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CAA Records

What are CAA Records?


Certification Authority Authorization (CAA) records allow a domain name holder to specify one or more Certification Authorities (CAs) authorized to issue certificates for that domain.  (RFC 6844)

  • CAA records are intended to prevent CAs from improperly issuing certificates.
  • CAA records can set policy for the entire domain, or for specific hostnames.
  • CAA records are also inherited by subdomains, therefore a CAA record set on example.com will also apply to any subdomain, such as subdomain.example.com (unless overridden).
  • CAA records can control the issuance single-name certificates, wildcard certificates, or both.

Configuration

Flag

All records will have the default issuer critical value of 0, which means they are “not critical”. At this time, CA’s do not recognize any other flag values.

Type (Tag)

Type allows you to choose how you want certificates to be issued by the CA. Each CAA record can contain only one tag-value pair.

Options:

  • issue: Explicitly authorizes a single certificate authority to issue a certificate (any type) for the hostname.
  • issuewild: Authorization to issue certificates that specify a wildcard domain. Please note: issuewild properties take precedence over issue properties when specified.
  • iodef: (Incident Description Exchange Format) Specifies a means of reporting certificate issue requests or cases of certificate issue for the corresponding domain that violate the security policy of the issuer or the domain name holder.

Provider (Value)

Specify the domain name of the CA provider to which the CAA record applies. The Value field will automatically populate with the FQDN of the CA provider. If your CA is not in this list, select Other and enter the domain name in the Value box.

The <character-string> encoding of the value field is specified in [RFC1035], Section 5.1.

Canonical Format


When you are configuring CAA records you will need to present the record values in the following format:

<flags> <tag> <value>

example.com. CAA 0 issue “ssl.com”

 

Use Cases


Let’s create a CAA record for a domain which authorizes certificates to be issued by Comodo and SSL.

example.com. CAA 0 issue “comodo.com”

example.com CAA 0 issue “ssl.com”

 

If Comodo does not understand the record information, it will not return a certification. Instead, SSL will respond.

Now, what if we wanted to issue a wild card for SSL? We would change the type value to issuewild.

example.com. CAA 0 issue “comodo.com”

example.com CAA 0 issuewild “ssl.com”

Since wild cards take precedence, Comodo will not be able to issue a wild card certificate.

If you want to receive policy violations from CAs, you can change the type to iodef and replace the provider value with your contact email preceded by mailto: 

example.com. CAA 0 iodef “mailto:admin@example.com”

 

How to Configure CAA Records

ADD AN A RECORD

USER ACTION WHAT YOU WILL SEE
Select DNS and click on Managed DNS

 

USER ACTION WHAT YOU WILL SEE
Select a domain name

 

USER ACTION WHAT YOU WILL SEE
Under the CAA Records section, click the to add a record add caa record

 

USER ACTION WHAT YOU WILL SEE
Enter a name for the record.

In the drop down menu choose your CA (certificate authority) provider. The hostname of your provider will automatically populate the Value box.

If your provider is not listed, then choose other, and enter the hostname of the provider in the Value box.

The Type dropdown menu allows you to choose how you want certificates to be issued by the CA. Each CAA record can contain only one tag-value pair. For information on the types of tags, please refer to the Configuration section.

In the Issuer Critical box enter either a 1 or a 0. The default setting is 0, which for “not critical”. Currently, CA’s do not recognize any value other than 0.

You can edit the default TTL if needed.Click

Click Submit.

Please note the tool tip at the top of the page, this helps envision how the data populated in the fields will resolve.

caa record add 2