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ICANN Considers Using '127.0.53.53' To Tackle DNS Namespace Collisions 164

Posted by samzenpus
from the that-doesn't-look-right dept.
angry tapir writes "As the number of top-level domains undergoes explosive growth, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is studying ways to reduce the risk of traffic intended for internal network destinations ending up on the Internet via the Domain Name System. Proposals in a report produced on behalf of ICANN include preventing .mail, .home and .corp ever being Internet TLDs; allowing the forcible de-delegation of some second-level domains in emergencies; and returning 127.0.53.53 as an IP address in the hopes that sysadmins will flag and Google it."
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ICANN Considers Using '127.0.53.53' To Tackle DNS Namespace Collisions

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  • hacky (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dmitrygr (736758) <dmitrygr@gmail.com> on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:13AM (#46355123) Homepage
    Seems like a very hacky solution...
    • Re:hacky (Score:5, Funny)

      by DrPBacon (3044515) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:15AM (#46355133)
      ICANT think of anything better.
      • Re:hacky (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:23AM (#46355169)

        ICANT think of anything better.

        ICANN!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Here's a better solution
        Refuse to resolve any of the new gTLDs. Start petitions and stuff get you isps to refuse to resolves them. Get distros to patch their networking code to refuse to resolve them. Make them worthless.

    • Re:hacky (Score:4, Interesting)

      by hcs_$reboot (1536101) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:38AM (#46355219)
      That solution is indeed hacky. But if the LAN is correctly setup, the collisions should be minimal. I.e. on a "home" workstation, named something like "linux.home", that very station identifies itself and if the other LAN members communicate with "linux.home" an entry is supposed to be already present in "hosts" (like) files - and, usually, "hosts" file resolution takes precedence over DNS. For bigger implementations a DNS server or equivalent should be in place, and forward the unknown domains to external (Internet) DNS - again, their local config should contain an entry for the ".home" zone, preventing an external resolution.

      Is returning 127.0.53.53 instead of NOT FOUND a good idea? Not sure about that, since, for instance, a browser will say "Cannot connect to..." instead of "Domain not found" - which is actually the correct error message. The real problem is when the domain+subdomain exist on the Internet, users will process information from the wrong site instead of the intranet one

      Of course all IT teams will have to be DNS competent - which is currently not (always) the case ...
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        What makes you think that a browser getting a 127.0.53.53 won't return a meaningful and very descriptive error? It is a special case worth flagging if ever their was one.

        • Re:hacky (Score:5, Interesting)

          by DarkOx (621550) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @08:42AM (#46355991) Journal

          Right its a good idea to expect every application developer everywhere to put a special case test into their code see if the value in the buffer after a call to gethostbyname is 127.0.53.53 rather than just checking the return code and using the value directly or not based on the return code. Doing this means a new branch in every new app, for no real reason; It means odd behavior in old/not updated code that expects to either successfully resolve and address or not.

          Case in point someone introduced a hostname into our DNS recently that caused a major application to break. Turned out there was a stale config entry for a hostname that no longer existed. As long as it had been getting back NXDOMIN things hummed along nicely, it just tried the next host in its list from a config file. When someone added that name back it, it started trying to connect to the new server ( which did not run the application it was expecting and did not listen on that port ) this would cause long timeouts on login while it tried and retried the other server. I grant this was a configuration error, someone should have cleaned that old config file, but there are situations like laptops where this might not be the case. Inside your organization .mail might exist as a zone, take the machine home and CustomAPP might work fine today getting NXDOMIN and switching to a local database or trying a different public hostname etc, now its going get back 127.0.53.53 and quite likely not know what to do; when the service isn't there.

          No its patently stupid for the name resolution system to return BAD data. If something like .mail is not allocated or de-alocated than it does not exist, and NXDOMIN is what a public DNS system should return. The meaning is clear.

          • It's spelled NXDOMAIN, by the way.

