................31
   6.3 Chaining Through The DNS..............................31
   6.3.1 Chaining Through KEYs...............................31
   6.3.2 Conflicting Data....................................33
   6.4 Secure Time...........................................33
   7. ASCII Representation of Security RRs...................34
   7.1 Presentation of KEY RRs...............................34
   7.2 Presentation of SIG RRs...............................35
   7.3 Presentation of NXT RRs...............................36
   8. Canonical Form and Order of Resource Records...........36
   8.1 Canonical RR Form.....................................36
   8.2 Canonical DNS Name Order..............................37
   8.3 Canonical RR Ordering Within An RRset.................37
   8.4 Canonical Ordering of RR Types........................37
   9. Conformance............................................37
   9.1 Server Conformance....................................37
   9.2 Resolver Conformance..................................38
   10. Security Considerations...............................38
   11. IANA Considerations...................................39
   Author's Address..........................................41
   Appendix A: Base 64 Encoding..............................42
   Appendix B: Changes from RFC 2065.........................44
   Appendix C: Key Tag Calculation...........................46
   Full Copyright Statement..................................47

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1. Overview of Contents

   This document standardizes extensions of the Domain Name System (DNS)
   protocol to support DNS security and public key distribution. It
   assumes that the reader is familiar with the Domain Name System,
   particularly as described in RFCs 1033, 1034, 1035 and later RFCs. An
   earlier version of these extensions appears in RFC 2065.  This
   replacement for that RFC incorporates early implementation experience
   and requests from  potential users.

   Section 2 provides an overview of the extensions and the key
   distribution, data origin authentication, and transaction and request
   security they provide.

   Section 3 discusses the KEY resource record, its structure, and use
   in DNS responses.  These resource records represent the public keys
   of entities named in the DNS and are used for key distribution.

   Section 4 discusses the SIG digital signature resource record, its
   structure, and use in DNS responses.  These resource records are used
   to authenticate other resource records in the DNS and optionally to
   authenticate DNS transactions and requests.

   Section 5 discusses the NXT resource record (RR) and its use in DNS
   responses including full and incremental zone transfers.  The NXT RR
   permits authenticated denial of the existence of a name or of an RR
   type for an existing name.

   Section 6 discusses how a resolver can be configured with a starting
   key or keys and proceed to securely resolve DNS requests.
   Interactions between resolvers and servers are discussed for various
   combinations of security aware and security non-aware.  Two
   additional DNS header bits are defined for signaling between
   resolvers and servers.

   Section 7 describes the ASCII representation of the security resource
   records for use in master files and elsewhere.

   Section 8 defines the canonical form and order of RRs for DNS
   security purposes.

   Section 9 defines levels of conformance for resolvers and servers.

   Section 10 provides a few paragraphs on overall security

   Section 11 specified IANA considerations for allocation of additional
   values of paramters defined in this document.

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   Appendix A gives details of base 64 encoding which is used in the
   file representation of some RRs defined in this document.

   Appendix B summarizes changes between this memo and RFC 2065.

   Appendix C specified how to calculate the simple checksum used as a
   key tag in most SIG RRs.

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

2. Overview of the DNS Extensions

   The Domain Name System (DNS) protocol security extensions provide
   three distinct services: key distribution as described in Section 2.2
   below, data origin authentication as described in Section 2.3 below,
   and transaction and request authentication, described in Section 2.4

   Special considerations related to "time to live", CNAMEs, and
   delegation points are also discussed in Section 2.3.

2.1 Services Not Provided

   It is part of the design philosophy of the DNS that the data in it is
   public and that the DNS gives the same answers to all inquirers.
   Following this philosophy, no attempt has been made to include any
   sort of access control lists or other means to differentiate

   No effort has been made to provide for any confidentiality for
   queries or responses.  (This service may be available via IPSEC [RFC
   2401], TLS, or other security protocols.)

   Protection is not provided against denial of service.

2.2 Key Distribution

   A resource record format is defined to associate keys with DNS names.
   This permits the DNS to be used as a public key distribution
   mechanism in support of DNS security itself and other protocols.

   The syntax of a KEY resource record (RR) is described in Section 3.
   It includes an algorithm identifier, the actual public key
   parameter(s), and a variety of flags including those indicating the
   type of entity the key is associated with and/or asserting that there
   is no key associated with that entity.

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   Under conditions described in Section 3.5, security aware DNS servers
   will automatically attempt to return KEY resources as additional
   information, along with those resource records actually requested, to
   minimize the number of queries needed.

2.3 Data Origin Authentication and Integrity

   Authentication is provided by associating with resource record sets
   (RRsets [RFC 2181]) in the DNS cryptographically generated digital
   signatures. Commonly, there will be a single private key that
   authenticates an entire zone but there might be multiple keys for
   different algorithms, signers, etc. If a security aware resolver
   reliably learns a public key of the zone, it can authenticate, for
   signed data read from that zone, that it is properly authorized.  The
   most secure implementation is for the zone private key(s) to be kept
   off-line and used to re-sign all of the records in the zone
   periodically.  However, there are cases, for example dynamic update
   [RFCs 2136, 2137], where DNS private keys need to be on-line [RFC

   The data origin authentication key(s) are associated with the zone
   and not with the servers that store copies of the data.  That means
   compromise of a secondary server or, if the key(s) are kept off line,
   even the primary server for a zone, will not necessarily affect the
   degree of assurance that a resolver has that it can determine whether
   data is genuine.

   A resolver could learn a public key of a zone either by reading it
   from the DNS or by having it staticly configured.  To reliably learn
   a public key by reading it from the DNS, the key itself must be
   signed with a key the resolver trusts. The resolver must be
   configured with at least a public key which authenticates one zone as
   a starting point. From there, it can securely read public keys of
   other zones, if the intervening zones in the DNS tree are secure and
   their signed keys accessible.

   Adding data origin authentication and integrity requires no change to
   the "on-the-wire" DNS protocol beyond the addition of the signature
   resource type and the key resource type needed for key distribution.
   (Data non-existence authentication also requires the NXT RR as
   described in 2.3.2.)  This service can be supported by existing
   resolver and caching server implementations so long as they can
   support the additional resource types (see Section 9). The one
   exception is that CNAME referrals in a secure zone can not be
   authenticated if they are from non-security aware servers (see
   Section 2.3.5).

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   If signatures are separately retrieved and verified when retrieving
   the information they authenticate, there will be more trips to the
   server and performance will suffer.  Security aware servers mitigate
   that degradation by attempting to send the signature(s) needed (see
   Section 4.2).

2.3.1 The SIG Resource Record

   The syntax of a SIG resource record (signature) is described in
   Section 4.  It cryptographicly binds the RRset being signed to the
   signer and a validity interval.

   Every name in a secured zone will have associated with it at least
   one SIG resource record for each resource type under that name except
   for glue address RRs and delegation point NS RRs.  A security aware
   server will attempt to return, with RRs retrieved, the corresponding
   SIGs.  If a server is not security aware, the resolver must retrieve
   all the SIG records for a name and select the one or ones that sign
   the resource record set(s) that resolver is interested in.

2.3.2 Authenticating Name and Type Non-existence

   The above security mechanism only provides a way to sign existing
   RRsets in a zone.  "Data origin" authentication is not obviously
   provided for the non-existence of a domain name in a zone or the
   non-existence of a type for an existing name.  This gap is filled by
   the NXT RR which authenticatably asserts a range of non-existent
   names in a zone and the non-existence of types for the existing name
   just before that range.

   Section 5 below covers the NXT RR.

2.3.3 Special Considerations With Time-to-Live

   A digital signature will fail to verify if any change has occurred to
   the data between the time it was originally signed and the time the
   signature is verified.  This conflicts with our desire to have the
   time-to-live (TTL) field of resource records tick down while they are

   This could be avoided by leaving the time-to-live out of the digital
   signature, but that would allow unscrupulous servers to set
   arbitrarily long TTL values undetected.  Instead, we include the
   "original" TTL in the signature and communicate that data along with
   the current TTL. Unscrupulous servers under this scheme can
   manipulate the TTL but a security aware resolver will bound the TTL
   value it uses at the original signed value.  Separately, signatures
   include a signature inception time and a signature expiration time. A

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   resolver that knows the absolute time can determine securely whether
   a signature is in effect.  It is not possible to rely solely on the
   signature expiration as a substitute for the TTL, however, since the
   TTL is primarily a database consistency mechanism and non-security
   aware servers that depend on TTL must still be supported.

2.3.4 Special Considerations at Delegation Points

   DNS security would like to view each zone as a unit of data
   completely under the control of the zone owner with each entry
   (RRset) signed by a special private key held by the zone manager.
   But the DNS protocol views the leaf nodes in a zone, which are also
   the apex nodes of a subzone (i.e., delegation points), as "really"
   belonging to the subzone.  These nodes occur in two master files and
   might have RRs signed by both the upper and lower zone's keys. A
   retrieval could get a mixture of these RRs and SIGs, especially since
   one server could be serving both the zone above and below a
   delegation point. [RFC 2181]

   There MUST be a zone KEY RR, signed by its superzone, for every
   subzone if the superzone is secure. This will normally appear in the
   subzone and may also be included in the superzone.  But, in the case
   of an unsecured subzone which can not or will not be modified to add
   any security RRs, a KEY declaring the subzone to be unsecured MUST
   appear with the superzone signature in the superzone, if the
   superzone is secure. For all but one other RR type the data from the
   subzone is more authoritative so only the subzone KEY RR should be
   signed in the superzone if it appears there. The NS and any glue
   address RRs SHOULD only be signed in the subzone. The SOA and any
   other RRs that have the zone name as owner should appear only in the
   subzone and thus are signed only there. The NXT RR type is the
   exceptional case that will always appear differently and
   authoritatively in both the superzone and subzone, if both are
   secure, as described in Section 5.

