NeuStar to enhance global internet security by hosting core DNS root nameserver
Feb 23,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

ISC Moves 'F-Root' Behind NeuStar's DNS Shield Infrastructure, Enabling Secure Access For Hundreds Of Millions Of Web Users

NeuStar, a leading provider of essential clearinghouse and directory services to the global communications and Internet industry, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Internet Systems Consortium, Inc. (ISC), the author of BIND DNS software and the operator of F-root (one of the Internet's 13 global domain name system, or DNS, root nameservers), to host ISC's F-root nameserver on NeuStar's DNS Shield infrastructure.

The partnership will provide highly advanced protection against critical infrastructure threats such as the highly publicized DNS-based Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack that targeted the Internet's root nameserver system earlier this month. A failure to defend against such events could potentially disrupt key communications and wreak havoc on e-commerce globally.

"This revolutionary implementation is a material example of NeuStar's ongoing commitment in leading the charge to ensure the stability and security of the Internet," said Ben Petro, Senior Vice President, NeuStar Ultra Services. "This is not an idle promise of protection. Rather, NeuStar is taking action to secure critical Internet components today."

The DNS root nameserver system is unique in that it is the top level of the global Internet DNS hierarchy, and thus a critical infrastructure component of the Internet. ISC's F-root nameserver is one of 13 total root server networks operated by different organizations throughout the world.

Virtually every Internet transaction, from sending an email to finding a website, begins with a DNS query, which is the method computers use to translate a "people-friendly" URL (such as http://www.isc.org/ or http://www.neustar.biz/) to a network address that a computer can find. The root servers answer the question of where several hundred top-level domains including .com, .net, .biz, .us and .org can be found.

According to IDC analyst Elisabeth Rainge, "The DNS root nameservers are a core part of the Internet's infrastructure, and as such, they can be high- profile public targets, as we have already seen twice in the past five years. NeuStar's partnership with ISC will add depth that improves reliability regardless of prevailing network conditions. It's not just about capacity, but more importantly the quality of the infrastructure, which is NeuStar's forte."

Launched in 2005, NeuStar's DNS Shield involves the deployment of authoritative DNS constellations deep within the networks of NeuStar's participating ISP partners such as AOL and Earthlink. DNS Shield creates a hardened, secure, and robust Internet infrastructure that provides unprecedented levels of performance and security. It enables the ISP partners' core DNS infrastructures to connect directly to the NeuStar network, creating a fully trusted and protected environment for DNS resolution for nearly 20 million NeuStar customer domains -- and now, for ISC's F-root nameserver.

"ISC has been a pioneer in creating a geographically dispersed network of F-root nameservers to increase global access and reduce the likelihood of failures. Our agreement with NeuStar marks another milestone for us," commented Joao Damas, F-root Programme Manager at ISC. "There are now 40 F- root sites in 32 different countries. By leveraging NeuStar's DNS Shield, ISC can now securely replicate the F-root nameserver even further, and can offer a better and more secure online experience to the many millions of customers serviced by NeuStar's ISP partners."

NeuStar currently powers the DNS infrastructure for thousands of enterprise customers, as well as over 20 top level domains (TLDs) including .biz, .us, .org, .info, and .uk, which collectively represent almost 20 million domain names.