            NXDOMAIN has not been a reliable response for invalid DNS queries for roughly 15 years. Look into the history of the "*.com" DNS entry in Verisign's root servers for the .com domain, which were returning valid Verisign owned hosts. And look carefully at the DNS proxy setups of major home network services, which often return their domain sales web pages instead of "NXDOMAIN" for invalid DNS entries.

            Given that the data has _already_ been corrupted, this seems a reasonable

            • Yep, because those DNS servers that refused to reply NXDOMAIN will totally send you that IP code for the domains they don't know.

              I mean, now it's a secret code, not some boring documented answer type. Nobody will hijack it.

              • I'm afraid that I was unclear. Worrying about how this will hide valid "NXDOMAIN" results is pointless, since thoe have already been hijacked by many ISP's DNS proxy servers and instead return the ISP's desired advertising page. They can also be redirected to far, far more dangerous services, sich as Phishing websites or mail servers to accept misaddressed email.

                • Returning a known address can not improve the situation in any way, at best things stay the same, at worst you had a working DNS server before, but now you don't.

        • by Cyberdyne (104305) *

          Unfortunately, 127.0.53.53 is a perfectly valid IP address already in use globally - try pinging it on most machines for proof. Remember, the loopback address is not just 127.0.0.1 - it's that whole /8 subnet, all the way up to 127.255.255.255. Indeed, two of my own DNS servers are bound to 127.0.0.53 right now (there's another DNS server bound to the public IP address, which forwards certain queries to this one).

          This seems like a really, really stupid hack to me. If they are effectively revoking the domain

      • DNS server or equivalent should be in place, and forward the unknown domains to external (Internet) DNS - again, their local config should contain an entry for the ".home" zone, preventing an external resolution.

        Yeah but legitimate queries for the external linux.home won't work.

        • Re:hacky (Score:5, Interesting)

          by DarkOx (621550) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @08:26AM (#46355921) Journal

          The problem really isn't so much not being able to reach some.home, on the internal network or even something.home on the Internet when you already have a local .home. zone.

          The problem is all the uncounted config files out there with unqualified or partially qualified names in them. The RFCs are not entirely clear on what the correct behavior is, and worse the web browser folks have decided to implement the behavior differently themselves in some cases, rather than use the system nss services/apis.

          So if you imagine an environment where DHCP configures a list of DNS search suffixes, and one of those is something like us.example.com or something. How the Windows boxes interpret a query mobile.mail (note no trailing dot) will possibly be different than the way the Linux machines do, and different than what the OS X machines do, etc and what Chrome or Firefox decide to do might be different than what nslookup does even on the same machine!

          Its going to be nightmarish from a support and troubleshooting perspective, and lets face it nobody on your PC tech team really understands DNS, your network admins probably have a good handle but some major blind spots, and your developers are accustomed to making what are now dangerous assumptions. I am not sure I fully understand DNS on most days.

          This is going to be a support nightmare at least at some sites, even some places where the ONLY sin was not using FQDNs everywhere all the time. Which might have deliberate, perhaps not the best way to have gone about it but knowing how search domains operate, and being able to set them with DHCP is entirely possible and like someone architect-ed mobile systems getting a local resource by depending on that behavior.

          There are all kinds of potential security problems too. The gTLD expansion is making the Internet both less reliable and less safe.

          • Re:hacky (Score:4, Informative)

            by skids (119237) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @11:35AM (#46357583) Homepage

            Good summary. FWIW, People were using e.g. ".site" for local domain
            for a long time. It was in the only draft RFC that addressed the issue,
            and lacking any approved RFC people tend to follow the drafts. It was
            noted on Wikipedia and many forums as to be used for this
            purpose and along with some other TLDs had become a de-facto standard.
            Then draft-ietf-dnsind-test-tlds-08 came along and removed it. Reserved
            domains names continued to disappear from this draft document until they
            were nearly all gone by the time RFC2606 was certified.

