Rootconf Pune edition

On security, network engineering and distributed systems

Using DNS as a layer of defense

Submitted by Swapneel Patnekar (@pswapneel) on Jul 26, 2019

Section: Full talk (40 mins) Category: Security Status: Confirmed & Scheduled


DNS(Domain Name System) is the crucial & ubiquitous fabric of the Internet. While we rely on accessing websites, applications, devices using a Fully Qualified Domain Name, on a daily basis, in a network, DNS can also be extremely valuable & effective defense layer in a multi-tiered security approach. This talk will give an introduction to DNS RPZ(Response Policy Zones) and how it can be leveraged to stop threats in the network.

The key takeways for the talk are
1. Idea of a flat network & it’s constraints
2. How malware(C2/Botnets, phishing URL’s) leverages DNS
3. How a DNS Firewall(DNS Response Policy Zones) can mitigate threats at the resolution layer
4. Lessons learned in implementing this for 100+ networks in Tier-II & Tier-III cities

The intended audience for this talk are
1. System & network administrators
2. ISP’s
3. Anyone running a network :-)


Outline -

  1. Idea of a flat network & it’s constriants
  2. Threats and various insecurities in the network
  3. DNS 101
  4. Introduction to DNS Response Policy Zones/DNS Firewall
  5. Live demo
  6. Q&A

Speaker bio

I run Shreshta IT, a network & security company based in Belgaum. A essential background for this talk comes from our experiences of implementing DNS Response Policy Zones in 100+ networks.




  • AS

    Anwesha Sarkar


    11 months ago

    Hello Swapneel,

    It was a real good rehearsal today. Here are the feedback that came from today’s rehearsal:

    1. Start time - 6:00pm End time - 6:41 pm. Scheduled slot - 35 minutes + Q and A
    2. Prepare the audience work upon and come to the talk.
    3. Concise the introduction.
    4. Deconstruction of zone file.
    5. More about Pi-hole.
    6. Include DOH and anti DOH discussion.
    7. Avoid having text heavy slides.
    8. Include more pictorial representation.
    9. Give real life examples to explain the points.
    10. Include the Open Source and Non open source firewall discussion.
    11. Strat with the introduction to the problem and then take us through the journey explaining the theory.
    12. Prepare the video for the demo.

    Submit your revised slides by 30th August 2019.

    See you in Rootconf Pune.


  • AD

    Anwesha Das


    11 months ago (edited 11 months ago)

    Discussing DNS

    In Rootconf Pune 2019 Swapneel will be giving a talk on Using DNS as a layer of defense. The core to the proposal is DNS.

    Domain Name Server, DNS is one of basic understructure of the internet.Everything begins with DNS. All of us use it every day, but there are very few people who knows what happens behind the scenes when you access a website or an app . DNS is the like the phone directory which matches the ip address (which the computer understands) and with name of the site (human inteligible).

    This will help to further the understanding of the matter.

    Come and join us in Rootconf Pune on 21st of September to further the discussion on the topic.

  • AD

    Anwesha Das


    11 months ago


    The deadline for submitting your revised slides was 30th August. I haven’t received an update on your revised slides. Since the conference is drawing near, 4 September is the hard stop for your revised slides. It is crucial that you submit your revised slides on time. There are a lot of steps to be carried out after the submission of the revised slides.

    I hope you understand the time crunch. Look forward to your cooperation.


  • Swapneel Patnekar


    Proposer 11 months ago

    @Anwesha, firstly, apologies for the delay in sharing the updated slides. The link has been updated. Also, the previous copy is available as a reference here
    Demo Video

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