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I have just taken on a job as a new Sys Admin for a local small business. They have a very old DNS server (8 years old) running Windows server 2000. This server provides access for about 20 to 30 clients. We are wanting to upgrade to a new server, but before I do I was looking for a general overview of replacing an old DNS server as this will be my first time doing so. Obviously security is a must and I am familiar with using Active directory but have never setup from the beginning.

Specifically what I am looking for is:

  • What are some commonly missed security holes
  • Basic overview of what to do (or where to look for an overview)
  • Best practices for initial setup
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Since that's 2000, its likely that the forward lookup domain for the AD tree itself is an Integrated zone. Adding that to a new server is as easy as DCPromo-ing up a new domain controller, adding the DNS service, and bringing it across. Then comes the fun of updating everyone's DNS settings (DHCP!).

Security wise, there are a few areas:

  • Restrict Zone Transfers. You want to restrict Zone Transfers to only the machines that need it. And if you only use AD-Integrated servers for serving DNS, you don't need to do it at all. We have BIND servers that we use as secondaries for our AD domain-DNS, so they're in our Zone Transfer list. You may not have any.
  • Restrict Dynamic DNS. Out of the box, AD allows (or did in 2000) unauthenticated Dymanic DNS updates. This is the most compatible option, but it does represent a major security hole. Turing this to "secure updates only" is strongly recommended.
  • Verify DNS Update permissions. Check the "Security" tab for your zones and make sure the permissions are set right. Who knows if what was set 8 years ago is still valid.
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