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Google Secures Public DNS Queries With DNS-over-TLS

Google this week announced that users can now secure queries between their devices and the Google Public DNS with DNS-over-TLS, which improves their privacy and integrity. 

Google this week announced that users can now secure queries between their devices and the Google Public DNS with DNS-over-TLS, which improves their privacy and integrity. 

The largest public Domain Name Service (DNS) recursive resolver in the world, Google’s Public DNS (8.8.8.8) helps users convert Internet domain names into Internet addresses that email applications and web browsers can use.

Google launched Public DNS over eight years ago, in an attempt to improve the security and accuracy of DNS for users worldwide. However, given that the domains that users lookup via DNS could also expose sensitive information, users’ communication with their DNS resolvers needs to be protected against forged responses and safeguard their privacy from network surveillance. 

“The DNS-over-TLS protocol specifies a standard way to provide security and privacy for DNS traffic between users and their resolvers. Now users can secure their connections to Google Public DNS with TLS, the same technology that protects their HTTPS web connections,” Google explains

The Internet search giant has implemented the DNS-over-TLS specification along with the RFC 7766 recommendations, in an attempt to minimize the overhead of using TLS. Support for TLS 1.3, TCP fast open, and pipelining of multiple queries and out-of-order responses over a single connection is included. 

DNS-over-TLS is now available for the owners of Android 9 (Pie) devices, and Google has already published the necessary documentation for those interested in configuring the setting on Android and other systems.

“Advanced Linux users can use the stubby resolver from dnsprivacy.org to talk to Google’s DNS-over-TLS service,” Google also notes. 

Given that using Google Public DNS requires users to explicitly change the DNS settings in their operating system or device to use the Google Public DNS IP addresses, only users who are proficient with configuring operating system settings should make these changes, Google says. 

Related: Android 9 Brings Significant Security Advancements, Google Says

Related: Cloudflare Launches Free Secure DNS Service

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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