SIDN Labs is the research team of SIDN, the operator of the .nl country-code top-level domain (ccTLD). Our goal is to advance the operational security and resilience of end-to-end internet communications through (1) empirical, measurement-based research and (2) prototyping and evaluating new internet systems and tools.

Some example results

Examples of measurement studies that we have conducted include a detailed analysis of how resolvers in the Domain Name System (DNS) choose among multiple authoritative servers, which led SIDN’s operations team to switch .nl’s authoritative servers to anycast-only. We have also showed how different parts of the DNS infrastructure contribute to resilience against DDoS attacks, analysed the resilience of .nl from a routing perspective, the stability of the root server system and the levels of DNS abuse in gTLDs.

Amongst the datasets that we use for this type of work are ENTRADA for .nl (more than 1 trillion rows, updated every few minutes), DMAP for .nl (5.8 million data points, updated monthly) and OpenINTEL’s longitudinal data on the evolution of the DNS in .nl and other TLDs (3 trillion data points, updated daily). Our measurement studies are governed by a privacy framework, which we developed for ENTRADA but is now being used SIDN-wide.

Examples of our technology development work include our open-source ENTRADA system for storing and easily analysing large amounts of authoritative DNS traffic, our DMAP crawler for longitudinally measuring the security-related characteristics of large numbers of domain names, the Root Canary toolset for monitoring DNSSEC root key rollovers, and our open-source SPIN platform for protecting the internet and users against insecure IoT devices.

Five challenges, two research areas

Our research agenda consists of five research challenges, which we have grouped into two areas: core internet systems and internet evolution.

We identified the five challenges based on projects we carry out with our partners (e.g. peer research labs, universities and SIDN’s operational teams) and the communities we are involved in (e.g. IETF/IRTF, RIPE and ICANN). These interactions are an important part of our daily work and enable us to continually sharpen our focus and make sure we address relevant topics.

Core internet systems

The goal of our first research area is to empirically understand what factors drive the security and resilience of core internet systems such as the DNS and prototype novel technical mechanisms to improve it. The work is based on our vision of intelligent domain name registries and the concept of collaborative internet security.

We are concentrating on three challenges

  • Improving the operation of DNS infrastructures: how to enable DNS operators to better engineer their infrastructures, in particular to maximise security and resilience?

  • Reducing domain name abuse: how to enable registries, registrars, hosting providers and other stakeholders to protect internet users against actors that use domain names for malicious purposes, such as for fake web shops, DDoS-for-hire sites and coordinated phishing attacks?

  • Protecting the internet against large-scale incidents: how to protect the DNS and the wider internet against large-scale (coordinated) incidents, such as the massive DDoS attacks generated by 600,000-node strong IoT botnets and routing hijacks?

Internet evolution

Our second research area is the evolution of the internet, both in terms of how the internet evolves (deployment, protocols, architecture) and in terms of experimental non-IP inter-networking systems such as SCIONNDN, and RINA.

Our two challenges are:

  • Experiment with and advance emerging inter-networks: how to advance inter-domain networking systems to best serve society’s demands for increased networked service security, resilience and transparency?

Way of working

Our way of working is to make our results available and useful for the wider internet community (e.g. DNS operators and universities) and apply them to the specific operational challenges facing SIDN. For example, we developed our SPIN open-source software as a building block for anyone to use in cybersecurity products or research and at the same time we’re working with SIDN’s product development team to get SPIN deployed on modem/router equipment.

In terms of technology development, we hover in the middle of the nine-point Technology Readiness Level (TRL) scale, which is roughly between levels 3 and 7. We collaborate intensively with the research community (e.g. University of Twente, NLnet Labs, SURFnet, University of Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology and the University of Southern California) on basic research (TRLs 1-3), and with operational teams at SIDN and elsewhere on projects requiring production-level expertise (TRLs 7-9).