            Then they started accepting and seriously considering applications for .site as a TLD and it looks like they are set to approve it [icann.org]. Boneheads.
            So yes, in addition to unqualified names, there will be lots of problems with
            software and configuration written when several TLDs were presumed safe.

            RFC2606/RFC6761 have proper domains to use for test setups and documentation.
            Unless/until they get suddenly ammended, which at this point, I wouldn't want
            to wager on.

      • But if the LAN is correctly setup, the collisions should be minimal.

        I'm sorry the Internet is a production network. Time for amateur hour expired with the 20th century. We don't get to make assumptions out of ignorance anymore.

        Is returning 127.0.53.53 instead of NOT FOUND a good idea? Not sure about that, since, for instance, a browser will say

        When I type http://127.0.53.53/ [127.0.53.53] into my browser I get a web site hosted on my computer. The entire 127/8 acts as a loopback not just 127.0.0.1. Quite a bit more problematic than "Cannot connect to..."

        • Re:hacky (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hcs_$reboot (1536101) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @05:22AM (#46355381)

          I'm sorry the Internet is a production network. Time for amateur hour expired with the 20th century

          I'm sorry, I feel the time for amateur hours exploded in the 21th century. Competency was diluted among the many so-called experts answering the huge demand of engineers. It seems in bigger companies IT management is confined to ensure IT services work fine - meaning in most cases implement the fewer changes as possible - "don't fix what isn't broken". Most teams are not used anymore to hacking, customizing, improving, innovating. When something a bit trickier than usual rears its nose on the horizon, they're lost. DNS implementation is one of these trickier thing.

          • I'm sorry, I feel the time for amateur hours exploded in the 21th century. Competency was diluted among the many so-called experts answering the huge demand of engineers.

            Perhaps I should have chosen different words. I think some distinction is needed between "LameCo, Inc" electing to let fruits of dead labor run the show and competency of those who would be charged with making unnecessary global changes effecting everyone.

      • Re:hacky (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @05:18AM (#46355369)

        It may not even say "Cannot connect to". 127.0.53.53 is in the 127/8 range, reserved for localhost. On some systems, only 127.0.0.1 works for localhost, but nothing prevents a system from using the entire range for localhost.

        So rather than getting an error, when server1.here lacks a host file entry for server2.here, you will be connecting to server1.here. So, from server1.here, "ping server2.here" will show that the network works. Browsing to "http://server2.here/" will show the start page of server1.here. If that's the default page, or the two servers are being setup to run some kind of load balancing - thus having the same content - the resulting confusion can be very hard to figure out.

      • by jafiwam (310805)

        Returning 127.0.53.53 makes a lot of sense if you put up an ad-farm parking page on it to make a bunch of fake money with ad impressions.

        Double bonus points when the "service" gets sold to a bottom feeder who's ad-network gets infected, ending up trying to spread viruses with fake "you are infected!" pop up windows.

        • Re:hacky (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Stalks (802193) * on Thursday February 27, 2014 @09:56AM (#46356475)
          How do you put up a parking page that listens on loopback?
          • by janeuner (815461)

            How do you put up a parking page that listens on loopback?

            By sitting in a board room without any clue where your money comes from.

          • How do you put up a parking page that listens on loopback?

            Bots.

          • By being an ISP and insisting that new residential Internet customers configure their modem through an EXE. This EXE ends up installing "ComWarner Connection Agent" that listens on localhost:80 and serves up 302 redirections to whatever shite-finder service paid ComWarner for ads.
        • "Returning 127.0.53.53 makes a lot of sense if you put up an ad-farm parking page on it to make a bunch of fake money with ad impressions. "

          DOH!

      • by dbIII (701233)

        Of course all IT teams will have to be DNS competent - which is currently not (always) the case ...

