Assessing DNS Resilience and Robustness


The Domain Name System (DNS) is a core protocol for the Internet. It resolves mappings between Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and their corresponding Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDNs). Since all Internet communications rely on it, DNS structuring should therefore be resilient and robust against failure to avoid any service interruption. While the research community and experienced practitioners have established best practices to this end, many worldwide DNS implementations are still prone to many types of configuration errors. In this talk, I discuss the adoption of these approaches in some countries. Also, a case study is presented considering domains in Saudi Arabia (.sa) that illustrates the value of measuring the DNS at this scale. The results are valuable to improve the DNS infrastructure in the kingdom. Lastly, I provide recommendations to improve DNS service resilience and robustness.

Brief Biography

Fatemah Alharbi is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at Taibah University, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2020 from the University of California, Riverside. Due to her outstanding academic record, she was featured in the 2020 CRA Academic Member Book. Fatemah is also a cybersecurity researcher and consultant. She was selected as one of the 15 remarkable Arab Female Scientists. She was featured for the Prestigious ’40 under 40’ of 2023 in the top Cyber News Magazine. She was nominated for the Cybersecurity Woman Influencer of the Year Awards 2022. She was also featured in a list titled “WOMEN KNOW CYBER” by the Cybercrime Magazine and in a special issue of the Top Cyber News Magazine alongside 26 international women who specialized in cybersecurity. She has been involved in many research projects that were published in prestigious conferences (e.g., USENIX, CCS, and INFOCOM) and journals (e.g., IEEE TDSC). Fatemah received public attention after presenting a cyberattack on the DNS infrastructure targeting Apple macOS, Linux Ubuntu, and Microsoft Windows. She is also a seasoned public speaker, having spoken at many prestigious and International conferences. Fatemah is passionate about building systems and tools that will result in long-lasting real-world impact.

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