SERVFAIL for all .wien TLDs

We have multiple .wien domains that were able to obtain LE certificates but within the last month renewal fails throwing the following message: 'DNS problem: SERVFAIL looking up A for' (same message for other .wien domains)

  • all .wien domains are affected
  • there are no problems with multiple other TLDs using the same software on the same machine
  • none of the .wien domains have DS records
  • there are no issues when querying the domains on, or

Can someone confirm or refute that this is a LE problem with the resolution of .wien domains? Thank you!

My domain is:

I ran this command: [own implementation]

It produced this output:

The CA was unable to validate the file you provisioned
DNS problem: SERVFAIL looking up A for

I can login to a root shell on my machine: yes

It appears that your authoritative nameservers fail to properly respect 0x20 randomization. This is a security method to make DNS spoofing more difficult by randomizing the case of the request. For example, if I ask for the A record of, I will see the answer come back with tho same capitalization. However, if I ask your authoritative nameservers (as Let’s Encrypt does), I get back the name in all lowercase, which is treated as invalid.


Unbound doesn’t entirely give up, though. It will fall back, send multiple queries, and accept the answer if they match.

It usually succeeds, though usually not quickly.

It’s strange that Let’s Encrypt reported a SERVFAIL error. Success or a timeout would be more typical.

Unboundtest succeeds, slowly.

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Seems reasonable, I will check on that. Although the same nameservers are used for other TLDs without any problems. Is there any explanation why only responses for .wien domains would be treated as invalid but not for .com or .at domains on the same machine and the exact same authoritative nameservers?

Can you give some examples of .com and .at domains with the same authoritative nameservers?

Sure, , and are using the same authoritative nameservers and the same reverse proxy server.

I will make sure 0x20 randomization works correctly in a few hours or maybe tomorrow but won’t change anything at least within the next 2 hours to make sure results are consistent.

Hi @PIT_Support

it's curious: Both domains answers with lowercases, so it's invalide:

D:\temp>nslookup -type=A

D:\temp>nslookup -type=A

My own domain - up and down.

D:\temp>nslookup -type=A

It was the 0x20 randomization indeed. I fixed it in my own DNS implementation on nsX and now certificate renewal for all .wien domains works again. I still don’t know why BIND9 on ns1 sends lowercase answers or why this issue only occured with .wien domains but at least it works again. (The BIND thing is not even my department so someone else will have to fix this.)

Thanks alot to everyone here for your quick and helpful responses!


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