        I changed the DNS hosting and upstream service provider for my workplace due to the service provider not having anyone competent with DNS. More than half the incoming email was getting discarded due to a combination of a slow link to the real mail server and them having a policy of setting the secondary mail server to be a thing that was quick to respond and silently discard all incoming mail. Getting 70% le

    • Re:hacky (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @05:06AM (#46355331) Journal
      Once you start down the dark path... Forever will it dominate your destiny.

      It's not as though TLDs were ever a particularly shining moment in the history of information classification; but, after the remnant factions of the Ontology wars (remember when URLs were totally going to express useful data about the world and whatnot by being insufferably long and hierarchical?) retired or were driven into hiding, they mostly slumped, if more by erosion than sound structural engineering, into a vaguely safe and predictable structure.

      And then they decided that it was just sickeningly adequate as it was and they started grafting on... things... things that should not be...in places that out not to have things there. Nothing could possibly go wrong. And oh boy, does it look like it will, good and hard.
  • search mydomain.com
    nameserver 127.0.0.1

    There, problem solved.
    No need to say thank you...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:24AM (#46355173)

    In addition the report recommends emergency response options, which will be employed only in situations "where there is a reasonable belief that the DNS namespace collision presents a clear and present danger to human life".

    In other words, the DNS will be used for political oppression.

  • Why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:43AM (#46355239) Journal
    Surely something as visible, and rife with opportunity for outrageous comedies of error, as DNS namespace collisions can simply be allowed to work itself out, through the time tested, enjoyable(for spectators), and reliable methods of endless risible fuckups followed by stilted non-denials from people who should have known better and vicious mockery from everybody else? Have we lost all sense of tradition? Taste? Humor?

    (Perhaps more importantly: wouldn't it be neat if there were some sort of super cool, totally futuristic, security mechanism? One that used a secret number, that the server never told anyone, but still managed to prove that it knew, because number theory, instead of just relying on the URL being right? I bet that I'd have to go, like -25 years into the future to see a system that advanced...)
    • stilted non-denials from people who should have known better and vicious mockery from everybody else

      Oh, you've had to speak with Exchange admins who can't figure out what HELO is too?

      • by dbIII (701233)
        Don't remind me, although in my case it was an expensive MS Exchange "consultant".
        • HELO is one of the words in the Language of The Unclean. He was probably freaked out enough at the mere implication that there are mailservers that are not Exchange Servers, lurking beyond the LAN, beyond the guiding light of NETBIOS; babbling their blasphemies across the vile chaos of TCP/IP. That you wanted him to take an innocent little Exchange server that knew only goodness and MAPI/RPC, and corrupt it, that's just fucked up. You probably got reported to the cyber police.
          • by dbIII (701233)

            innocent little Exchange server that knew only goodness

            He made it so good and generous that he set it up as an open relay.

            After that I changed things so the accounts clerks got their nice, shiny and sloooow MS Exchange server but safely hidden behind a *nix box that protected it from the big bad net.

  • STOP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WaffleMonster (969671) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:46AM (#46355255)

    The proliferation of TLDs has no positive effect on the Internet community whatsoever short of enriching ICANN and it's seedy network of bottom feeders.

    Well ok say it helps scamming phishers and enables organizations to part with even larger sums of cash in any efforts to protect their brands.

    Lighting up names with a loopback address like this "127.0.53.53" garbage is about the level of crap we can come to expect from the total idiots at ICANN. If you need to associate an A record pick an address guaranteed to be black holed not one that causes machines to resolve to thyself... extraordinarily moronic...

    In my view DNS operators should take responsibility to prevent damage to their customers by not blindly delegating * to root zone operators. Only delegate known TLDs and require manual blessing of all operators before admitting any new TLDs.

    • Re:STOP (Score:5, Funny)

      by thogard (43403) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @08:20AM (#46355895) Homepage

      I know a few people who have conspired to tell others that the nontraditional domains are like 1-900 phone numbers and when you use them, you will get a bill from your ISP.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      In my view DNS operators should take responsibility to prevent damage to their customers by not blindly delegating * to root zone operators. Only delegate known TLDs and require manual blessing of all operators before admitting any new TLDs.

