A Certificate Authority is the collection of hardware, software, and people responsible for issuing certificates in a hierarchical PKI. CAs may be public, as in SSL / TLS and government IDs, or private, as in corporate infrastructures. The primary responsibility of a public CA is to verify the ...

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What Country, State and City should I choose when requesting an SSL certificate?

I am really confused about the country, state and city I should select when submitting an SSL certificate. Should I provide the location of my servers or my current home address?I can always reissue a ...
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294 views

Why are website certificates secure?

I understand how HTTPS connections work, and I also understand they they require a certificate to know that the secure connection you have is with the right server (and not someone pretending to be ...
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What damage could be done if a malicious certificate had an identical “Subject Key Identifier”?

I'm looking at the the Subject Key Identifier attribute of a CA certificate and am trying to understand the role it plays in validation and infer how validating client software could get it wrong. ...
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Possible to use a YubiKey in HSM mode to secure a Windows CA infrastructure?

I'm looking for a low-cost Hardware Security module, and discovered that YubiKey has a HSM mode. I'm not entirely clear if this HSM mode is what I'm thinking, but I'd like to use it as the offline ...
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Browser blacklists & the Symantec-Google Certification Debacle

Background: As explained e.g. on this Google company blog, Google writes that: On September 14, around 19:20 GMT, Symantec’s Thawte-branded CA issued an Extended Validation (EV) pre-certificate ...
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Moving from a one tier to a two tier Microsoft Certificate Authority hierachy

Right now we have a single Microsoft Enterprise Root CA which issues certificates to our VPN users for two factor authentication. We're planning to extend use of the CA to issue certificates for RDP ...
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TLS 39 month certificate limit and Chrome's NET::ERR_CERT_VALIDITY_TOO_LONG error

Late last year the CA/Browser Forum decided to limit the maximum valid term of TLS/SSL certificates issued after 1 April 2015. After this time, as the official guidelines put it.. CAs SHALL NOT ...
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960 views

Force a subordinate CA cert to be signed to include a the CRL distribution point extension?

How can I attach a crlDistributionPoints parameter when signing a CSR I've generated as follows: openssl req -new -key /root/ca/private/private.key -out /root/public.csr I usually sign with: ...
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What is the danger of hosting your SSL certificate yourself?

I have Active Directory Certificate Services on my server, which makes it possible for me to deliver an SSL certificate for the websites hosted on the same server. I know that normally, I need to ...
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How bad it is to install another company's root certificate to your server?

Our company uses a web server with a couple of web sites on it (private and public, over HTTP and HTTPS, some low risk and some high risk including online payments or other sensitive data for example)....
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734 views

Risk in buying an SSL cert from a not well-known party

Let's say I know a guy is selling an SSL cert at a very low price, assume they will generate a real and valid cert for me, since I need to submit my CSR to them and they pass to the CA, are there any ...
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What is an intermediate certificate authority?

What is meant by an "intermediate certificate authority?"
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One website - two different SSL certificates: two different CA's

I have seen multiple questions focusing on multiple certificates for a single domain (e.g.: a.com/example and a.com/example_one). However, what stops an individual from purchasing a certificate and ...
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How do I check that I have a direct SSL connection to a website?

I always thought that if I had an SSL connection there would be no MITM attacks. Now it appears that isn't true (see comments in this question Is it okay from a security perspective to read foreign (...
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2answers
821 views

How can CloudFlare provide a valid SSL certificate for domains not under its control?

CloudFlare provides a reverse proxy, and it offers SSL support ("flexible", "full", "strict full", and "keyless"). How does CloudFlare manage to get a valid certificate for domains it does not own? ...
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3answers
511 views

On-line cryptographically signed date/time?

I’m looking for a source of on-line cryptographically signed date/time. I do not need a full timestamp service, as I am happy with the information « date/time was that », without a link to a challenge/...
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1answer
921 views

How can a domain be impersonated with a fraudulent SSL certificate?

I was reading this article about the fraudulent certificates from Comodo back in 2011. It talks about domain impersonation. I understand that a fake website could be secured with the fraudulent ...
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4k views

How to detect the NSA MITM attack on SSL?

As Bruce Schneider reported here... https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/09/new_nsa_leak_sh.html ...the NSA reportedly performed a MITM attack on a company in brazil and decrypted their SSL ...
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Clarifying self-signed certificates vs root certificate authority

I hope someone can help me understand some fundamentals on SSL certificates that I've had trouble picking up from docs, Wikipedia, and just about everywhere else on the internet. I'm working on an ...
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1answer
226 views

Does dnssec protect against malicious registrars?

With the recent conspiracy theories around the registrar MarkMonitor Inc., the question arises, if DNSSEC protects against a registrar going malicious (or being attacked). This is especially ...
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2k views

Getting started with SmartCards; what equipment do I need, what do I need to know?

I have an unused SmartCard slot on my laptop and I want to learn how companies take advantage of it. Are all SmartCard slots capable of reading and writing a blank card? Are there compatibility ...
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1answer
144 views

Manually walking through the signature validation of a certificate

Since I am not too familiar with the Web of Trust and Public Key-Infrastructure I decided to learn about it by following the signing chain of a X.509 certificate issued to CN=*wikipedia.org (Serial ...
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How to use a Yubikey NEO (or any OpenPGP card or GnuPG in general) to sign X.509 CSRs?

