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(also Domain Name System Security Extensions)

DNSSEC definition

DNSSEC represents a collection of enhancements to the Domain Name System (DNS) that delivers an extra level of security. Allowing DNS responses to be digitally signed ensures the authenticity and integrity of the information. DNSSEC defends users against DNS-related attacks like cache poisoning and man-in-the-middle assaults by inhibiting the alteration of DNS data while in transit. Although DNSSEC does not offer data confidentiality, it primarily focuses on maintaining the accuracy and genuineness of the data.

See also: DNS server, proxy surfing, DNS over HTTPS

DNSSEC examples

  • Cache poisoning attack: An attacker exploits vulnerabilities in the DNS system to insert malicious data into a DNS resolver’s cache, redirecting users to a fraudulent website.
  • Man-in-the-middle attack: An attacker intercepts DNS queries and alters the responses, redirecting users to an attacker-controlled site or monitoring user activity.


DNSSEC focuses on ensuring the integrity and authenticity of DNS data, while DoH is an encrypted protocol that secures DNS queries and responses with HTTPS, providing both integrity and confidentiality.

Pros and cons of DNSSEC


  • Enhances DNS security by protecting against cache poisoning and man-in-the-middle attacks.
  • Increases trust in the DNS system.
  • Supports various cryptographic algorithms.


  • Increased complexity in DNS management and configuration.
  • Requires widespread adoption for maximum effectiveness.
  • May cause performance degradation due to additional processing.

DNSSEC best practices

  • Enable DNSSEC on your domain registrar’s control panel.
  • Keep your DNSSEC keys secure and regularly update them.
  • Monitor and validate DNSSEC signatures to ensure their correctness.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security