2.3.5 Special Considerations with CNAME

   There is a problem when security related RRs with the same owner name
   as a CNAME RR are retrieved from a non-security-aware server. In
   particular, an initial retrieval for the CNAME or any other type may
   not retrieve any associated SIG, KEY, or NXT RR. For retrieved types
   other than CNAME, it will retrieve that type at the target name of
   the CNAME (or chain of CNAMEs) and will also return the CNAME.  In
   particular, a specific retrieval for type SIG will not get the SIG,
   if any, at the original CNAME domain name but rather a SIG at the
   target name.

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   Security aware servers must be used to securely CNAME in DNS.
   Security aware servers MUST (1) allow KEY, SIG, and NXT RRs along
   with CNAME RRs, (2) suppress CNAME processing on retrieval of these
   types as well as on retrieval of the type CNAME, and (3)
   automatically return SIG RRs authenticating the CNAME or CNAMEs
   encountered in resolving a query.  This is a change from the previous
   DNS standard [RFCs 1034/1035] which prohibited any other RR type at a
   node where a CNAME RR was present.

2.3.6 Signers Other Than The Zone

   There are cases where the signer in a SIG resource record is other
   than one of the private key(s) used to authenticate a zone.

   One is for support of dynamic update [RFC 2136] (or future requests
   which require secure authentication) where an entity is permitted to
   authenticate/update its records [RFC 2137] and the zone is operating
   in a mode where the zone key is not on line. The public key of the
   entity must be present in the DNS and be signed by a zone level key
   but the other RR(s) may be signed with the entity's key.

   A second case is support of transaction and request authentication as
   described in Section 2.4.

   In additions, signatures can be included on resource records within
   the DNS for use by applications other than DNS. DNS related
   signatures authenticate that data originated with the authority of a
   zone owner or that a request or transaction originated with the
   relevant entity. Other signatures can provide other types of

2.4 DNS Transaction and Request Authentication

   The data origin authentication service described above protects
   retrieved resource records and the non-existence of resource records
   but provides no protection for DNS requests or for message headers.

   If header bits are falsely set by a bad server, there is little that
   can be done.  However, it is possible to add transaction
   authentication.  Such authentication means that a resolver can be
   sure it is at least getting messages from the server it thinks it
   queried and that the response is from the query it sent (i.e., that
   these messages have not been diddled in transit).  This is
   accomplished by optionally adding a special SIG resource record at
   the end of the reply which digitally signs the concatenation of the
   server's response and the resolver's query.

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   Requests can also be authenticated by including a special SIG RR at
   the end of the request.  Authenticating requests serves no function
   in older DNS servers and requests with a non-empty additional
   information section produce error returns or may even be ignored by
   many of them. However, this syntax for signing requests is defined as
   a way of authenticating secure dynamic update requests [RFC 2137] or
   future requests requiring authentication.

   The private keys used in transaction security belong to the entity
   composing the reply, not to the zone involved.  Request
   authentication may also involve the private key of the host or other
   entity composing the request or other private keys depending on the
   request authority it is sought to establish. The corresponding public
   key(s) are normally stored in and retrieved from the DNS for

   Because requests and replies are highly variable, message
   authentication SIGs can not be pre-calculated.  Thus it will be
   necessary to keep the private key on-line, for example in software or
   in a directly connected piece of hardware.

3. The KEY Resource Record

   The KEY resource record (RR) is used to store a public key that is
   associated with a Domain Name System (DNS) name.  This can be the
   public key of a zone, a user, or a host or other end entity. Security
   aware DNS implementations MUST be designed to handle at least two
   simultaneously valid keys of the same type associated with the same

   The type number for the KEY RR is 25.

   A KEY RR is, like any other RR, authenticated by a SIG RR.  KEY RRs
   must be signed by a zone level key.

3.1 KEY RDATA format

   The RDATA for a KEY RR consists of flags, a protocol octet, the
   algorithm number octet, and the public key itself.  The format is as

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                        1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   |             flags             |    protocol   |   algorithm   |
   |                                                               /
   /                          public key                           /
   /                                                               /

   The KEY RR is not intended for storage of certificates and a separate
   certificate RR has been developed for that purpose, defined in [RFC

   The meaning of the KEY RR owner name, flags, and protocol octet are
   described in Sections 3.1.1 through 3.1.5 below.  The flags and
   algorithm must be examined before any data following the algorithm
   octet as they control the existence and format of any following data.
   The algorithm and public key fields are described in Section 3.2.
   The format of the public key is algorithm dependent.

   KEY RRs do not specify their validity period but their authenticating
   SIG RR(s) do as described in Section 4 below.

3.1.1 Object Types, DNS Names, and Keys

   The public key in a KEY RR is for the object named in the owner name.

   A DNS name may refer to three different categories of things.  For
   example, could be (1) a zone, (2) a host or other
   end entity , or (3) the mapping into a DNS name of the user or
   account foo@host.example.  Thus, there are flag bits, as described
   below, in the KEY RR to indicate with which of these roles the owner
   name and public key are associated.  Note that an appropriate zone
   KEY RR MUST occur at the apex node of a secure zone and zone KEY RRs
   occur only at delegation points.

3.1.2 The KEY RR Flag Field

   In the "flags" field:

     0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   0   1   2   3   4   5
   |  A/C  | Z | XT| Z | Z | NAMTYP| Z | Z | Z | Z |      SIG      |

   Bit 0 and 1 are the key "type" bits whose values have the following

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           10: Use of the key is prohibited for authentication.
           01: Use of the key is prohibited for confidentiality.
           00: Use of the key for authentication and/or confidentiality
               is permitted. Note that DNS security makes use of keys
               for authentication only. Confidentiality use flagging is
               provided for use of keys in other protocols.
               Implementations not intended to support key distribution
               for confidentiality MAY require that the confidentiality
               use prohibited bit be on for keys they serve.
           11: If both bits are one, the "no key" value, there is no key
               information and the RR stops after the algorithm octet.
               By the use of this "no key" value, a signed KEY RR can
               authenticatably assert that, for example, a zone is not
               secured.  See section 3.4 below.

   Bits 2 is reserved and must be zero.

   Bits 3 is reserved as a flag extension bit.  If it is a one, a second
          16 bit flag field is added after the algorithm octet and
          before the key data.  This bit MUST NOT be set unless one or
          more such additional bits have been defined and are non-zero.

   Bits 4-5 are reserved and must be zero.

   Bits 6 and 7 form a field that encodes the name type. Field values
   have the following meanings:

           00: indicates that this is a key associated with a "user" or
               "account" at an end entity, usually a host.  The coding
               of the owner name is that used for the responsible
               individual mailbox in the SOA and RP RRs: The owner name
               is the user name as the name of a node under the entity
               name.  For example, "j_random_user" on
               host.subdomain.example could have a public key associated
               through a KEY RR with name
       It could be used
               in a security protocol where authentication of a user was
               desired.  This key might be useful in IP or other
               security for a user level service such a telnet, ftp,
               rlogin, etc.
           01: indicates that this is a zone key for the zone whose name
               is the KEY RR owner name.  This is the public key used
               for the primary DNS security feature of data origin
               authentication.  Zone KEY RRs occur only at delegation
           10: indicates that this is a key associated with the non-zone
               "entity" whose name is the RR owner name.  This will
               commonly be a host but could, in some parts of the DNS

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               tree, be some other type of entity such as a telephone
               number [RFC 1530] or numeric IP address.  This is the
               public key used in connection with DNS request and
               transaction authentication services.  It could also be
               used in an IP-security protocol where authentication at
               the host, rather than user, level was desired, such as
               routing, NTP, etc.
           11: reserved.

   Bits 8-11 are reserved and must be zero.

   Bits 12-15 are the "signatory" field.  If non-zero, they indicate
              that the key can validly sign things as specified in DNS
              dynamic update [RFC 2137].  Note that zone keys (see bits
              6 and 7 above) always have authority to sign any RRs in
              the zone regardless of the value of the signatory field.

3.1.3 The Protocol Octet

   It is anticipated that keys stored in DNS will be used in conjunction
   with a variety of Internet protocols.  It is intended that the
   protocol octet and possibly some of the currently unused (must be
   zero) bits in the KEY RR flags as specified in the future will be
   used to indicate a key's validity for different protocols.

   The following values of the Protocol Octet are reserved as indicated:

        VALUE   Protocol

          0      -reserved
          1     TLS
          2     email
          3     dnssec
          4     IPSEC
         5-254   - available for assignment by IANA
        255     All

   In more detail:
        1 is reserved for use in connection with TLS.
        2 is reserved for use in connection with email.
        3 is used for DNS security.  The protocol field SHOULD be set to
          this value for zone keys and other keys used in DNS security.
          Implementations that can determine that a key is a DNS
          security key by the fact that flags label it a zone key or the
          signatory flag field is non-zero are NOT REQUIRED to check the
          protocol field.
        4 is reserved to refer to the Oakley/IPSEC [RFC 2401] protocol
          and indicates that this key is valid for use in conjunction

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          with that security standard.  This key could be used in
          connection with secured communication on behalf of an end
          entity or user whose name is the owner name of the KEY RR if
          the entity or user flag bits are set.  The presence of a KEY
          resource with this protocol value is an assertion that the
          host speaks Oakley/IPSEC.
        255 indicates that the key can be used in connection with any
          protocol for which KEY RR protocol octet values have been
          defined.  The use of this value is discouraged and the use of
          different keys for different protocols is encouraged.

