Poster: The Unintended Consequences of Algorithm Agility in DNSSEC

AuthorHeftrig, Elias; Shulman, Haya; Waidner, Michael
TypeConference Paper
AbstractCryptographic algorithm agility is an important property for DNSSEC: it allows easy deployment of new algorithms if the existing ones are no longer secure. In this work we show that the cryptographic agility in DNSSEC, although critical for provisioning DNS with strong cryptography, also introduces a vulnerability. We find that under certain conditions, when new algorithms are listed in signed DNS responses, the resolvers do not validate DNSSEC. As a result, domains that deploy new ciphers may in fact cause the resolvers not to validate DNSSEC. We exploit this to develop DNSSEC-downgrade attacks and experimentally and ethically evaluate them against popular DNS resolver implementations, public DNS providers, and DNS services used by web clients worldwide. We find that major DNS providers as well as 45% of DNS resolvers used by web clients are vulnerable to our attacks.
ConferenceConference on Computer and Communications Security 2022