[dns-operations] Summary: Anyone still using a Sun/Oracle SCA6000 with OpenSSL?

Alexander Gall gall at switch.ch
Mon Oct 15 16:36:38 UTC 2012

On Mon, 15 Oct 2012 05:55:16 -1000, Randy Bush <randy at psg.com> said:

>> A hardware HSM allows you to detect when your keys get stolen
>> (provided the hardware does not implement extraction of the keys, of
>> course).  In our case, this is the *only* reason we use a HSM at all.

> i keep wondering about the use of hsms in dnssec and rpki signing.  i
> suspect that the threat model is not well thought out.

Probably.  We don't use a HSM for our non-TLD DNSSEC-enabled zones.
For our TLD, we see this single benefit (which we wouldn't lose sleep
over if we didn't have it and, apparently, may no longer be entierly
true according to another message in this thread) and the rest is
basically security theatre (it sounds professional and convinces our
regulator that we're top notch etc.).  We don't use the HSM to
generate keys and we have an encrypted online copy of all keys so we
can switch off the HSM at any time on our signing system.

I wonder what other operator's reasons for using a HSM with DNSSEC are
(security-relevant, not performance-relevant).


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