SIDN Labs

  • Caspar-Schutijser

    SIDN Labs

    Caspar Schutijser

    Research engineer

    +31 26 352 55 00

    caspar.schutijser@sidn.nl

    My work centers around researching and developing the internet of the future. Besides this challenging job, I also enjoy working on improving the current internet.

  • Cristian__Hesselman

    SIDN Labs

    Cristian Hesselman

    Director SIDN Labs

    +31 6 25 07 87 33

    cristian.hesselman@sidn.nl

    I'm responsible for SIDN Labs, SIDN's research team. I oversee our research activities, support the SIDN Labs team and develop new in-house and collaborative projects.

  • Thumb-Elmer-Lastdrager

    SIDN Labs

    Elmer Lastdrager

    Research engineer

    +31 26 352 55 00

    elmer.lastdrager@sidn.nl

    Mijn interesse gaat uit naar de veiligheid en privacy binnen het Internet of Things. Ik onderzoek manieren om thuisnetwerken veiliger te maken door het doen van (empirisch) onderzoek op het gebied van 'Usable Security’.

  • Giovane-Moura

    SIDN Labs

    Giovane Moura

    Data Scientist

    +31 26 352 55 00

    giovane.moura@sidn.nl

    My job involves analysing data from our name servers. The detection of patterns and trends in the data is the starting point for making .nl more secure and more robust. The analysis results are also useful to the security industry, network communities, researchers and policy-makers.

  • Jelte_Janssen

    SIDN Labs

    Jelte Jansen

    Research engineer

    +31 26 352 55 00

    jelte.jansen@sidn.nl

    My work mainly involves researching and contributing to new technologies, e.g. with a view to further enhancing SIDN's services. I develop prototypes and I provide technical and other advice to the rest of the organisation and the Dutch and international internet communities.

  • Maarten_Wullink_thumb

    SIDN Labs

    Maarten Wullink

    Research engineer

    +31 026 352 55 00

    maarten.wullink@sidn.nl

    I concentrate mainly on DNS big data and on coming up with new concepts and developing prototypes for their implementation. A good example is development of the ENTRADA big data platform.

  • Marco_Davids

    SIDN Labs

    Marco Davids

    Research engineer

    +31 26 352 55 00

    marco.davids@sidn.nl

    My focus is researching and advising on developments and concepts for technical improvements and innovations. I assess their relevance and impact for the Marketing, Communication and New Business team. I also look after the interests of SIDN and the local internet community within forums such as the IETF and RIPE.

  • Moritz-Muller

    SIDN Labs

    Moritz Müller

    Research engineer

    +31 026 352 55 00

    moritz.muller@sidn.nl

    I’m researching how we can make the DNS more resilient and secure by running large scale internet measurements. The results have a direct impact on operational decisions inside and outside of SIDN. I carry out this research in collaboration with the University of Twente while perusing my part-time PhD.

  • Portret-Thymen-Wabeke

    SIDN Labs

    Thymen Wabeke

    Research engineer

    +31 26 352 55 00

    thymen.wabeke@sidn.nl

    I'm investigating how machine learning can contribute to internet security and stability. Machine learning algorithms extract rules and patterns from large volumes of data. My work at SIDN Labs involves developing algorithms that can detect domain name abuses, for example.

  • Victor Reijs 520x520

    SIDN Labs

    Victor Reijs

    Research engineer

    +31 26 352 55 00

    victor.reijs@sidn.nl

    I care passionately about the internet of the future. I'm therefore working with universities, research centres and colleagues to identify emergent technologies suitable for building a secure, stable and transparent internet for the benefit of tomorrow's society.

  • Joeri de Ruijter 520x520

    SIDN Labs

    Joeri de Ruiter

    Research engineer

    +31 26 352 55 00

    joeri.deruiter@sidn.nl

    In my research, I focus on new internet architectures. That involves studying how emerging architectures work in practice, and contributing to their development. I also take a keen interest in the security of the existing Internet.

Contact

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact one of our colleagues via sidnlabs@sidn.nl.

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