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I have heard that YouTube, including their iPhone app, is encrypted by using TLS (HTTPS). So that means the DNS packet should only reveal the base domain, like youtube.com.

However, while testing YouTube i I discovered DNS records like this in my traffic:

Name: r4---sn-aigl6ney.googlevideo.com

What does the above DNS query mean? Does this reveal the full address of the domain of a specific video? I tried to test that full address, but it didn't lead to anywhere. So is that an encrypted address or something else?

I am feeling suspicious that YouTube SSL doesn't encrypt the users' privacy at all.

  • Why do you think that TLS does not expose the subdomains but only main domain name? – schroeder Mar 26 '18 at 21:47
  • Please only ask one question per question. Didn't you ask your second question in another question? – schroeder Mar 26 '18 at 21:49
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    it's likely a content mirror close to you; there's a lot of them, but they don't serve a single video, they serve lots of videos. if every video hit something like "video.youtube.com" it could cause a bottleneck. – dandavis Mar 26 '18 at 23:27
  • To schroeder♦: I was thinking any content presented on google should stay inside of google domains....but apparently I was wrong, They expose all the 3rd party DNS queries all over the places based on your search results. – Karl Bean Mar 27 '18 at 8:06
  • Please don't ask further questions in comments – Rory Alsop Mar 27 '18 at 11:07
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... encrypted by using SSL(Https). So that means the DNS packet should only reveal the base domain, like youtube.com

DNS has nothing to do with HTTPS. The DNS lookup for a domain is done before the HTTPS request is send to get the IP address of the target. And since the target IP address of for the specific full target name is needed and this might be different from the base domain a DNS request for the full target name is sent. Apart from that the full target name is also included in the HTTPS connection as part of the ClientHello server_name extension in the TLS handshake.

What is protected by HTTPS is instead the rest of the URL, i.e. the path, query parameters and request body.

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