2007-02 - Interim Policy on Use of Wildcard DNS Records in .au

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Policy No: 2007-02
Publication Date: 30/07/2007
Status: Current

1. BACKGROUND

1.1 This document sets out auDA’s interim policy on the use of DNS wildcards in domain names that match top level domains (TLDs). The interim policy will apply pending advice to the auDA Board from the auDA Stability and Security Advisory Committee (auDA SSAC).  

1.2 The interim policy has been drafted pursuant to one of auDA’s principal purposes, as defined in clause 3.1 of auDA’s Constitution, “to maintain and promote the operational stability and utility of the .au ccTLD and more generally, the Internet’s unique identifier system”.

1.3 The interim policy is based on the findings and recommendations of the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (ICANN SSAC), contained in its report “Redirection in the Com and Net Domains”, 9 July 2004.

2. DEFINITION OF “WILDCARD DNS RECORD”

2.1 A “wildcard DNS record” is a record in a DNS file that will match all requests for non-existent domain names, so that a user who types a non-existent domain name into their browser does not get the standard “Error 404” message, but is instead redirected to another webpage.

3. PROHIBITION ON USE OF WILDCARD DNS RECORDS

3.1 The ICANN SSAC has recommended that wildcard DNS records “should not be introduced into TLDs or zones that serve the public, whose contents are primarily delegations and glue, and where delegations cross organisational boundaries over which the operator may have little control or influence”.[Note 1]

3.2 The ICANN SSAC’s recommendation applies to the .au ccTLD. It also applies to the .au 2LDs (eg. com.au), which can be categorised as “zones that serve the public”. Accordingly, auDA has imposed a prohibition on the use of wildcard DNS records in .au and the .au 2LDs.

3.3 auDA is of the view that the use of wildcard DNS records in .au third level domains (3LDs) that match TLDs (eg. com.com.au) may cause the same instability as the use of wildcard DNS records in TLDs. Until the auDA SSAC has provided its recommendations on the subject, auDA has determined that the prohibition on the use of wildcard DNS records should be extended to 3LDs that match TLDs, in order to preserve the operational stability and utility of the .au domain. auDA reserves the right to delete 3LDs that match TLDs if the registrant uses wildcard DNS records within the domain name zone and any child zones.

Note:

[1] Recommendation (1), “Redirection in the Com and Net Domains”, ICANN SSAC, p.24.