3.2 The KEY Algorithm Number Specification

   This octet is the key algorithm parallel to the same field for the
   SIG resource as described in Section 4.1.  The following values are

   VALUE   Algorithm

     0      - reserved, see Section 11
     1     RSA/MD5 [RFC 2537] - recommended
     2     Diffie-Hellman [RFC 2539] - optional, key only
     3     DSA [RFC 2536] - MANDATORY
     4     reserved for elliptic curve crypto
   5-251    - available, see Section 11
   252     reserved for indirect keys
   253     private - domain name (see below)
   254     private - OID (see below)
   255      - reserved, see Section 11

   Algorithm specific formats and procedures are given in separate
   documents.  The mandatory to implement for interoperability algorithm
   is number 3, DSA.  It is recommended that the RSA/MD5 algorithm,
   number 1, also be implemented.  Algorithm 2 is used to indicate
   Diffie-Hellman keys and algorithm 4 is reserved for elliptic curve.

   Algorithm number 252 indicates an indirect key format where the
   actual key material is elsewhere.  This format is to be defined in a
   separate document.

   Algorithm numbers 253 and 254 are reserved for private use and will
   never be assigned a specific algorithm.  For number 253, the public
   key area and the signature begin with a wire encoded domain name.
   Only local domain name compression is permitted.  The domain name
   indicates the private algorithm to use and the remainder of the
   public key area is whatever is required by that algorithm.  For
   number 254, the public key area for the KEY RR and the signature
   begin with an unsigned length byte followed by a BER encoded Object

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   Identifier (ISO OID) of that length.  The OID indicates the private
   algorithm in use and the remainder of the area is whatever is
   required by that algorithm.  Entities should only use domain names
   and OIDs they control to designate their private algorithms.

   Values 0 and 255 are reserved but the value 0 is used in the
   algorithm field when that field is not used.  An example is in a KEY
   RR with the top two flag bits on, the "no-key" value, where no key is

3.3 Interaction of Flags, Algorithm, and Protocol Bytes

   Various combinations of the no-key type flags, algorithm byte,
   protocol byte, and any future assigned protocol indicating flags are
   possible.  The meaning of these combinations is indicated below:

   NK = no key type (flags bits 0 and 1 on)
   AL = algorithm byte
   PR = protocols indicated by protocol byte or future assigned flags

   x represents any valid non-zero value(s).

    AL  PR   NK  Meaning
     0   0   0   Illegal, claims key but has bad algorithm field.
     0   0   1   Specifies total lack of security for owner zone.
     0   x   0   Illegal, claims key but has bad algorithm field.
     0   x   1   Specified protocols unsecured, others may be secure.
     x   0   0   Gives key but no protocols to use it.
     x   0   1   Denies key for specific algorithm.
     x   x   0   Specifies key for protocols.
     x   x   1   Algorithm not understood for protocol.

3.4 Determination of Zone Secure/Unsecured Status

   A zone KEY RR with the "no-key" type field value (both key type flag
   bits 0 and 1 on) indicates that the zone named is unsecured while a
   zone KEY RR with a key present indicates that the zone named is
   secure.  The secured versus unsecured status of a zone may vary with
   different cryptographic algorithms.  Even for the same algorithm,
   conflicting zone KEY RRs may be present.

   Zone KEY RRs, like all RRs, are only trusted if they are
   authenticated by a SIG RR whose signer field is a signer for which
   the resolver has a public key they trust and where resolver policy
   permits that signer to sign for the KEY owner name.  Untrusted zone
   KEY RRs MUST be ignored in determining the security status of the
   zone.  However, there can be multiple sets of trusted zone KEY RRs
   for a zone with different algorithms, signers, etc.

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   For any particular algorithm, zones can be (1) secure, indicating
   that any retrieved RR must be authenticated by a SIG RR or it will be
   discarded as bogus, (2) unsecured, indicating that SIG RRs are not
   expected or required for RRs retrieved from the zone, or (3)
   experimentally secure, which indicates that SIG RRs might or might
   not be present but must be checked if found.  The status of a zone is
   determined as follows:

   1. If, for a zone and algorithm, every trusted zone KEY RR for the
      zone says there is no key for that zone, it is unsecured for that

   2. If, there is at least one trusted no-key zone KEY RR and one
      trusted key specifying zone KEY RR, then that zone is only
      experimentally secure for the algorithm.  Both authenticated and
      non-authenticated RRs for it should be accepted by the resolver.

   3. If every trusted zone KEY RR that the zone and algorithm has is
      key specifying, then it is secure for that algorithm and only
      authenticated RRs from it will be accepted.


   (1)  A resolver initially trusts only signatures by the superzone of
   zone Z within the DNS hierarchy.  Thus it will look only at the KEY
   RRs that are signed by the superzone.  If it finds only no-key KEY
   RRs, it will assume the zone is not secure.  If it finds only key
   specifying KEY RRs, it will assume the zone is secure and reject any
   unsigned responses.  If it finds both, it will assume the zone is
   experimentally secure

   (2)  A resolver trusts the superzone of zone Z (to which it got
   securely from its local zone) and a third party, cert-auth.example.
   When considering data from zone Z, it may be signed by the superzone
   of Z, by cert-auth.example, by both, or by neither.  The following
   table indicates whether zone Z will be considered secure,
   experimentally secure, or unsecured, depending on the signed zone KEY
   RRs for Z;

                      c e r t - a u t h . e x a m p l e

        KEY RRs|   None    |  NoKeys   |  Mixed   |   Keys   |
     S       --+-----------+-----------+----------+----------+
     u  None   | illegal   | unsecured | experim. | secure   |
     p       --+-----------+-----------+----------+----------+
     e  NoKeys | unsecured | unsecured | experim. | secure   |
     r       --+-----------+-----------+----------+----------+
     Z  Mixed  | experim.  | experim.  | experim. | secure   |

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     o       --+-----------+-----------+----------+----------+
     n  Keys   | secure    | secure    | secure   | secure   |
     e         +-----------+-----------+----------+----------+

3.5 KEY RRs in the Construction of Responses

   An explicit request for KEY RRs does not cause any special additional
   information processing except, of course, for the corresponding SIG
   RR from a security aware server (see Section 4.2).

   Security aware DNS servers include KEY RRs as additional information
   in responses, where a KEY is available, in the following cases:

   (1) On the retrieval of SOA or NS RRs, the KEY RRset with the same
   name (perhaps just a zone key) SHOULD be included as additional
   information if space is available. If not all additional information
   will fit, type A and AAAA glue RRs have higher priority than KEY

   (2) On retrieval of type A or AAAA RRs, the KEY RRset with the same
   name (usually just a host RR and NOT the zone key (which usually
   would have a different name)) SHOULD be included if space is
   available.  On inclusion of A or AAAA RRs as additional information,
   the KEY RRset with the same name should also be included but with
   lower priority than the A or AAAA RRs.

4. The SIG Resource Record

   The SIG or "signature" resource record (RR) is the fundamental way
   that data is authenticated in the secure Domain Name System (DNS). As
   such it is the heart of the security provided.

   The SIG RR unforgably authenticates an RRset [RFC 2181] of a
   particular type, class, and name and binds it to a time interval and
   the signer's domain name.  This is done using cryptographic
   techniques and the signer's private key.  The signer is frequently
   the owner of the zone from which the RR originated.

   The type number for the SIG RR type is 24.

4.1 SIG RDATA Format

   The RDATA portion of a SIG RR is as shown below.  The integrity of
   the RDATA information is protected by the signature field.

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                           1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3
       0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
      |        type covered           |  algorithm    |     labels    |
      |                         original TTL                          |
      |                      signature expiration                     |
      |                      signature inception                      |
      |            key  tag           |                               |
      +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+         signer's name         +
      |                                                               /
      /                                                               /
      /                            signature                          /
      /                                                               /

4.1.1 Type Covered Field

   The "type covered" is the type of the other RRs covered by this SIG.

4.1.2 Algorithm Number Field

   This octet is as described in section 3.2.

4.1.3 Labels Field

   The "labels" octet is an unsigned count of how many labels there are
   in the original SIG RR owner name not counting the null label for
   root and not counting any initial "*" for a wildcard.  If a secured
   retrieval is the result of wild card substitution, it is necessary
   for the resolver to use the original form of the name in verifying
   the digital signature.  This field makes it easy to determine the
   original form.

   If, on retrieval, the RR appears to have a longer name than indicated
   by "labels", the resolver can tell it is the result of wildcard
   substitution.  If the RR owner name appears to be shorter than the
   labels count, the SIG RR must be considered corrupt and ignored.  The
   maximum number of labels allowed in the current DNS is 127 but the
   entire octet is reserved and would be required should DNS names ever
   be expanded to 255 labels.  The following table gives some examples.
   The value of "labels" is at the top, the retrieved owner name on the
   left, and the table entry is the name to use in signature
   verification except that "bad" means the RR is corrupt.

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   labels= |  0  |   1  |    2   |      3   |      4   |
          .|   . | bad  |  bad   |    bad   |    bad   |
         d.|  *. |   d. |  bad   |    bad   |    bad   |
       c.d.|  *. | *.d. |   c.d. |    bad   |    bad   |
     b.c.d.|  *. | *.d. | *.c.d. |   b.c.d. |    bad   |
   a.b.c.d.|  *. | *.d. | *.c.d. | *.b.c.d. | a.b.c.d. |

4.1.4 Original TTL Field

   The "original TTL" field is included in the RDATA portion to avoid
   (1) authentication problems that caching servers would otherwise
   cause by decrementing the real TTL field and (2) security problems
   that unscrupulous servers could otherwise cause by manipulating the
   real TTL field.  This original TTL is protected by the signature
   while the current TTL field is not.

