Google rolls out Public DNS

A free domain naming system (DNS) resolving service recently announced by Google Inc. will probably not appeal to businesses but may handle cache poisoning attacks better than small ISPs, a Canadian analyst says.


Google recently announced Public DNS, which supports caching and lets users resolve DNS queries.


A user could get better performance using Google Public DNS than their own ISP, says Jayanth Angl, senior analyst with London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group. But he does not predict many users would initially, choose Google Public DNS over other resolvers, such as OpenDNS.


OpenDNS announced it September it plans to offer paid DNS resolving services, in addition to its free service.


Angl noted Open DNS offers content filtering and blacklisting of questionable Web sites.


DNS security became a major concern in 2008 after Dan Kaminsky, director of penetration testing at IOActive Inc., told users at the Black Hat security conference how hackers could load inaccurate information on to DNS servers.



Google says it has addressed DNS concerns over spoofing or cache poisoning by adding entropy to request messages, rate-limiting requests and removing duplicate queries.


“Because of the size of their infrastructure, Google is perhaps better prepared to handle those attacks than a smaller ISP that is a target,” Angle said.




Google advises users to check with their IT departments before using Public DNS on their office machines because it might limit their access to domain that they cannot access outside of work.


The Mountain View, Calif.-based search engine firm says its Public DNS is not operate a level domain servers and Google is not a third-party provider hosting authoritative records. It does not perform any blocking or malware filtering. Google claims it provides better resolving service than some competitors because caches and refreshes offline, meaning responses are “almost always” available from the cache.


“There are some strategic opportunities for Google here,” Angl said. “They have an opportunity to tie this to other services they offer to the enterprise today.”


In addition to Google Apps, the search company also offers a voicemail service – dubbed Google Voice – and real-time search results, announced earlier this week. Other services announced earlier this week include Google Goggles and Suggest, a location-based service.





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