By John Rendleman
The Office of Management and Budget will soon require agencies to
configure their Doman Name System (DNS) servers to the security
specifications set by the National Institute of Standards and
OMB will issue a memo outlining the new policy shortly, according to
Karen Evans, OMB's administrator for electronic government and
The policy will roughly follow DNS security guidelines already published
by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, according to
Evans. The guidelines, published in NIST Special Publication 800-81 and
titled "Secure Domain Name System (DNS) Deployment Guide," broadly
recommend that agencies:
* Implement system and network security controls to secure their DNS
hosting environments, including operating system and application
patching, process isolation and network fault tolerance
* Protect DNS transactions such as DNS name resolution updates and
data replications on DNS nodes within agencies. control using
hash-based message authentication codes based on shared secrets
* Protect ubiquitous DNS query/response transactions involving any
DNS node on the global Internet using digital signatures based on
asymmetric cryptography, and
* Enforce content control of DNS name resolution data using sets of
integrity constraints that properly balance the integrity and
performance of the DNS system.
The policy will require agencies to examine the hierarchy of their
domains and "decide who is in and who is out," Evans said Tuesday at a
conference co-sponsored by Topside Consulting and 1105 Government
Information Group, publisher of GCN, Federal Computer Week, and other
OMB, in cooperation with the General Services Administration, is also
preparing a Policy Utilization Assessment tool that will become a
service offered by GSA. The service will survey a statistical sampling
of an agency's computers and issue a report on the percentage of systems
that comply with OMB's IT directives, Evans said.
Also at the conference, Randal Vickers, associate deputy director of the
Department of Homeland Security's United States Computer Readiness Team
(US-CERT), said that DHS and the General Services Administration are
working with the five telecom service providers on the Networx contracts
to prepare data transport services that comply with OMB's Trusted
Internet Connection initiative. DHS plans to define the requirements of
the service for GSA by June 15 with the goal of placing TIC-compliant
services on the providers' service schedules by Nov. 15, Vickers said.
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