Title

OnionDNS: A Seizure-Resistant Top-Level Domain

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-2017

Abstract

The Domain Name System (DNS) provides the critical service of mapping canonical names to IP addresses. Recognizing this, a number of parties have increasingly attempted to perform “domain seizures” on targets by having them delisted from DNS. Such operations often occur with- out providing due process to the owners of these domains, a practice made potentially worse by recent legislative pro- posals. We address this problem by creating OnionDNS, an anonymous top-level domain and resolution service for the Internet. Our solution relies on the establishment of a hidden service running DNS within Tor and uses a variety of mecha- nisms to ensure a high-performance architecture with strong integrity guarantees for resolved records. We then present our anonymous domain registrar and detail the protocol for securely transferring the service to another party. Finally, we also conduct both performance and legal analyses to further demonstrate the robustness of this approach. In so doing, we show that the delisting of domains from DNS can be miti- gated in an efficient and secure manner.