Android becomes more secure with DNS-over-HTTP/3 support

The introduction of DNS-over-TLS (DoT) support in Android 9.0 Pie dates back to 2018 and now the mobile operating system of the Mountain View giant has arrived at the DNS-over-HTTP / 3 (DoH) standard.

This was announced by the Google team with a post on the company’s official blog, with which they explained that DNS-over-HTTP / 3 can be considered the most recent solution to keep DNS queries private, all with several improvements over to DNS-over-TLS, particularly with regards to memory performance and security.

As explained by the Mountain View giant, most network connections start with a DNS lookup. While transport security can be applied to the connection itself, that DNS lookup traditionally hasn’t been private by default (the basic DNS protocol is raw UDP with no encryption).

Although the internet has migrated to TLS over time, DNS has a bootstrap issue and certificate verification relies on the other party’s domain, which either requests DNS itself or shifts the issue to DHCP (which could be maliciously controlled).

This problem is mitigated by central resolvers such as Google, Cloudflare, OpenDNS and Quad9, which allow devices to configure a single DNS resolver locally for each network, overriding what is offered through DHCP.

Android now supports DNS-over-HTTP / 3

Once the importance of this technology for security is explained, Google recalls that the tests on the DNS-over-HTTP / 3 standard have confirmed the progress compared to DNS-over-TLS, with a reduction in the median query time by 24%.

DNS-over-HTTP / 3 is now supported on Android 11 (and later versions of the OS) and will be used in place of DNS-over-TLS in the two DNS Google Public DNS and Cloudflare Resolver.

According to what is learned, support for DNS-over-HTTP / 3 technology in Android was introduced through a Google Play system update even if in the latest changelogs there are no specific references to this news. As for Android 10, the Mountain View giant specifies that some devices may support DNS-over-HTTP / 3.

For more information on the important news introduced by Google, we refer you to the dedicated post, which you can find by following this link.

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