      I agree.... ICANN was given their chance, and trust, AND they blew it.

      Now a technical solution on the part of organizations administering DNS servers is warranted to head off this TLD foolishness.

  • by hcs_$reboot (1536101) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:48AM (#46355271)
    53 is usually the port number from which DNS servers answer DN requests (usually UDP).
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by davidhoude (1868300)
      What about those of us just wondering Why?
    • I figured out that one, but am still confused what's the purpose of that new special address in the first place?
      • by hcs_$reboot (1536101) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @07:10AM (#46355693)
        TFA is confusing. The way I understand it is adding a TLD like '.home' may have some wrongly configured systems resolve something.home from the newly 'home' zone made available from the Internet DNS, instead of a local/intranet resolution. In order to help sysadmins to catch inappropriate Internet resolution of such TLD (in case that FQDN doesn't exist, I guess since not in TFA) is to return the 127.0.53.53 address, a particular loop-back address that allows particular settings to be implemented in order to log/show the user that the intranet domain is currently not available., e.g. for a user connected outside the company (guess 2).
        • by LoRdTAW (99712)

          "TFA is confusing"
          Glad i'm not the only one, bear with me....

          From what I can understand as a non-network-admin is that some private networks have their own suffix like .home and these can be mistakenly resolved for a public TLD since .home is now a valid TLD like .com. So if my home network is lordtaw.home and I have two systems: linux.lordtaw.home and windows.lordtaw.home, my router/DNS server can mistakenly try to resolve those domains to an external IP if it not configured correctly. And the fix if for e

        • You know what people will notice even faster than returning localhost? Returning NXDOMAIN. That'll make it obvious for everybody, from the netwrok admin to the end user, that something is wrong. As an added bonus, that'll make completely clear what's wrong, instead of sending people into a useless debuging saga, and hoping they google the value you expect.

          Of course, not issuing the new TLDs wouldn't create the problem to start with... But then, somebody alredy answered that "why" up there.

  • by trifish (826353) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @05:05AM (#46355329)

    All the people who warned them that they will cause permanent micro- and macro- disasters all over the world have been ignored. Due to greed. Let them be proud of their achievement.

    • All the people who warned them that they will cause permanent micro- and macro- disasters

      Many political figures have actually a "micro" view of events - i.e. the time difference [ NextElection - now ]. Not enough to accurately consider something as diluted in time as global warming.

    • Think again: When (not if) the shit hits the fan, who do you think will get the blame? The C-level that fucked up and didn't even understand the problem or the admin who was never informed about it?

      • by dbIII (701233)
        Neither in large and dysfunctional companies.
        The admin that was informed about it and tried to point out the potential problem is the one that gets blamed when the problem manifests.
  • by unixisc (2429386) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @05:23AM (#46355385)

    It was always known that IPv4 was running short, and given that, I blame ICANN for proliferating TLDs before IPv6 got well adapted, entrenched & established.

    This is different from the question of whether there should be a gazillion TLDs worldwide (I disagree w/ the idea, but let's allow that for the sake of this discussion). Now, as it is, there are unlimited names and ways that websites can be formed, and to make things worse, TLDs are also mushrooming. So one needs an addressing scheme that could mathematically do the best job @ accommodating it.

    The only Layer 3 protocol that I can think of that would achieve this is IPv6. Before that gets universally implemented and established, what was ICANN thinking laying out TLDs nilly willy? Result of that is more pressure on IPv4. Let's face it - IPv4 has hit its limit already. We had that discussion the other day of how it's not run out in North America, but once that happens this year, things will only get uglier: multiple levels of NAT would make it a de facto Layer 4 or above communication. The only way to preserve Layer 3 is IPv6, which seems to have enough for everybody.

    Only good thing about this issue - if it forces the acceleration of adaption of IPv6 across the board - from infrastructure to last mile.

