Potraz Re-looking Into Zim DNS Vulnerabilities

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The Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (Potraz) has called out for public inputs to review several weaknesses that have been identified to be inherent in the current framework and to achieve an alignment with International standards in the DNS arena.

Following the successful completion of the Regional Internet Exchange Point Setup, Zimbabwe needs a vibrant DNS sector that promotes the use of local domains which will in turn enable the country to implementing new technologies to avert cybercrime vulnerabilities.

A Domain Name System is a decentralized naming system for computers, services, or other resources connected to the Internet or a private network. It translates domain names to the numerical IP addresses needed for locating and identifying computer devices.

Although the current DNS Management structure has served Zimbabwe satisfactorily in the past, the model has some weaknesses and shortcomings.

The DNS registration process in Zimbabwe has remained manual and time consuming, thereby discouraging people from using .zw Top Level Domain because of lack of automation.

Also, the fragmented manner in which the DNS has been implemented, presents a lot of security loopholes in the system thereby affecting DNS availability and reliability.

Implementing security measures like Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) has become a challenge. With questions such as at what level is the DNSSEC implemented.Is it at the ccTLD or at the SLD? ,who meets the cost of implementing these security measures? Is it the sponsoring organization or each registry/registrar
meets the cost of implementing their own security measures.

Moreover, there is no functional whois service in Zimbabwe. Implementing the service is a problem with the current structure of the DNS, thereby further compromising security within the DNS.

Growth of the DNS sector has been slow because there is no dedicated entity to make sure that DNS industry thrives. Most of the players managing the different levels of the DNS consider DNS management as peripheral to their core business since they can survive without it. As a result, there are no proper marketing programs for the .zw domain namespace and users are resorting to generic top level domains (gTLD) like .com and .net.

The consultation process will run until the 9th of August 2019, and all stakeholders have been invited to partake in drafting of the new framework. Queriers and comments to the Director General can be made at the.regulator@potraz.gov.zw. The current framework can be downloaded on the Potraz website.

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