   NOTE:  The "original TTL" must be restored into the covered RRs when
   the signature is verified (see Section 8).  This generaly implies
   that all RRs for a particular type, name, and class, that is, all the
   RRs in any particular RRset, must have the same TTL to start with.

4.1.5 Signature Expiration and Inception Fields

   The SIG is valid from the "signature inception" time until the
   "signature expiration" time.  Both are unsigned numbers of seconds
   since the start of 1 January 1970, GMT, ignoring leap seconds.  (See
   also Section 4.4.)  Ring arithmetic is used as for DNS SOA serial
   numbers [RFC 1982] which means that these times can never be more
   than about 68 years in the past or the future.  This means that these
   times are ambiguous modulo ~136.09 years.  However there is no
   security flaw because keys are required to be changed to new random
   keys by [RFC 2541] at least every five years.  This means that the
   probability that the same key is in use N*136.09 years later should
   be the same as the probability that a random guess will work.

   A SIG RR may have an expiration time numerically less than the
   inception time if the expiration time is near the 32 bit wrap around
   point and/or the signature is long lived.

   (To prevent misordering of network requests to update a zone
   dynamically, monotonically increasing "signature inception" times may
   be necessary.)

   A secure zone must be considered changed for SOA serial number
   purposes not only when its data is updated but also when new SIG RRs
   are inserted (ie, the zone or any part of it is re-signed).

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4.1.6 Key Tag Field

   The "key Tag" is a two octet quantity that is used to efficiently
   select between multiple keys which may be applicable and thus check
   that a public key about to be used for the computationally expensive
   effort to check the signature is possibly valid.  For algorithm 1
   (MD5/RSA) as defined in [RFC 2537], it is the next to the bottom two
   octets of the public key modulus needed to decode the signature
   field.  That is to say, the most significant 16 of the least
   significant 24 bits of the modulus in network (big endian) order. For
   all other algorithms, including private algorithms, it is calculated
   as a simple checksum of the KEY RR as described in Appendix C.

4.1.7 Signer's Name Field

   The "signer's name" field is the domain name of the signer generating
   the SIG RR.  This is the owner name of the public KEY RR that can be
   used to verify the signature.  It is frequently the zone which
   contained the RRset being authenticated.  Which signers should be
   authorized to sign what is a significant resolver policy question as
   discussed in Section 6. The signer's name may be compressed with
   standard DNS name compression when being transmitted over the

4.1.8 Signature Field

   The actual signature portion of the SIG RR binds the other RDATA
   fields to the RRset of the "type covered" RRs with that owner name
   and class.  This covered RRset is thereby authenticated.  To
   accomplish this, a data sequence is constructed as follows:

         data = RDATA | RR(s)...

   where "|" is concatenation,

   RDATA is the wire format of all the RDATA fields in the SIG RR itself
   (including the canonical form of the signer's name) before but not
   including the signature, and

   RR(s) is the RRset of the RR(s) of the type covered with the same
   owner name and class as the SIG RR in canonical form and order as
   defined in Section 8.

   How this data sequence is processed into the signature is algorithm
   dependent.  These algorithm dependent formats and procedures are
   described in separate documents (Section 3.2).

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   SIGs SHOULD NOT be included in a zone for any "meta-type" such as
   ANY, AXFR, etc. (but see section 5.6.2 with regard to IXFR). Calculating Transaction and Request SIGs

   A response message from a security aware server may optionally
   contain a special SIG at the end of the additional information
   section to authenticate the transaction.

   This SIG has a "type covered" field of zero, which is not a valid RR
   type.  It is calculated by using a "data" (see Section 4.1.8) of the
   entire preceding DNS reply message, including DNS header but not the
   IP header and before the reply RR counts have been adjusted for the
   inclusion of any transaction SIG, concatenated with the entire DNS
   query message that produced this response, including the query's DNS
   header and any request SIGs but not its IP header.  That is

      data = full response (less transaction SIG) | full query

   Verification of the transaction SIG (which is signed by the server
   host key, not the zone key) by the requesting resolver shows that the
   query and response were not tampered with in transit, that the
   response corresponds to the intended query, and that the response
   comes from the queried server.

   A DNS request may be optionally signed by including one or more SIGs
   at the end of the query. Such SIGs are identified by having a "type
   covered" field of zero. They sign the preceding DNS request message
   including DNS header but not including the IP header or any request
   SIGs at the end and before the request RR counts have been adjusted
   for the inclusions of any request SIG(s).

   WARNING: Request SIGs are unnecessary for any currently defined
   request other than update [RFC 2136, 2137] and will cause some old
   DNS servers to give an error return or ignore a query.  However, such
   SIGs may in the future be needed for other requests.

   Except where needed to authenticate an update or similar privileged
   request, servers are not required to check request SIGs.

4.2 SIG RRs in the Construction of Responses

   Security aware DNS servers SHOULD, for every authenticated RRset the
   query will return, attempt to send the available SIG RRs which
   authenticate the requested RRset.  The following rules apply to the
   inclusion of SIG RRs in responses:

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     1. when an RRset is placed in a response, its SIG RR has a higher
        priority for inclusion than additional RRs that may need to be
        included.  If space does not permit its inclusion, the response
        MUST be considered truncated except as provided in 2 below.

     2. When a SIG RR is present in the zone for an additional
        information section RR, the response MUST NOT be considered
        truncated merely because space does not permit the inclusion of
        the SIG RR with the additional information.

     3. SIGs to authenticate glue records and NS RRs for subzones at a
        delegation point are unnecessary and MUST NOT be sent.

     4. If a SIG covers any RR that would be in the answer section of
        the response, its automatic inclusion MUST be in the answer
        section.  If it covers an RR that would appear in the authority
        section, its automatic inclusion MUST be in the authority
        section.  If it covers an RR that would appear in the additional
        information section it MUST appear in the additional information
        section.  This is a change in the existing standard [RFCs 1034,
        1035] which contemplates only NS and SOA RRs in the authority

     5. Optionally, DNS transactions may be authenticated by a SIG RR at
        the end of the response in the additional information section
        (Section  Such SIG RRs are signed by the DNS server
        originating the response.  Although the signer field MUST be a
        name of the originating server host, the owner name, class, TTL,
        and original TTL, are meaningless.  The class and TTL fields
        SHOULD be zero.  To conserve space, the owner name SHOULD be
        root (a single zero octet).  If transaction authentication is
        desired, that SIG RR must be considered the highest priority for

4.3 Processing Responses and SIG RRs

   The following rules apply to the processing of SIG RRs included in a

     1. A security aware resolver that receives a response from a
        security aware server via a secure communication with the AD bit
        (see Section 6.1) set, MAY choose to accept the RRs as received
        without verifying the zone SIG RRs.

     2. In other cases, a security aware resolver SHOULD verify the SIG
        RRs for the RRs of interest.  This may involve initiating
        additional queries for SIG or KEY RRs, especially in the case of

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        getting a response from a server that does not implement
        security.  (As explained in 2.3.5 above, it will not be possible
        to secure CNAMEs being served up by non-secure resolvers.)

        NOTE: Implementers might expect the above SHOULD to be a MUST.
        However, local policy or the calling application may not require
        the security services.

     3. If SIG RRs are received in response to a user query explicitly
        specifying the SIG type, no special processing is required.

   If the message does not pass integrity checks or the SIG does not
   check against the signed RRs, the SIG RR is invalid and should be
   ignored.  If all of the SIG RR(s) purporting to authenticate an RRset
   are invalid, then the RRset is not authenticated.

   If the SIG RR is the last RR in a response in the additional
   information section and has a type covered of zero, it is a
   transaction signature of the response and the query that produced the
   response.  It MAY be optionally checked and the message rejected if
   the checks fail.  But even if the checks succeed, such a transaction
   authentication SIG does NOT directly authenticate any RRs in the
   message.  Only a proper SIG RR signed by the zone or a key tracing
   its authority to the zone or to static resolver configuration can
   directly authenticate RRs, depending on resolver policy (see Section
   6).  If a resolver does not implement transaction and/or request
   SIGs, it MUST ignore them without error.

   If all checks indicate that the SIG RR is valid then RRs verified by
   it should be considered authenticated.

4.4 Signature Lifetime, Expiration, TTLs, and Validity

   Security aware servers MUST NOT consider SIG RRs to authenticate
   anything before their signature inception or after its expiration
   time (see also Section 6).  Security aware servers MUST NOT consider
   any RR to be authenticated after all its signatures have expired.
   When a secure server caches authenticated data, if the TTL would
   expire at a time further in the future than the authentication
   expiration time, the server SHOULD trim the TTL in the cache entry
   not to extent beyond the authentication expiration time.  Within
   these constraints, servers should continue to follow DNS TTL aging.
   Thus authoritative servers should continue to follow the zone refresh
   and expire parameters and a non-authoritative server should count
   down the TTL and discard RRs when the TTL is zero (even for a SIG
   that has not yet reached its authentication expiration time).  In
   addition, when RRs are transmitted in a query response, the TTL

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   should be trimmed so that current time plus the TTL does not extend
   beyond the authentication expiration time.  Thus, in general, the TTL
   on a transmitted RR would be


   When signatures are generated, signature expiration times should be
   set far enough in the future that it is quite certain that new
   signatures can be generated before the old ones expire.  However,
   setting expiration too far into the future could mean a long time to
   flush any bad data or signatures that may have been generated.

