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==The Value and Vulnerability of DNS==
'''The Domain Name System ([[DNS]])''' has proven to be an invaluable method for quickly navigating around the Internet. By organizing the structure into zones, the DNS hierarchy allows for the efficient locating of desired destination sites on the Internet. Such structure allows for a defined methodology for how each zone is queried to return the IP address of the desired destination host. The structure is designed so that if the higher zones do not have the specific IP address of the desired destination, the structure is designed to provide navigation through the structure until the desired destination has been identified.
'''The Root File:''' At the top of the DNS structure is the root file. The root file contains the basic information for each Top Level Domain (TLD) that exists on the Internet. Such
TLDs include .com, .org and .net to name a few. This list also includes code that reflect countries and regions who have a distinct presence on the Internet, such as .SG for Singapore, .UA for the Ukraine, .NZ for New Zealand and .EU for the European Union, also to name a few. Redundant instances of the root file are located throughout the globe for purposes of redundancy and resiliency.
'''How DNS Works:''' The operation of DNS remains a mystery for the majority of those using the Internet today. Each name server encountered along the way is known as a recursive name server as it’s job is to provide your browser with an address of a suggested name server that will be one step closer in obtaining the specific IP address of the desired destination site. In this case the name server that yields the actual IP address is known as the authoritative name server. Here is a brief example of how the Internet works. For purposes of this example we will be locating the destination site of [[CommunityDNS]], or http://www.communitydns.net.
1). You, the user, enters www.communitydns.net in the address bar of your browser.<br>
2). Your browser sends a request to the DNS server of your respective ISP.<br>
ISP’s DNS server does not have a destination IP address for communitydns.net so then informs your browser to query the root servers at the top of the global DNS hierarchy. Your ISP has a list of all of the root servers around the globe and rotates through this list to determine which root server your browser will ultimately send its request to. Your request could go to a root server nearest you or half way around the world.<br>4). Your browser sends its request for www.communitydns.net to the root server. Since the root servers only know the destination of TLDs your browser is returned the address of the registry name servers that are responsible for the .net TLD. In this case Verisign is the registry for the .net TLD.<br>
5). The .net name servers will see that “CommunityDNS” belongs to a specific network provider, thus returning to the browser the IP address of the next name server along the path.<br>
6). The name server for CommunityDNS’ network provider will provide the information to reach CommunityDNS’ name server. Because multiple addresses may fall under the “communitydns.net” naming structure, such as “communtitydns.net”, “blog.communitydns.net” and “lab.communitydns.net”, being directed to CommunityDNS’ name server will allow for identifying the specific IP address for www.communitydns.net. <br>