    • Having new TLDs beside .com should be better for the internet. Multiple name spaces should facilitate load sharing between DNS servers.

      • by unixisc (2429386)
        There are already several TLDs - one for each country. Having that, and in addition to that, .com, .net, .org, .gov and .edu was adequate. At any rate, this TLD proliferation shouldn't have been done before IPv6 was ubiquitous.
        • by KiloByte (825081)

          this TLD proliferation shouldn't have been done

          Full stop. Your conditional clause is unnecessary and wrong here. As much as we need IPv6, the TLD diarrhoea should never have been allowed to happen.

      • by mysidia (191772)

        Having new TLDs beside .com should be better for the internet. Multiple name spaces should facilitate load sharing between DNS servers.

        No it won't. Everyone still needs a .COM. Alternate TLDs are a novelty market.

      • by allo (1728082)

        people will use .com and the Countrycodes anyway. The rest will just be reserved or redirections.

    • by jon3k (691256)
      New TLDs shouldnt necessarily drive any real increase in IP address space usage. We've had vhosts for a long time.
      • by unixisc (2429386)
        Isn't that more on Unix-like web servers? I doubt that any IIS based servers implement virtual hosts, or do they?
        • Sure they do - all the major web servers and hosting platforms can use and define vhosts (it's just that the mechanism for creating them differs on each platform). IIS for example, if you create a new site, using "All IP Addresses" port 80, will require that you designate a host header so that the HTTP engine can route the request to the right Web Site (and corresponding content). All IP Addresses port 80 with an empty Host Header acts as a "catch-all" and is assigned to the Default Web Site. Which you gene

        • by jon3k (691256)
          Yes, you would use host headers [visualwin.com] in IIS.
  • As if people haven't already made up domains and host names that didn't exist then and exist now? As if people hadn't been using public address space that wasn't assigned, but is now? Just because some "privately used" TLDs might get exposed because of sloppy system admins, ICANN shouldn't be running around in circles and cry and shout. Let it happen, it's happened before and it will happen again and again. Stop fighting the symptoms and let it ride out.
    • I can see you're not responsible for security in a company.

      I'm so NOT going to sit on an ejector seat just because some idiot thought it's fun to use some "internal" domain name for his projects without informing IT! And trust me, that shit will happen. And it's not going to be any sysadmins fault but rest assured that the PHB who fucked it up will twist it 'til the admin gets it.

      I doubt there are too many around here who are looking forward to that.

  • Make it 10.0.0.0/12 for private networks, and reclaim the rest for public networks?

    • That does not address the issue they are trying to address here.

      Also, there are so many people using addresses in 10.0.0.0/8 but not in 10.0.0.0/12 that you would have to give years lead time to let them get that changed. May as well go to IPv6.

    • by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @08:26AM (#46355925) Homepage Journal

      This isn't the problem. As I understand it (and I've read the article multiple times and it's early in the morning so I may be getting it wrong), the problem is this:

      1. ICANN is introducing new .TLDs (eg additions to .com, .net, .org) etc (we've known about this for a while, this isn't news.)
      2. Common practice on private networks is to create and use an unused .TLD for the private network, for example ".internal", ".corp", etc. For example, your employer might, right now, be calling your workstation "pc117.nyoffice.intranet"
      3. After analyzing global DNS hits, ICANN's researchers found that many/most of the new proposed .TLDs are already, apparently, in use by private entities for their private networks. You might ask how they know? Well, think in terms of a roaming laptop that upon connecting to a Wifi at Starbucks immediately, before the VPN is set up, tries to access "exchange-server.nyoffice.intranet". It makes the DNS lookup, and because the VPN isn't up yet, the DNS lookup goes to the global DNS servers, causing a bell to ring in ICANN's HQ (or something.)
      4. ICANN needs to "do something" to alert people with private networks to change their TLDs, or else those people will, unintentionally, find themselves locked out of sites with the new TLD. (Cynical PoV: and this will decrease the value of the .TLDs themselves. Kerching!)