   It is recommended that signature lifetime be a small multiple of the
   TTL (ie, 4 to 16 times the TTL) but not less than a reasonable
   maximum re-signing interval and not less than the zone expiry time.

5. Non-existent Names and Types

   The SIG RR mechanism described in Section 4 above provides strong
   authentication of RRs that exist in a zone.  But it is not clear
   above how to verifiably deny the existence of a name in a zone or a
   type for an existent name.

   The nonexistence of a name in a zone is indicated by the NXT ("next")
   RR for a name interval containing the nonexistent name. An NXT RR or
   RRs and its or their SIG(s) are returned in the authority section,
   along with the error, if the server is security aware.  The same is
   true for a non-existent type under an existing name except that there
   is no error indication other than an empty answer section
   accompanying the NXT(s). This is a change in the existing standard
   [RFCs 1034/1035] which contemplates only NS and SOA RRs in the
   authority section. NXT RRs will also be returned if an explicit query
   is made for the NXT type.

   The existence of a complete set of NXT records in a zone means that
   any query for any name and any type to a security aware server
   serving the zone will result in an reply containing at least one
   signed RR unless it is a query for delegation point NS or glue A or
   AAAA RRs.

5.1 The NXT Resource Record

   The NXT resource record is used to securely indicate that RRs with an
   owner name in a certain name interval do not exist in a zone and to
   indicate what RR types are present for an existing name.

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   The owner name of the NXT RR is an existing name in the zone.  It's
   RDATA is a "next" name and a type bit map. Thus the NXT RRs in a zone
   create a chain of all of the literal owner names in that zone,
   including unexpanded wildcards but omitting the owner name of glue
   address records unless they would otherwise be included. This implies
   a canonical ordering of all domain names in a zone as described in
   Section 8. The presence of the NXT RR means that no name between its
   owner name and the name in its RDATA area exists and that no other
   types exist under its owner name.

   There is a potential problem with the last NXT in a zone as it wants
   to have an owner name which is the last existing name in canonical
   order, which is easy, but it is not obvious what name to put in its
   RDATA to indicate the entire remainder of the name space.  This is
   handled by treating the name space as circular and putting the zone
   name in the RDATA of the last NXT in a zone.

   The NXT RRs for a zone SHOULD be automatically calculated and added
   to the zone when SIGs are added.  The NXT RR's TTL SHOULD NOT exceed
   the zone minimum TTL.

   The type number for the NXT RR is 30.

   NXT RRs are only signed by zone level keys.

5.2 NXT RDATA Format

   The RDATA for an NXT RR consists simply of a domain name followed by
   a bit map, as shown below.

                        1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   |                  next domain name                             /
   |                    type bit map                               /

   The NXT RR type bit map format currently defined is one bit per RR
   type present for the owner name.  A one bit indicates that at least
   one RR of that type is present for the owner name.  A zero indicates
   that no such RR is present.  All bits not specified because they are
   beyond the end of the bit map are assumed to be zero.  Note that bit
   30, for NXT, will always be on so the minimum bit map length is
   actually four octets. Trailing zero octets are prohibited in this
   format.  The first bit represents RR type zero (an illegal type which
   can not be present) and so will be zero in this format.  This format
   is not used if there exists an RR with a type number greater than

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   127.  If the zero bit of the type bit map is a one, it indicates that
   a different format is being used which will always be the case if a
   type number greater than 127 is present.

   The domain name may be compressed with standard DNS name compression
   when being transmitted over the network.  The size of the bit map can
   be inferred from the RDLENGTH and the length of the next domain name.

5.3 Additional Complexity Due to Wildcards

   Proving that a non-existent name response is correct or that a
   wildcard expansion response is correct makes things a little more

   In particular, when a non-existent name response is returned, an NXT
   must be returned showing that the exact name queried did not exist
   and, in general, one or more additional NXT's need to be returned to
   also prove that there wasn't a wildcard whose expansion should have
   been returned. (There is no need to return multiple copies of the
   same NXT.) These NXTs, if any, are returned in the authority section
   of the response.

   Furthermore, if a wildcard expansion is returned in a response, in
   general one or more NXTs needs to also be returned in the authority
   section to prove that no more specific name (including possibly more
   specific wildcards in the zone) existed on which the response should
   have been based.

5.4 Example

   Assume zone foo.nil has entries for


   Then a query to a security aware server for would
   produce an error reply with an RCODE of NXDOMAIN and the authority
   section data including something like the following:

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   foo.nil.    NXT NS KEY SOA NXT ;prove no *.foo.nil
   foo.nil.    SIG NXT 1 2 ( ;type-cov=NXT, alg=1, labels=2
                    19970102030405 ;signature expiration
                    19961211100908 ;signature inception
                    2143           ;key identifier
                    foo.nil.       ;signer
   fiYy2X+8XpFjwICHc398kzWsTMKlxovpz2FnCTM= ;signature (640 bits)
                          ) NXT A MX SIG NXT ;prove no SIG NXT 1 3 ( ;type-cov=NXT, alg=1, labels=3
                    19970102030405 ;signature expiration
                    19961211100908 ;signature inception
                    2143           ;key identifier
                    foo.nil.       ;signer
    1tVfSCSqQYn6//11U6Nld80jEeC8aTrO+KKmCaY= ;signature (640 bits)
   Note that this response implies that is an existing name
   in the zone and thus has other RR types associated with it than NXT.
   However, only the NXT (and its SIG) RR appear in the response to this
   query for, which is a non-existent name.

5.5 Special Considerations at Delegation Points

   A name (other than root) which is the head of a zone also appears as
   the leaf in a superzone.  If both are secure, there will always be
   two different NXT RRs with the same name.  They can be easily
   distinguished by their signers, the next domain name fields, the
   presence of the SOA type bit, etc.  Security aware servers should
   return the correct NXT automatically when required to authenticate
   the non-existence of a name and both NXTs, if available, on explicit
   query for type NXT.

   Non-security aware servers will never automatically return an NXT and
   some old implementations may only return the NXT from the subzone on
   explicit queries.

5.6 Zone Transfers

   The subsections below describe how full and incremental zone
   transfers are secured.

   SIG RRs secure all authoritative RRs transferred for both full and
   incremental [RFC 1995] zone transfers.  NXT RRs are an essential
   element in secure zone transfers and assure that every authoritative
   name and type will be present; however, if there are multiple SIGs
   with the same name and type covered, a subset of the SIGs could be

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   sent as long as at least one is present and, in the case of unsigned
   delegation point NS or glue A or AAAA RRs a subset of these RRs or
   simply a modified set could be sent as long as at least one of each
   type is included.

   When an incremental or full zone transfer request is received with
   the same or newer version number than that of the server's copy of
   the zone, it is replied to with just the SOA RR of the server's
   current version and the SIG RRset verifying that SOA RR.

   The complete NXT chains specified in this document enable a resolver
   to obtain, by successive queries chaining through NXTs, all of the
   names in a zone even if zone transfers are prohibited.  Different
   format NXTs may be specified in the future to avoid this.

5.6.1 Full Zone Transfers

   To provide server authentication that a complete transfer has
   occurred, transaction authentication SHOULD be used on full zone
   transfers.  This provides strong server based protection for the
   entire zone in transit.

5.6.2 Incremental Zone Transfers

   Individual RRs in an incremental (IXFR) transfer [RFC 1995] can be
   verified in the same way as for a full zone transfer and the
   integrity of the NXT name chain and correctness of the NXT type bits
   for the zone after the incremental RR deletes and adds can check each
   disjoint area of the zone updated.  But the completeness of an
   incremental transfer can not be confirmed because usually neither the
   deleted RR section nor the added RR section has a compete zone NXT
   chain.  As a result, a server which securely supports IXFR must
   handle IXFR SIG RRs for each incremental transfer set that it

   The IXFR SIG is calculated over the incremental zone update
   collection of RRs in the order in which it is transmitted: old SOA,
   then deleted RRs, then new SOA and added RRs.  Within each section,
   RRs must be ordered as specified in Section 8.  If condensation of
   adjacent incremental update sets is done by the zone owner, the
   original IXFR SIG for each set included in the condensation must be
   discarded and a new on IXFR SIG calculated to cover the resulting
   condensed set.

   The IXFR SIG really belongs to the zone as a whole, not to the zone
   name.  Although it SHOULD be correct for the zone name, the labels
   field of an IXFR SIG is otherwise meaningless.  The IXFR SIG is only
   sent as part of an incremental zone transfer.  After validation of

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   the IXFR SIG, the transferred RRs MAY be considered valid without
   verification of the internal SIGs if such trust in the server
   conforms to local policy.

6. How to Resolve Securely and the AD and CD Bits

   Retrieving or resolving secure data from the Domain Name System (DNS)
   involves starting with one or more trusted public keys that have been
   staticly configured at the resolver.  With starting trusted keys, a
   resolver willing to perform cryptography can progress securely
   through the secure DNS structure to the zone of interest as described
   in Section 6.3. Such trusted public keys would normally be configured
   in a manner similar to that described in Section 6.2.  However, as a
   practical matter, a security aware resolver would still gain some
   confidence in the results it returns even if it was not configured
   with any keys but trusted what it got from a local well known server
   as if it were staticly configured.

