SIDN Labs is SIDN’s research and development team. Labs is responsible for developing new internet technologies and systems and is active in three fields: (1) DNS scalability and security, (2) ‘DNS big data’ and (3) privacy and identity management. The team’s output includes prototypes, performance analyses, standards, articles and reports.

SIDN Labs often works with external R&D partners such as the University of Twente, Delft University of Technology, PI.lab, NLnet Labs, TNO and the NCSC. Through cooperation, SIDN Labs seeks to acquire knowledge that isn’t yet available in house, to reinforce research projects with our operational expertise with critical infrastructures and to promote the continuous development of the internet.

SIDN Labs'aims

  • Expertise centre

    SIDN Labs contributes to SIDN’s continued development as a leading expertise centre in the field of internet technology, supporting the internet community by sharing results with the government, the business community, educational and research centres and other key actors. Knowledge sharing takes place both on line and through presentations and other channels, enabling us to contribute to the ongoing development of the internet. One such contribution is our recent position paper '

    A privacy framework for ‘DNS big data’ applications.'

  • Service innovation

    SIDN Labs contributes to the continuous enhancement of SIDN’s services through the application of its research findings. In the field of service innovation, Labs is responsible for pioneering and research work, while SIDN’s production departments have the task of translating the results of that work into production applications, e.g. developing operational software from prototypes created by Labs. A good example is the secure DNSSEC domain name transfer solution developed by SIDN Labs, which is expected to become a global standard in the near future.

  • Facilitating external research to make .nl even stronger

    SIDN Labs facilitates research undertaken outside SIDN, which has the potential to further strengthen .nl and yield added value for the Netherlands and its international standing. So, for example, we sponsor NLnet Labs, helping that organisation to continue developing DNS software that contributes to the security and scalability of the DNS and the internet.

SIDN Labs in beeld

In its pursuit of all three aims, SIDN Labs focuses primarily on .nl and/or the Netherlands. After all, SIDN is the Netherlands’ national registry and firmly believes that an open, accessible and secure internet is vital for the Dutch economy and Dutch society. Nevertheless, SIDN Labs is of course also active on the international stage, working in technical fields that transcend national boundaries, such as the standardisation of protocols through the IETF.

A few of SIDN Labs’ research projects:

  • The ENTRADA big data project (ENhanced Top-level domain Resilience through Advanced Data Analysis)

SIDN processes huge volumes of DNS data. We believe that opportunities exist for further enhancing the security and stability of .nl by storing and analysing the data, e.g. with a view to speeding up the detection of phishing sites and botnets. However, the data that we process may include privacy-sensitive information in the form of IP addresses. We have therefore developed an innovative approach for assuring that big data applications do not compromise privacy.

  • Smarter typosquat identification

SIDN’s Domain Name Surveillance Service alerts subscribers to potentially significant typosquats. SIDN Labs is currently working on an even smarter version of the service, which will operate on the basis of comparison with known phishing sources and will be able to distinguish between legitimate and malicious sites.

  • DNS resolver reputation system

Any traffic handled by the .nl name servers that does not originate from conventional DNS resolvers is regarded as malicious. By giving ratings to the resolvers responsible for such traffic, we can distinguish malicious traffic from legitimate traffic. So, for example, we can classify botnet clients and thus also detect malware-infected PCs. When we are ready, we intend to share our findings with AbuseHUB, so that ISPs are able to intervene. With this project, we are helping to make the DNS and the internet more secure and contributing to the fight against botnets.

More information

Detailed blogs and publications are available on the SIDN Labs website.



Cristian Hesselman

Director SIDN Labs

+31 6 25 07 87 33

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.

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