      Now ICANN appears to believe that the best solution is to have the .TLDs return this odd 127.0.53.53 IP address instead of "domain not found" for all unknown domains, so that if a technie working for a company affected is roaming with their laptop, and they try to access "exchange-server.nyoffice.intranet" forgetting to put up the VPN, and ".intranet" is a new TLD, and they can't connect because the VPN isn't up, and they decide to check their Windows Event Logs to figure out why, then instead of "domain not found" which would immediately make them think "Oh wait, of course it can't be resolved, it's not a real domain and I'm not on the VPN", they'd see a weird IP address, and think "That's odd, let me Google that, there's obviously a problem with DNS."

      (I think they'd have more luck if they made it a pair of real IP addresses, one A, one AAAA, pointing at a website that tells the roaming user the answer that they can report to a sysadmin, rather than forcing a sysadmin to Google something they may never become aware of because they may not roam in the first place, but to be honest, even that sounds like a bad idea, I'd rather IP addresses not be returned for invalid domains to begin with.)

      • by JavaBear (9872)

        A very good explanation. Thanks.

      • by i.r.id10t (595143) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @11:05AM (#46357121)

        So... what you are saying is that ICANN/IANA should've done something similar for names that has been done for the various "private" "non-routable" ip address pools (10.x.x.x, 192.168.x.x, etc) have done since The Beginning... there needed to be some TLD that would only work for local networks and queries.

        Of course, since that didn't happen all those years ago admins and amatures (and amature admins even) have been using a random mess of things, usually done by trying to ping or get a nslookup for some hopefully imaginary TLD and when it works (or rather, returns a NXDOMAIN error) they assume they can use it locally without repurcussion.

        Which means there are tens, hundreds, or maybe thousands (or more!) "fake" TLDs in use out there, some hard coded into applications that are no longer supported, etc. but are still in use. Which means to try and fix it now would be pretty much near impossible.

        • In fairness, DNS is so broken that it's a miracle any changes ever get past the "wishful thinking" stage. I still remember the original news reports that new TLDs were being added to the DNS system... in the late nineties. It took over a decade for anything to actually happen after that original announcement, and they're still trying to make it work.

          What's the difference been that and, say, the fact CNAME is virtually useless and nobody uses _SRV? Answer: Money.

      • by PPH (736903)

        so that if a technie working for a company affected is roaming with their laptop, and they try to access "exchange-server.nyoffice.intranet" forgetting to put up the VPN, and ".intranet" is a new TLD, and they can't connect because the VPN isn't up, and they decide to check their Windows Event Logs to figure out why, then instead of "domain not found" which would immediately make them think "Oh wait, of course it can't be resolved, it's not a real domain and I'm not on the VPN", they'd see a weird IP address, and think "That's odd, let me Google that, there's obviously a problem with DNS."

        Which is fine for a techie.

        I see millions of support calls when non-techie people can't find the cute cat pictures.

    • by KiloByte (825081)

      Having more bits makes it easier to manage your local ranges. When you have multiple locations and a bunch of VPNs between them, more address space means you don't need to squeeze it tightly -- something that always backfires once there's a need for expansion.

  • by Uzull (16705) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @07:13AM (#46355705) Homepage

    >ping answer.to.the.ultimate.question.of.life.the.universe.and.everything
    Pinging 127.0.42.42 with 32 bytes of data:
    Reply from 127.0.42.42: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=249
    Reply from 127.0.42.42: bytes=32 time1ms TTL=249
    Reply from 127.0.42.42: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=249
    Reply from 127.0.42.42: bytes=32 time1ms TTL=249

    Ping statistics for 127.0.42.42:
            Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
            Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = eternity, Average = ask Deep Thought

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @07:46AM (#46355801)

    The best solution here is to simply stop this TLD madness because it provides no value at all. A new TLD can be created each time the UN recognizes a new country's existence, but for no other reason.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @08:24AM (#46355919)

    Let's face it, the whole craze around the new TLDs is a huge can of worms that serves no purpose (well, none but to make some people rich) while being a problem waiting to explode.