   Data stored at a security aware server needs to be internally
   categorized as Authenticated, Pending, or Insecure. There is also a
   fourth transient state of Bad which indicates that all SIG checks
   have explicitly failed on the data. Such Bad data is not retained at
   a security aware server. Authenticated means that the data has a
   valid SIG under a KEY traceable via a chain of zero or more SIG and
   KEY RRs allowed by the resolvers policies to a KEY staticly
   configured at the resolver. Pending data has no authenticated SIGs
   and at least one additional SIG the resolver is still trying to
   authenticate.  Insecure data is data which it is known can never be
   either Authenticated or found Bad in the zone where it was found
   because it is in or has been reached via a unsecured zone or because
   it is unsigned glue address or delegation point NS data. Behavior in
   terms of control of and flagging based on such data labels is
   described in Section 6.1.

   The proper validation of signatures requires a reasonably secure
   shared opinion of the absolute time between resolvers and servers as
   described in Section 6.4.

6.1 The AD and CD Header Bits

   Two previously unused bits are allocated out of the DNS
   query/response format header. The AD (authentic data) bit indicates
   in a response that all the data included in the answer and authority
   portion of the response has been authenticated by the server
   according to the policies of that server. The CD (checking disabled)
   bit indicates in a query that Pending (non-authenticated) data is
   acceptable to the resolver sending the query.

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   These bits are allocated from the previously must-be-zero Z field as

                                           1  1  1  1  1  1
             0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  0  1  2  3  4  5
            |                      ID                       |
            |QR|   Opcode  |AA|TC|RD|RA| Z|AD|CD|   RCODE   |
            |                    QDCOUNT                    |
            |                    ANCOUNT                    |
            |                    NSCOUNT                    |
            |                    ARCOUNT                    |

   These bits are zero in old servers and resolvers.  Thus the responses
   of old servers are not flagged as authenticated to security aware
   resolvers and queries from non-security aware resolvers do not assert
   the checking disabled bit and thus will be answered by security aware
   servers only with Authenticated or Insecure data. Security aware
   resolvers MUST NOT trust the AD bit unless they trust the server they
   are talking to and either have a secure path to it or use DNS
   transaction security.

   Any security aware resolver willing to do cryptography SHOULD assert
   the CD bit on all queries to permit it to impose its own policies and
   to reduce DNS latency time by allowing security aware servers to
   answer with Pending data.

   Security aware servers MUST NOT return Bad data.  For non-security
   aware resolvers or security aware resolvers requesting service by
   having the CD bit clear, security aware servers MUST return only
   Authenticated or Insecure data in the answer and authority sections
   with the AD bit set in the response. Security aware servers SHOULD
   return Pending data, with the AD bit clear in the response, to
   security aware resolvers requesting this service by asserting the CD
   bit in their request.  The AD bit MUST NOT be set on a response
   unless all of the RRs in the answer and authority sections of the
   response are either Authenticated or Insecure.  The AD bit does not
   cover the additional information section.

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6.2 Staticly Configured Keys

   The public key to authenticate a zone SHOULD be defined in local
   configuration files before that zone is loaded at the primary server
   so the zone can be authenticated.

   While it might seem logical for everyone to start with a public key
   associated with the root zone and staticly configure this in every
   resolver, this has problems.  The logistics of updating every DNS
   resolver in the world should this key ever change would be severe.
   Furthermore, many organizations will explicitly wish their "interior"
   DNS implementations to completely trust only their own DNS servers.
   Interior resolvers of such organizations can then go through the
   organization's zone servers to access data outside the organization's
   domain and need not be configured with keys above the organization's
   DNS apex.

   Host resolvers that are not part of a larger organization may be
   configured with a key for the domain of their local ISP whose
   recursive secure DNS caching server they use.

6.3 Chaining Through The DNS

   Starting with one or more trusted keys for any zone, it should be
   possible to retrieve signed keys for that zone's subzones which have
   a key. A secure sub-zone is indicated by a KEY RR with non-null key
   information appearing with the NS RRs in the sub-zone and which may
   also be present in the parent.  These make it possible to descend
   within the tree of zones.

6.3.1 Chaining Through KEYs

   In general, some RRset that you wish to validate in the secure DNS
   will be signed by one or more SIG RRs.  Each of these SIG RRs has a
   signer under whose name is stored the public KEY to use in
   authenticating the SIG.  Each of those KEYs will, generally, also be
   signed with a SIG.  And those SIGs will have signer names also
   referring to KEYs.  And so on. As a result, authentication leads to
   chains of alternating SIG and KEY RRs with the first SIG signing the
   original data whose authenticity is to be shown and the final KEY
   being some trusted key staticly configured at the resolver performing
   the authentication.

   In testing such a chain, the validity periods of the SIGs encountered
   must be intersected to determine the validity period of the
   authentication of the data, a purely algorithmic process. In
   addition, the validation of each SIG over the data with reference to
   a KEY must meet the objective cryptographic test implied by the

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   cryptographic algorithm used (although even here the resolver may
   have policies as to trusted algorithms and key lengths).  Finally,
   the judgement that a SIG with a particular signer name can
   authenticate data (possibly a KEY RRset) with a particular owner
   name, is primarily a policy question.  Ultimately, this is a policy
   local to the resolver and any clients that depend on that resolver's
   decisions.  It is, however, recommended, that the policy below be

        Let A < B mean that A is a shorter domain name than B formed by
        dropping one or more whole labels from the left end of B, i.e.,
        A is a direct or indirect superdomain of B.  Let A = B mean that
        A and B are the same domain name (i.e., are identical after
        letter case canonicalization).  Let A > B mean that A is a
        longer domain name than B formed by adding one or more whole
        labels on the left end of B, i.e., A is a direct or indirect
        subdomain of B

        Let Static be the owner names of the set of staticly configured
        trusted keys at a resolver.

        Then Signer is a valid signer name for a SIG authenticating an
        RRset (possibly a KEY RRset) with owner name Owner at the
        resolver if any of the following three rules apply:

        (1) Owner > or = Signer (except that if Signer is root, Owner
        must be root or a top level domain name).  That is, Owner is the
        same as or a subdomain of Signer.

        (2) ( Owner < Signer ) and ( Signer > or = some Static ).  That
        is, Owner is a superdomain of Signer and Signer is staticly
        configured or a subdomain of a staticly configured key.

        (3) Signer = some Static.  That is, the signer is exactly some
        staticly configured key.

   Rule 1 is the rule for descending the DNS tree and includes a special
   prohibition on the root zone key due to the restriction that the root
   zone be only one label deep.  This is the most fundamental rule.

   Rule 2 is the rule for ascending the DNS tree from one or more
   staticly configured keys.  Rule 2 has no effect if only root zone
   keys are staticly configured.

   Rule 3 is a rule permitting direct cross certification.  Rule 3 has
   no effect if only root zone keys are staticly configured.

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   Great care should be taken that the consequences have been fully
   considered before making any local policy adjustments to these rules
   (other than dispensing with rules 2 and 3 if only root zone keys are
   staticly configured).

6.3.2 Conflicting Data

   It is possible that there will be multiple SIG-KEY chains that appear
   to authenticate conflicting RRset answers to the same query.  A
   resolver should choose only the most reliable answer to return and
   discard other data.  This choice of most reliable is a matter of
   local policy which could take into account differing trust in
   algorithms, key sizes, staticly configured keys, zones traversed,
   etc.  The technique given below is recommended for taking into
   account SIG-KEY chain length.

   A resolver should keep track of the number of successive secure zones
   traversed from a staticly configured key starting point to any secure
   zone it can reach.  In general, the lower such a distance number is,
   the greater the confidence in the data.  Staticly configured data
   should be given a distance number of zero.  If a query encounters
   different Authenticated data for the same query with different
   distance values, that with a larger value should be ignored unless
   some other local policy covers the case.

   A security conscious resolver should completely refuse to step from a
   secure zone into a unsecured zone unless the unsecured zone is
   certified to be non-secure by the presence of an authenticated KEY RR
   for the unsecured zone with the no-key type value.  Otherwise the
   resolver is getting bogus or spoofed data.

   If legitimate unsecured zones are encountered in traversing the DNS
   tree, then no zone can be trusted as secure that can be reached only
   via information from such non-secure zones. Since the unsecured zone
   data could have been spoofed, the "secure" zone reached via it could
   be counterfeit.  The "distance" to data in such zones or zones
   reached via such zones could be set to 256 or more as this exceeds
   the largest possible distance through secure zones in the DNS.

6.4 Secure Time

   Coordinated interpretation of the time fields in SIG RRs requires
   that reasonably consistent time be available to the hosts
   implementing the DNS security extensions.

   A variety of time synchronization protocols exist including the
   Network Time Protocol (NTP [RFC 1305, 2030]).  If such protocols are
   used, they MUST be used securely so that time can not be spoofed.

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   Otherwise, for example, a host could get its clock turned back and
   might then believe old SIG RRs, and the data they authenticate, which
   were valid but are no longer.

7. ASCII Representation of Security RRs

   This section discusses the format for master file and other ASCII
   presentation of the three DNS security resource records.

   The algorithm field in KEY and SIG RRs can be represented as either
   an unsigned integer or symbolicly.  The following initial symbols are
   defined as indicated:

        Value  Symbol

        001    RSAMD5
        002    DH
        003    DSA
        004    ECC
        252    INDIRECT
        253    PRIVATEDNS
        254    PRIVATEOID

7.1 Presentation of KEY RRs

   KEY RRs may appear as single logical lines in a zone data master file
   [RFC 1033].

