From beginner to expert in 5 minutes.
Let’s say you want to visit a website.
In order to do so you just type the name of the website, e.g. «www.nic.ch», in your browser, press enter and almost immediately the content appears.
But in between pressing enter and visiting the website, your computer has to do a lot of work in the background.
The website «www.nic.ch» is located on a server. In order to visit the website your computer has to find and connect to this server. But how?
Every computer or server has its own address on the Internet that consists of a long string of numbers (IP address), e.g. «22.214.171.124». Your computer has to find the IP address that matches to «www.nic.ch» by asking dedicated computers (DNS server) on the Internet that are known for providing the answer, just like a good old phone book.
This process is the backbone of the Internet and is called DNS (Domain Name System).
Unfortunately, criminals found a way to mess with the described process and can manipulate the information about the matching IP address.
Imagine you want to visit your online banking website «www.example-bank.ch». Now, instead of getting the correct IP address your computer gets manipulated information and connects you to a website that is owned by a criminal. You wouldn’t notice but disclose your online banking credentials to the attacker.
Luckily, DNSSEC is here to help. The extension of DNS protects you from being misled and helps you reach exactly the address you typed into your browser. A complex cryptographic process makes sure, that you're always at the right place.
But be aware, there are other ways criminals try to steal your data, like phishing or malware. On https://ibarry.ch you can find more information about how to stay safe online and how to best protect yourself and your data.
Let's make the Internet a more secure place!
As a normal Internet user you don’t have to do anything. If your Internet access provider supports DNSSEC, then all the work will be done on your provider's DNS servers.
If you are the holder of a domain and would like to protect your domain name with DNSSEC, the operator of the name servers has to set this up for you. To check if your domain is already secured with DNSSEC, you can either ask your Internet service provider / web hoster or head over to nic.ch and make a whois query for your domain name to find out.
Registrars, ISPs and web hosters who support DNSSEC help making the Internet a more secure place.
If you want to learn more about DNS, DNSSEC or the Internet in general look no further.
Warriors of the Net
Legendary video of how the Internet works.
Die Sendung mit der Maus - Wie funktioniert das Internet?
In this video you can actually see how the Internet works in a simplified but understandable way.
What is the Internet?
See what other people think the Internet is and receive a good explanation from an expert afterwards.
Internet Basics - What is the Internet?
Put into simple words: what it is and how it works. With an additional video on the site.
How DNS works
A short animated video explaining how DNS works.
Learn the ins and outs of how the Domain Name System (known as DNS by the cool kids), takes a name like nic.ch and translates it into an IP address to find content on the web.
Domain Name FAQ
On our FAQ Site you can find out more about Domain Names in general. (EN,DE,FR,IT)
How DNS works: Episode 1
Learn how DNS works in a more visual way with cute illustrations.
DNS: Why it's important and how it works
If you really want to understand how DNSSEC works on a technical level you can head over to our FAQ Site. There's even a DNSSEC in detail part, where we try to explain it step by step with pictures. (EN,DE,FR,IT)
Check your connection
Find out if DNSSEC signatures are being valiated for you by your DNS provider. Additionally the test also shows whether you have an IPv6 address or not.
SWITCH-CERT offers a security blog where members of our team frequently write about current IT security topics, this also includes DNS and DNSSEC.