    Take Mike, the manager. Mike is a good manager (yes, they exist. No, really!) and he's pretty competent. Well, not in IT, of course, but in his field. In IT, he has to rely on his IT department (and, as I said he is a good manager, he actually does). Mike takes his laptop home, not to play but to actually do some meaningful work. So he creates a rather sensitive document and decides to save it. Now, in our current world, the internal name "documents.thecompanyheworksfor" won't resolve and the system falls back onto his documents folder. Which is pretty neat, because that's what gets sync'd automatically the next time Mike drops his laptop into the docking station at work. No fuss for him and also none for his IT department.

    In the new and improved world of TLDs at will, that server could well exist. And it does not necessarily belong to the company Mike works for.

    And that's just the tip of the ice berg, how about launching some program from a remote location? Undocked, it won't launch, and if it's just a script that provides network information, who cares? In our new world, it may well launch some malware.

    Now, of course one may say that IT should know that and IT should prevent it by ensuring that these things either resolve correctly or not at all. Fair enough. Now, who here can say that he knows of EVERY domain entry in his company's environment (provided you're not working for some mom'n'pop shop)? Who would put his job on the line for saying that there was never some self absorbed PHB who insisted in having the necessary rights to create what domains he thinks was funny without informing the IT department?

    TLDs are going to be a security nightmare. But hey, who am I to complain, it's job security for decades!

    • by DarkOx (621550)

      Well that is pretty clearly a failure of the application documents.thecompanyheworksfor should be authenticated by the application in some fashion. An SSL certificate or similar. Otherwise it was always vulnerable to anyone who could manipulate DNS.

      Whats more likely to happen is Mike opens up his laptop at home. The sync program starts up, and attempts a to resolve documents.thecompanyheworksfor, yesterday when it got back NXDOIN it immediately went back to sleep, got out of the way etc, concluding Mike

  • The entity that benefits most from bastardization of ICANN is... Google.

    You can always find Google and Google can always find where you want to go. And now typing addresses into the address bar is about to get more painful.

  • by tom229 (1640685) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @11:03AM (#46357113)
    But if this happens on a corporate network, ever, your IT team is incompetent and needs to be replaced.
    • by ratboy666 (104074)

      Um... this will happen all the time!

      You access some resources on your corporate network from your laptop. To do this, you have configured an application to talk to the server. That server happens to have the name whizzy.corp.

      So far, no biggy. IF you launch the application and you are not at work, whizzy.corp doesn't resolve. For example, at your local starbucks, BEFORE you open your VLAN.

      What happens when .corp is assigned? Suddenly whizzy.corp is now a machine on he internet. Say the application is your co

  • by PPH (736903) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @12:19PM (#46358291)

    Back when I used to work for Boeing, our internal TLD was .com. Anything looking for a .boeing .com domain would be resolved via our internal DNS system. All other .com (and any other TLDs) were forwarded to the public DNS services through a firewall.

    Were someone to take their laptop out of the company, .boeing.com requests would be resolved via their external DNS service. And they could deal with erroneous requests for internal services in a number of ways. Deny then, or divert them to some sort of error handling service (web page: "Aren't you supposed to be at work right now?") Hand them over to some sort of VPN login service or other firewall portal. Or obfuscate the response, keeping people outside from probing around and guessing at the internal company network structure.

    It all worked and it handled everything secure within the companies systems.

  • I have a big enough problem with my stupid browser deciding that when I type "blahblah" into the host bar that if it can't reach "http://blahblah:80/" that it should automatically default to "http://blahblah.com/" or google "blahblah" ... yeah, that's what I need, the internal hostnames leaked to google, thanks idiot browser developer.

    Okay, it's good for grandma and everyone else using browsers. There should be a clear UI element that appears when this happens to allow me to disable it.

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