Christopher Wood

Author Archives: Christopher Wood

Announcing experimental DDR in 1.1.1.1

Announcing experimental DDR in 1.1.1.1
Announcing experimental DDR in 1.1.1.1

1.1.1.1 sees approximately 600 billion queries per day. However, proportionally, most queries sent to this resolver are over cleartext: 89% over UDP and TCP combined, and the remaining 11% are encrypted. We care about end-user privacy and would prefer to see all of these queries sent to us over an encrypted transport using DNS-over-TLS or DNS-over-HTTPS. Having a mechanism by which clients could discover support for encrypted protocols such as DoH or DoT will help drive this number up and lead to more name encryption on the Internet. That’s where DDR – or Discovery of Designated Resolvers – comes into play. As of today, 1.1.1.1 supports the latest version of DDR so clients can automatically upgrade non-secure UDP and TCP connections to secure connections. In this post, we’ll describe the motivations for DDR, how the mechanism works, and, importantly, how you can test it out as a client.

DNS transports and public resolvers

We initially launched our public recursive resolver service 1.1.1.1 over three years ago, and have since seen its usage steadily grow. Today, it is one of the fastest public recursive resolvers available to end-users, supporting the latest security Continue reading

HPKE: Standardizing public-key encryption (finally!)

HPKE: Standardizing public-key encryption (finally!)

For the last three years, the Crypto Forum Research Group of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) has been working on specifying the next generation of (hybrid) public-key encryption (PKE) for Internet protocols and applications. The result is Hybrid Public Key Encryption (HPKE), published today as RFC 9180.

HPKE was made to be simple, reusable, and future-proof by building upon knowledge from prior PKE schemes and software implementations. It is already in use in a large assortment of emerging Internet standards, including TLS Encrypted Client Hello and Oblivious DNS-over-HTTPS, and has a large assortment of interoperable implementations, including one in CIRCL. This article provides an overview of this new standard, going back to discuss its motivation, design goals, and development process.

A primer on public-key encryption

Public-key cryptography is decades old, with its roots going back to the seminal work of Diffie and Hellman in 1976, entitled “New Directions in Cryptography.” Their proposal – today called Diffie-Hellman key exchange – was a breakthrough. It allowed one to transform small secrets into big secrets for cryptographic applications and protocols. For example, one can bootstrap a secure channel for exchanging messages with confidentiality and integrity using a key exchange Continue reading

Handshake Encryption: Endgame (an ECH update)

Handshake Encryption: Endgame (an ECH update)
Handshake Encryption: Endgame (an ECH update)

Privacy and security are fundamental to Cloudflare, and we believe in and champion the use of cryptography to help provide these fundamentals for customers, end-users, and the Internet at large. In the past, we helped specify, implement, and ship TLS 1.3, the latest version of the transport security protocol underlying the web, to all of our users. TLS 1.3 vastly improved upon prior versions of the protocol with respect to security, privacy, and performance: simpler cryptographic algorithms, more handshake encryption, and fewer round trips are just a few of the many great features of this protocol.

TLS 1.3 was a tremendous improvement over TLS 1.2, but there is still room for improvement. Sensitive metadata relating to application or user intent is still visible in plaintext on the wire. In particular, all client parameters, including the name of the target server the client is connecting to, are visible in plaintext. For obvious reasons, this is problematic from a privacy perspective: Even if your application traffic to crypto.cloudflare.com is encrypted, the fact you’re visiting crypto.cloudflare.com can be quite revealing.

And so, in collaboration with other participants in the standardization community and members of Continue reading