VeriSign to operate .gov as study shows U.S. federal DNSSEC deployment lags

VeriSign has been selected by the U.S. General Services Administration to operate the .gov domain name registry, following a competitve proposal and review process.  Full support of DNSSEC for .gov and will be part of VeriSign’s responsibilities under the contract.

The announcement comes as a new study shows that fewer than half of all U.S. government agencies have not yet deployed DNSSEC, despite a government-wide mandate that they do so by the end of 2009. In its article Half of federal web sites fail DNS security test, NetworkWorld notes:

Secure64 Software Corp., a DNS vendor, tested 360 federal agencies for evidence of digital signatures on their .gov domains. The company ran the same test a year ago and found that only 20% of federal Web sites were in compliance with the DNSSEC mandate.

“We checked which ones of those Web sites were signed, which is the first step to deploying DNSSEC,” says Mark Beckett, vice president of marketing and product management for Secure64. “Last year, that number was 20%. This year, that number is 49%.”

The study notes that some U.S. federal agencies have fully deployed DNSSEC or are close to doing so, including the Department of State, which is 100 percent compliant, and the Department of Labor, which is 90 percent compliant.

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