   The flag field is represented as an unsigned integer or a sequence of
   mnemonics as follows separated by instances of the verticle bar ("|")

     BIT  Mnemonic  Explanation
    0-1           key type
        NOCONF    =1 confidentiality use prohibited
        NOAUTH    =2 authentication use prohibited
        NOKEY     =3 no key present
    2   FLAG2     - reserved
    3   EXTEND    flags extension
    4   FLAG4     - reserved
    5   FLAG5     - reserved
    6-7           name type
        USER      =0 (default, may be omitted)
        ZONE      =1
        HOST      =2 (host or other end entity)
        NTYP3     - reserved
    8   FLAG8     - reserved
    9   FLAG9     - reserved

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   10   FLAG10    - reserved
   11   FLAG11    - reserved
   12-15          signatory field, values 0 to 15
            can be represented by SIG0, SIG1, ... SIG15

   No flag mnemonic need be present if the bit or field it represents is

   The protocol octet can be represented as either an unsigned integer
   or symbolicly.  The following initial symbols are defined:

        000    NONE
        001    TLS
        002    EMAIL
        003    DNSSEC
        004    IPSEC
        255    ALL

   Note that if the type flags field has the NOKEY value, nothing
   appears after the algorithm octet.

   The remaining public key portion is represented in base 64 (see
   Appendix A) and may be divided up into any number of white space
   separated substrings, down to single base 64 digits, which are
   concatenated to obtain the full signature.  These substrings can span
   lines using the standard parenthesis.

   Note that the public key may have internal sub-fields but these do
   not appear in the master file representation.  For example, with
   algorithm 1 there is a public exponent size, then a public exponent,
   and then a modulus.  With algorithm 254, there will be an OID size,
   an OID, and algorithm dependent information. But in both cases only a
   single logical base 64 string will appear in the master file.

7.2 Presentation of SIG RRs

   A data SIG RR may be represented as a single logical line in a zone
   data file [RFC 1033] but there are some special considerations as
   described below.  (It does not make sense to include a transaction or
   request authenticating SIG RR in a file as they are a transient
   authentication that covers data including an ephemeral transaction
   number and so must be calculated in real time.)

   There is no particular problem with the signer, covered type, and
   times.  The time fields appears in the form YYYYMMDDHHMMSS where YYYY
   is the year, the first MM is the month number (01-12), DD is the day
   of the month (01-31), HH is the hour in 24 hours notation (00-23),
   the second MM is the minute (00-59), and SS is the second (00-59).

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   The original TTL field appears as an unsigned integer.

   If the original TTL, which applies to the type signed, is the same as
   the TTL of the SIG RR itself, it may be omitted.  The date field
   which follows it is larger than the maximum possible TTL so there is
   no ambiguity.

   The "labels" field appears as an unsigned integer.

   The key tag appears as an unsigned number.

   However, the signature itself can be very long.  It is the last data
   field and is represented in base 64 (see Appendix A) and may be
   divided up into any number of white space separated substrings, down
   to single base 64 digits, which are concatenated to obtain the full
   signature.  These substrings can be split between lines using the
   standard parenthesis.

7.3 Presentation of NXT RRs

   NXT RRs do not appear in original unsigned zone master files since
   they should be derived from the zone as it is being signed.  If a
   signed file with NXTs added is printed or NXTs are printed by
   debugging code, they appear as the next domain name followed by the
   RR type present bits as an unsigned interger or sequence of RR

8. Canonical Form and Order of Resource Records

   This section specifies, for purposes of domain name system (DNS)
   security, the canonical form of resource records (RRs), their name
   order, and their overall order.  A canonical name order is necessary
   to construct the NXT name chain.  A canonical form and ordering
   within an RRset is necessary in consistently constructing and
   verifying SIG RRs.  A canonical ordering of types within a name is
   required in connection with incremental transfer (Section 5.6.2).

8.1 Canonical RR Form

   For purposes of DNS security, the canonical form for an RR is the
   wire format of the RR with domain names (1) fully expanded (no name
   compression via pointers), (2) all domain name letters set to lower
   case, (3) owner name wild cards in master file form (no substitution
   made for *), and (4) the original TTL substituted for the current

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8.2 Canonical DNS Name Order

   For purposes of DNS security, the canonical ordering of owner names
   is to sort individual labels as unsigned left justified octet strings
   where the absence of a octet sorts before a zero value octet and
   upper case letters are treated as lower case letters.  Names in a
   zone are sorted by sorting on the highest level label and then,
   within those names with the same highest level label by the next
   lower label, etc. down to leaf node labels.  Within a zone, the zone
   name itself always exists and all other names are the zone name with
   some prefix of lower level labels.  Thus the zone name itself always
   sorts first.




8.3 Canonical RR Ordering Within An RRset

   Within any particular owner name and type, RRs are sorted by RDATA as
   a left justified unsigned octet sequence where the absence of an
   octet sorts before the zero octet.

8.4 Canonical Ordering of RR Types

   When RRs of the same name but different types must be ordered, they
   are ordered by type, considering the type to be an unsigned integer,
   except that SIG RRs are placed immediately after the type they cover.
   Thus, for example, an A record would be put before an MX record
   because A is type 1 and MX is type 15 but if both were signed, the
   order would be A < SIG(A) < MX < SIG(MX).

9. Conformance

   Levels of server and resolver conformance are defined below.

9.1 Server Conformance

   Two levels of server conformance for DNS security are defined as

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   BASIC:  Basic server compliance is the ability to store and retrieve
   (including zone transfer) SIG, KEY, and NXT RRs.  Any secondary or
   caching server for a secure zone MUST have at least basic compliance
   and even then some things, such as secure CNAMEs, will not work
   without full compliance.

   FULL:  Full server compliance adds the following to basic compliance:
   (1) ability to read SIG, KEY, and NXT RRs in zone files and (2)
   ability, given a zone file and private key, to add appropriate SIG
   and NXT RRs, possibly via a separate application, (3) proper
   automatic inclusion of SIG, KEY, and NXT RRs in responses, (4)
   suppression of CNAME following on retrieval of the security type RRs,
   (5) recognize the CD query header bit and set the AD query header
   bit, as appropriate, and (6) proper handling of the two NXT RRs at
   delegation points.  Primary servers for secure zones MUST be fully
   compliant and for complete secure operation, all secondary, caching,
   and other servers handling the zone SHOULD be fully compliant as

9.2 Resolver Conformance

   Two levels of resolver compliance (including the resolver portion of
   a server) are defined for DNS Security:

   BASIC: A basic compliance resolver can handle SIG, KEY, and NXT RRs
   when they are explicitly requested.

   FULL: A fully compliant resolver (1) understands KEY, SIG, and NXT
   RRs including verification of SIGs at least for the mandatory
   algorithm, (2) maintains appropriate information in its local caches
   and database to indicate which RRs have been authenticated and to
   what extent they have been authenticated, (3) performs additional
   queries as necessary to attempt to obtain KEY, SIG, or NXT RRs when
   needed, (4) normally sets the CD query header bit on its queries.

10. Security Considerations

   This document specifies extensions to the Domain Name System (DNS)
   protocol to provide data integrity and data origin authentication,
   public key distribution, and optional transaction and request

   It should be noted that, at most, these extensions guarantee the
   validity of resource records, including KEY resource records,
   retrieved from the DNS.  They do not magically solve other security
   problems.  For example, using secure DNS you can have high confidence
   in the IP address you retrieve for a host name; however, this does
   not stop someone for substituting an unauthorized host at that

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RFC 2535                DNS Security Extensions               March 1999

   address or capturing packets sent to that address and falsely
   responding with packets apparently from that address.  Any reasonably
   complete security system will require the protection of many
   additional facets of the Internet beyond DNS.

   The implementation of NXT RRs as described herein enables a resolver
   to determine all the names in a zone even if zone transfers are
   prohibited (section 5.6).  This is an active area of work and may

   A number of precautions in DNS implementation have evolved over the
   years to harden the insecure DNS against spoofing.  These precautions
   should not be abandoned but should be considered to provide
   additional protection in case of key compromise in secure DNS.

11. IANA Considerations

   KEY RR flag bits 2 and 8-11 and all flag extension field bits can be
   assigned by IETF consensus as defined in RFC 2434.  The remaining
   values of the NAMTYP flag field and flag bits 4 and 5 (which could
   conceivably become an extension of the NAMTYP field) can only be
   assigned by an IETF Standards Action [RFC 2434].

   Algorithm numbers 5 through 251 are available for assignment should
   sufficient reason arise.  However, the designation of a new algorithm
   could have a major impact on interoperability and requires an IETF
   Standards Action [RFC 2434].  The existence of the private algorithm
   types 253 and 254 should satify most needs for private or proprietary

   Additional values of the Protocol Octet (5-254) can be assigned by
   IETF Consensus [RFC 2434].

   The meaning of the first bit of the NXT RR "type bit map" being a one
   can only be assigned by a standards action.


   [RFC 1033]  Lottor, M., "Domain Administrators Operations Guide", RFC
               1033, November 1987.

   [RFC 1034]  Mockapetris, P., "Domain Names - Concepts and
               Facilities", STD 13, RFC 1034, November 1987.

   [RFC 1035]  Mockapetris, P., "Domain Names - Implementation and
               Specifications", STD 13, RFC 1035, November 1987.

Eastlake                    Standards Track                    [Page 39]

RFC 2535                DNS Security Extensions               March 1999

   [RFC 1305]  Mills, D., "Network Time Protocol (v3)", RFC 1305, March

   [RFC 1530]  Malamud, C. and M. Rose, "Principles of Operation for the
               TPC.INT Subdomain: General Principles and Policy", RFC
               1530, October 1993.

   [RFC 2401]  Kent, S. and R. Atkinson, "Security Architecture for the
               Internet Protocol", RFC 2401, November 1998.

