The Domain Name System (DNS) is a fundamental protocol of the Internet. Whenever any Internet resource, such as a web site, is accessed by name, the name is translated to a numeric Internet Protocol (IP) address. REN-ISAC’s Passive DNS (pDNS) system, utilizing Farsight Security Inc. (FSI) infrastructure, collects the request and response data from participating contributors, building a searchable database of IP address and domain name histories. The aggregate data, stripped of sensitive information, is shared with global collection and analysis projects operated by Farsight Security. REN-ISAC members gain access to the global data, improving their security protection and incident response capabilities. Global collections benefit through the improved quantity, timeliness, and quality of data made available.
REN-ISAC began its pDNS pilot service in 2016. It is now available to all institutions of higher education, research and education networks, and federally funded research centers. To inquire about the service, see the “How to be a Contributor” section below.