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AFNIC launches DNSwitness, a multi-purpose software for DNS measurements

Press release

November 21, 2008 -

Press release Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, November 21st 2008 Its first use will be to measure the IPv6 deployment As the depletion of IPv4 addresses has been announced for 2011, the IPv6 deployment in the following years is a pivotal matter and is one of the major stakes of the Internet today. Largely carried by Eric Besson, Secretary of State in charge of the Digital Economy, and his "Digital Economy Development Plan", the strategic stake it represents was identified long ago by AFNIC. Consequently the .fr registry has developed a software named DNSwitness that allows, among other features, to measure the IPv6 deployment within .fr sub-zones.

Designed by the AFNIC's R&D department as part of its generic DNS measurements platform, DNSwitness is a multi-purpose software that measures information published in the DNS. Its objective is notably to measure the IPv6 deployment in the network services through the DNS zones delegated under .fr. As an example, DNSwitness in its current version looks for SPF records (the standard for authenticating the domain name of an e-mail sender) as well as the DNSsec records (security extensions for the DNS protocol based on cryptographic signatures) or the IPv6 protocol. DNSwitness is modular and multi-purpose tool that scans all the sub-zones of .fr, like wikipedia.fr or service-public.fr for example, looking for these data it then stores in a database, on a module basis, and updates regularly. Available as an open source software (www.dnswitness.net), DNSwitness should interest technicians that plan and unfold new networks or services, salesmen looking for new markets or researchers style-conscious to decode the major and current trends, all needing reliable and regularly updated data. DNSwitness already counts many modules and is easily extensile to new ones, according to the needs and wishes expressed in terms of new features. The first DNSwitness measurements made by the AFNIC show that: 15% of domain names under .fr have SPF records; almost no domain names under .fr are signed with DNSsec; 4% of .fr domain names have an IPv6 address published, for the web, e-mail or the DNS. However, only 0.03% of these .fr domain names have an IPv6 address for all these three services at a time. As the DNS can witness, efforts remain to be made on these technical aspects, though the responsibility is shared between the different parties of the value chain. About AFNIC (Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération ) Non-profit organization, AFNIC is in charge of the administrative and technical management of the .fr (France) and .re (Reunion Island) Internet domain names. AFNIC brings together public and private members: representatives from the French government, Internet users and Internet Service Providers (Registrars). Further information.    
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About AFNIC

Afnic is the acronym for Association française pour le nommage internet en coopération, the French Network Information Centre. The registry has been delegated by the French government to manage domain names under the .fr TLD, as well as the .re (Reunion Island), .pm (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte) French Overseas TLDs. In addition to managing French TLDs, Afnic's role is part of a wider public interest mission, which is to contribute on a daily basis, thanks to the efforts of its teams and its members, to a secure and stable internet, open to innovation and in which the French internet community plays a leading role. As part of that mission, Afnic, a non-profit organization, donates 90% of its profits to its Foundation for Digital Solidarity. Afnic is also the back-end registry for the companies as well as local and regional authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD, such as .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh, .leclerc and .sncf. Established in 1997 and based in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Afnic currently has 82 employees.