DNSSEC

This article describes a feature in Public Beta.

This article describes a feature only available on newer plans.

Table of Contents


DNSSEC provides a way to cryptographically build a chain of trust from the root name servers to authoritative name servers. Authenticating resolvers may verify this chain of trust to ensure the DNS results weren’t tampered with while in transit.

DNSSEC scenarios

We support DNSSEC in the following ways:

  • If your domain is registered through DNSimple, and you’re using our authoritative name servers, you can sign zones, and insertion and rotation of your DS record is handled automatically.
  • If your domain is registered through DNSimple, but you host your DNS with another authoritative DNS provider, you can add DS records for DNSSEC-enabled zones.
  • If your domain DNS is hosted through DNSimple, but your domain is registered elsewhere, you can sign zones in our name servers, but you’re required to handle the creation and rotation of DS records.

We don’t support DNSSEC for zones using our outbound secondary DNS feature.

Managing DNSSEC

DNSSEC is applied on a per-domain basis. You can manage DNSSEC by using the DNSSEC tab on a domain’s management page.

Access DNSSEC through the DNSSEC tab on your domain management page

Enabling DNSSEC

To enable DNSSEC, click on the “Configure DNSSEC” link on the DNSSEC management page.

Configure DNSSEC

Click on the “Enable DNSSEC” button.

Enable DNSSEC

If your domain is registered with DNSimple and using our name servers, the zone is signed and the DS record is created in the appropriate domain registry.

If your domain is registered with us but delegated elsewhere, you need to provide the DS record information from your DNS provider.

If your domain is hosted with us but registered elsewhere, you need to provide the DS record we give you once your zone is signed to your domain registrar. You also need to update your DS record with your domain registrar once every 90 days, as we automatically rotate both zone signing keys and key signing keys.

DNSSEC DS record

Disabling DNSSEC

If your domain is registered with another domain registrar, you must remove the DS record from that registrar before removing the zone signing from DNSimple. Failure to remove the DS record first will result in DNSSEC validation failures and will stop your domain from resolving with all DNSSEC-aware resolvers.

To disable DNSSEC, go to the DNSSEC tab for the domain, and click on the Configure DNSSEC link again.

DNSSEC configured

Click on the Delete DNSSEC Configuration button to remove the zone signing and the DS record if it is present.

DNSSEC disable

Key rotation

DNSimple rotates key signing keys and zone signing keys every 90 days. Auto-rotation is mandatory. You can’t disable it.

  • If your domain is registered with us and uses our authoritative name servers: we handle rotation of keys automatically.
  • If your domain is NOT registered with us or DOES NOT uses our authoritative name servers: you’ll receive an email notification with the new DS record whenever key rotation starts, and you’ll need to rotate the DS records (remove the old record and add the new record) at your domain registrar within 7 days.

Failure to update the DS record at your registrar will result in downtime

If your domain isn’t registered with DNSimple, carefully consider whether you’re willing and able to rotate DS records at your registrar. DS records MUST be updated whenever DNSSEC keys are rotated in your DNSimple zone. If you don’t update your DS record when your keys change, your domain will fail to resolve through resolvers that verify DNSSEC keys, including Google’s Public DNS. This will result in failed DNS resolution for your domains.

During the key rotation, old and new keys are attached to your zone for 7 days (the duration of the key rotation period). At the end of the rotation period, our system removes the old key, leaving only the new key in place.

Automating key rotation

If your domain registrar provides an API for managing DS records, you can automate rotation for domains registered outside DNSimple. To do this, use the dnssec.rotation_start and dnssec.rotation_complete webhook events. You can find more information in our developer documentation.

CDS/CDNSKEY

CDS and CDNSKEY are two record types that can be used to automatically provision and deprovision DS records at parent name servers. The parent name server provider must support CDS and/or CDNSKEY for these records to be used to automatically provision and deprovision DS records.

CDS and CDNSKEY record types are automatically generated for all DNSimple zones signed after January 1st, 2019, and for all new DNSSEC DNSKEY records created after January 1st, 2019. CDS and CDNSKEY records are managed by DNSimple. These records are not meant to be added or removed manually.

You can find details about how CDS/CDNSKEY work in RFC 8078.

Troubleshooting DNSSEC configurations

These tools are helpful for troubleshooting DNSSEC configuration issues:

You can also contact DNSimple support with additional questions.

DS records without a corresponding DNSKEY

When a DS record is present at your domain registrar, but there’s no corresponding DNSKEY in your zone, DNSSEC-aware resolvers will fail to resolve your domain. For example, with Google Public DNS this will result in a SERVFAIL. Clients using a non-DNSSEC-aware resolver will still be able to resolve your domain.

To fix this issue, remove the DS record from your registrar. This won’t immediately fix resolution for some clients, as they’ll see the cached DS record. DS record time-to-live values are set by domain registries and may be set to values of 12 hours or more.