   [RFC 1982]  Elz, R. and R. Bush, "Serial Number Arithmetic", RFC
               1982, September 1996.

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

   [RFC 2030]  Mills, D., "Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP) Version 4
               for IPv4, IPv6 and OSI", RFC 2030, October 1996.

   [RFC 2045]  Freed, N. and N. Borenstein, "Multipurpose Internet Mail
               Extensions (MIME) Part One: Format of Internet Message
               Bodies", RFC 2045, November 1996.

   [RFC 2065]  Eastlake, D. and C. Kaufman, "Domain Name System Security
               Extensions", RFC 2065, January 1997.

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

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

   [RFC 2137]  Eastlake, D., "Secure Domain Name System Dynamic Update",
               RFC 2137, April 1997.

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

   [RFC 2434]  Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing an
               IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26, RFC 2434,
               October 1998.

   [RFC 2537]  Eastlake, D., "RSA/MD5 KEYs and SIGs in the Domain Name
               System (DNS)", RFC 2537, March 1999.

   [RFC 2539]  Eastlake, D., "Storage of Diffie-Hellman Keys in the
               Domain Name System (DNS)", RFC 2539, March 1999.

Eastlake                    Standards Track                    [Page 40]

RFC 2535                DNS Security Extensions               March 1999

   [RFC 2536]  Eastlake, D., "DSA KEYs and SIGs in the Domain Name
               System (DNS)", RFC 2536, March 1999.

   [RFC 2538]  Eastlake, D. and O. Gudmundsson, "Storing Certificates in
               the Domain Name System", RFC 2538, March 1999.

   [RFC 2541]  Eastlake, D., "DNS Operational Security Considerations",
               RFC 2541, March 1999.

   [RSA FAQ] - RSADSI Frequently Asked Questions periodic posting.

Author's Address

   Donald E. Eastlake 3rd
   65 Shindegan Hill Road
   RR #1
   Carmel, NY 10512

   Phone:   +1-914-784-7913 (w)
            +1-914-276-2668 (h)
   Fax:     +1-914-784-3833 (w-fax)

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Appendix A: Base 64 Encoding

   The following encoding technique is taken from [RFC 2045] by N.
   Borenstein and N. Freed.  It is reproduced here in an edited form for

   A 65-character subset of US-ASCII is used, enabling 6 bits to be
   represented per printable character. (The extra 65th character, "=",
   is used to signify a special processing function.)

   The encoding process represents 24-bit groups of input bits as output
   strings of 4 encoded characters. Proceeding from left to right, a
   24-bit input group is formed by concatenating 3 8-bit input groups.
   These 24 bits are then treated as 4 concatenated 6-bit groups, each
   of which is translated into a single digit in the base 64 alphabet.

   Each 6-bit group is used as an index into an array of 64 printable
   characters. The character referenced by the index is placed in the
   output string.

                         Table 1: The Base 64 Alphabet

      Value Encoding  Value Encoding  Value Encoding  Value Encoding
          0 A            17 R            34 i            51 z
          1 B            18 S            35 j            52 0
          2 C            19 T            36 k            53 1
          3 D            20 U            37 l            54 2
          4 E            21 V            38 m            55 3
          5 F            22 W            39 n            56 4
          6 G            23 X            40 o            57 5
          7 H            24 Y            41 p            58 6
          8 I            25 Z            42 q            59 7
          9 J            26 a            43 r            60 8
         10 K            27 b            44 s            61 9
         11 L            28 c            45 t            62 +
         12 M            29 d            46 u            63 /
         13 N            30 e            47 v
         14 O            31 f            48 w         (pad) =
         15 P            32 g            49 x
         16 Q            33 h            50 y

   Special processing is performed if fewer than 24 bits are available
   at the end of the data being encoded.  A full encoding quantum is
   always completed at the end of a quantity.  When fewer than 24 input
   bits are available in an input group, zero bits are added (on the
   right) to form an integral number of 6-bit groups.  Padding at the
   end of the data is performed using the '=' character.  Since all base
   64 input is an integral number of octets, only the following cases

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   can arise: (1) the final quantum of encoding input is an integral
   multiple of 24 bits; here, the final unit of encoded output will be
   an integral multiple of 4 characters with no "=" padding, (2) the
   final quantum of encoding input is exactly 8 bits; here, the final
   unit of encoded output will be two characters followed by two "="
   padding characters, or (3) the final quantum of encoding input is
   exactly 16 bits; here, the final unit of encoded output will be three
   characters followed by one "=" padding character.

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Appendix B: Changes from RFC 2065

   This section summarizes the most important changes that have been
   made since RFC 2065.

   1. Most of Section 7 of [RFC 2065] called "Operational
      Considerations", has been removed and may be made into a separate
      document [RFC 2541].

   2. The KEY RR has been changed by (2a) eliminating the "experimental"
      flag as unnecessary, (2b) reserving a flag  bit for flags
      expansion, (2c) more compactly encoding a number of bit fields in
      such a way as to leave unchanged bits actually used by the limited
      code currently deployed, (2d) eliminating the IPSEC and email flag
      bits which are replaced by values of the protocol field and adding
      a protocol field value for DNS security itself, (2e) adding
      material to indicate that zone KEY RRs occur only at delegation
      points, and (2f) removing the description of the RSA/MD5 algorithm
      to a separate document [RFC 2537].  Section 3.4 describing the
      meaning of various combinations of "no-key" and key present KEY
      RRs has been added and the secure / unsecure status of a zone has
      been clarified as being per algorithm.

   3. The SIG RR has been changed by (3a) renaming the "time signed"
      field to be the "signature inception" field, (3b) clarifying that
      signature expiration and inception use serial number ring
      arithmetic, (3c) changing the definition of the key footprint/tag
      for algorithms other than 1 and adding Appendix C to specify its
      calculation.  In addition, the SIG covering type AXFR has been
      eliminated while one covering IXFR [RFC 1995] has been added (see
      section 5.6).

   4. Algorithm 3, the DSA algorithm, is now designated as the mandatory
      to implement algorithm.  Algorithm 1, the RSA/MD5 algorithm, is
      now a recommended option.  Algorithm 2 and 4 are designated as the
      Diffie-Hellman key and elliptic cryptography algorithms
      respectively, all to be defined in separate documents. Algorithm
      code point 252 is designated to indicate "indirect" keys, to be
      defined in a separate document, where the actual key is elsewhere.
      Both the KEY and SIG RR definitions have been simplified by
      eliminating the "null" algorithm 253 as defined in [RFC 2065].
      That algorithm had been included because at the time it was
      thought it might be useful in DNS dynamic update [RFC 2136]. It
      was in fact not so used and it is dropped to simplify DNS
      security.  Howver, that algorithm number has been re-used to
      indicate private algorithms where a domain name specifies the

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   5. The NXT RR has been changed so that (5a) the NXT RRs in a zone
      cover all names, including wildcards as literal names without
      expansion, except for glue address records whose names would not
      otherwise appear, (5b) all NXT bit map areas whose first octet has
      bit zero set have been reserved for future definition, (5c) the
      number of and circumstances under which an NXT must be returned in
      connection with wildcard names has been extended, and (5d) in
      connection with the bit map, references to the WKS RR have been
      removed and verticle bars ("|") have been added between the RR
      type mnemonics in the ASCII representation.

   6. Information on the canonical form and ordering of RRs has been
      moved into a separate Section 8.

   7. A subsection covering incremental and full zone transfer has been
      added in Section 5.

   8. Concerning DNS chaining: Further specification and policy
      recommendations on secure resolution have been added, primarily in
      Section 6.3.1.  It is now clearly stated that authenticated data
      has a validity period of the intersection of the validity periods
      of the SIG RRs in its authentication chain.  The requirement to
      staticly configure a superzone's key signed by a zone in all of
      the zone's authoritative servers has been removed.  The
      recommendation to continue DNS security checks in a secure island
      of DNS data that is separated from other parts of the DNS tree by
      insecure zones and does not contain a zone for which a key has
      been staticly configured was dropped.

   9. It was clarified that the presence of the AD bit in a response
      does not apply to the additional information section or to glue
      address or delegation point NS RRs.  The AD bit only indicates
      that the answer and authority sections of the response are

   10. It is now required that KEY RRs and NXT RRs be signed only with
       zone-level keys.

   11.  Add IANA Considerations section and references to RFC 2434.

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Appendix C: Key Tag Calculation

   The key tag field in the SIG RR is just a means of more efficiently
   selecting the correct KEY RR to use when there is more than one KEY
   RR candidate available, for example, in verifying a signature.  It is
   possible for more than one candidate key to have the same tag, in
   which case each must be tried until one works or all fail.  The
   following reference implementation of how to calculate the Key Tag,
   for all algorithms other than algorithm 1, is in ANSI C.  It is coded
   for clarity, not efficiency.  (See section 4.1.6 for how to determine
   the Key Tag of an algorithm 1 key.)

   /* assumes int is at least 16 bits
      first byte of the key tag is the most significant byte of return
      second byte of the key tag is the least significant byte of
      return value

   int keytag (

           unsigned char key[],  /* the RDATA part of the KEY RR */
           unsigned int keysize, /* the RDLENGTH */
   long int    ac;    /* assumed to be 32 bits or larger */

   for ( ac = 0, i = 0; i < keysize; ++i )
       ac += (i&1) ? key[i] : key[i]<<8;
   ac += (ac>>16) & 0xFFFF;
   return ac & 0xFFFF;

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Full Copyright Statement

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   kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
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   document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
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   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
   revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

   This document and the information contained herein is provided on an

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