Setting Up a Secure BIND DNS Server in 2023

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a distributed system used to resolve domain names into IP addresses. BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) is the most widely used DNS software on the internet. Ensuring that your BIND DNS server is secure is essential to prevent DNS spoofing, cache poisoning, and unauthorized zone transfers.

1. Pre-requisites:

Before you begin, ensure you have:

  • A Linux server (CentOS, Ubuntu, etc.).
  • Root or sudo access to the server.
  • BIND software package installed. You can generally install it with a package manager like yum or apt.

2. Basic BIND Installation:

On Ubuntu:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install bind9

On CentOS:

sudo yum install bind bind-utils

3. Secure BIND Configuration:

The main BIND configuration file is usually found at /etc/named.conf or /etc/bind/named.conf depending on your distribution.

Here’s a basic secure configuration template for BIND:

options {
    directory "/var/named";
    recursion no;  // Turn off recursion
    allow-query { localhost; };  // Allow only localhost to query the DNS
    version "Not disclosed";  // Do not disclose BIND version

    // Rate limiting to mitigate DDoS attacks
    rate-limit {
        responses-per-second 5;

    // Avoid cache poisoning
    dnssec-enable yes;
    dnssec-validation yes;

logging {
    channel default_log {
        file "/var/log/named/named.log" versions 3 size 5m;
        severity dynamic;
        print-time yes;
    category default { default_log; };

// Define the zone for your domain
zone "" {
    type master;
    file "/var/named/";

include "/etc/named.rfc1912.zones";

Replace "" with your actual domain and adjust other configurations as per your needs.

4. Zone File Configuration:

For our domain, the zone file (/var/named/ could look something like this:

$TTL    86400
@       IN      SOA (
                              2023081701 ; Serial
                              3600       ; Refresh
                              1800       ; Retry
                              604800     ; Expire
                              86400 )    ; Minimum

@       IN      NS
@       IN      A
ns1     IN      A
www     IN      A

This is a basic zone file for pointing to an IP

5. Further Security Measures:

  1. Run BIND in a chroot environment: This limits BIND’s access only to its required directories and files, preventing potential exploitation.
  2. Update regularly: Ensure BIND is regularly updated to the latest version to protect against known vulnerabilities.
  3. Restrict Zone Transfers: Allow zone transfers (AXFR) only to secondary/slave DNS servers.
  4. Use firewalls: Limit access to the DNS server using firewall rules.
  5. Monitor Logs: Regularly check /var/log/named/named.log for any suspicious activities.


Security is a continual process, and as threats evolve, so should your defenses. With the above steps, you’ll have a solid foundation for a secure BIND DNS setup. Remember always to keep an eye out for security advisories related to the software and tools you’re using, and update them as necessary.






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