Since the Yubikey NEO can be used as an OpenPGP card (see here) with three 2048 bit RSA keys, I thought about creating a CA from one of its public keys. Since the private key cannot be extracted (...
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304 views

Limiting the root certificate chain

I'm playing around with the idea of running a mini-CA with my (hobby) website, likely only used internally with a few select developers for internal emails, client authentication, staging/development ...
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What OID Issuance Policies are appropriate for SmartCard and Browser Certificates?

I'm investigating issuance policies for SMIME and Browser certificates with different levels of assurance. For the purposes of S/MIME and Browser certificates, should I even use an assurance policy? ...
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565 views

How does the OpenSSL Alternative chains certificate forgery (CVE-2015-1793) attack work?

The security advisory for the issue can be found here: https://www.openssl.org/news/secadv_20150709.txt OpenSSL Security Advisory [9 Jul 2015] Alternative chains certificate forgery (CVE-2015-...
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Where are the anonymous/private domain validation SSL certs?

I have yet to find a CA that doesn't require personal information for DV certificates. Is this because all of the major browsers and operating systems have a policy to reject CAs that don't require ...
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what do you do when an ssl certificate expires and your app uses ssl pinning?

I originally posted this question on StackOverflow, but reposted here due to lack of responses. I am trying to decide if it's a good idea to do ssl pinning in my iOS game that uses a server to ...
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409 views

Are SSL certificates from a CA necessary for secure communication?

Am I right in thinking that SSL certificates from a CA are purely for identification purposes and serve no purpose in the actual encryption of data? In other words if I were to create a self signed ...
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2answers
867 views

How does an attack on a digital signature work?

In our IT Security class we have been told that you need CA's to prevent attacks on a digital signature. Sadly, our docent didn't elaborate how such attack would be performed - I can only guess that ...
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Is it possible to create a self signed certificate authority?

Would it be possible to create a legitimate certificate with the CA bit set? I dont have a usecase associated with this, I'm merely curious. To explain my question : Suppose I sign a public key(...
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What if someone steals a Certificate authority's private key? [duplicate]

What if someone could steal a Certificate authority's private key? I know this will (probably) never happen, but what would happen to the certificates that were already signed with this private key? ...
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Why are private certificates not trusted?

When we go to websites that have generated certificates themselves you see this red screen that says do not go there!: However when it is trusted by some companies it's all good. So I have a couple ...
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What part of TLS specifies how to verify a certificate chain

I have sometimes run into a situation where I see a root CA certificate which is set to expire sooner than the intermediate CA certificate. My question is - if you were interested in keeping your ...
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3answers
194 views

Guarding against rogue certificates

There has been a lot of news recently about certificates being falsely issued (due to the issuing authority having poor system security!). Apparently the targeted users were mostly Iranians, but it's ...
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537 views

How can we revoke all ssl certificates issued for our domain?

After having the hostmaster@domain.com email compromised, we found that someone issued a Domain Validated SSL certificate for our domain. Now we want to have all such certificates revoked. Is there ...
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Why are Certificate Revocation List periodically renewed?

While studying a security course I have been asked this very question: Why are CRL periodically renewed, even if there are no new revoked certificates to add to the list? Honestly I can't find the ...
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2answers
255 views

Why do Symantec not believe their customers will be affected by Google distrusting this root certificate?

So Google will be moving to distrust the “Class 3 Public Primary CA” root certificate operated by Symantec Corporation, across Chrome, Android, and Google products, because it is no longer going to ...
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Is an AIA or CRL useful / required at the Root CA if that Root is used to cross certify another PKI?

Suppose I have several independent PKIs that are used Two internal PKIs: One with SHA1 support the other with Suite B algorithms. A partner who I trust and have a policy map with. Since both my ...
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Can a certificate have multiple chains and multiple self-signed roots?

The following MSFT document has this paragraph: All possible certificate chains are built using locally cached certificates. If none of the certificate chains ends in a self-signed ...
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Should the thumbprint be SHA2 in addition to the Signature Hash Algorithm?

I'm looking at a Windows PKI and see that the Thumbprint is SHA1, while the Signature is SHA2 (SHA256). Is this an acceptable configuration? Should I recommend that the client update to SHA2 for a ...
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1answer
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Root certificate key usage (non-self-signed end entity)

This discussion does not include self-signed end entity certificates for hosts like web servers and mail servers. OpenSSL's default configuration for a CA certificate has the following keyUsage: ...
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2answers
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Root SSL certificates and browser support

I have given three certs to be install on nginx AddTrustExternalCARoot.crt PositiveSSLCA2.crt www_example_com.crt So I concat them into a chained cert cat www_example_com.crt PositiveSSLCA2.crt ...
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Why are SSL certificates valid only from a certain date?

Each SSL certificate is valid starting from a specific date and up to the expiration date. What's the point in that "valid from" date? Why do we want a certificate to only be valid after a specific ...
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2answers
852 views

Is there any research on which SSL certificate authority has the best browser compatibility

We're about to release a service that requires website owners to embed our javascript code on their site which will then serve the script from our server similar to Google Analytics. (yes I'm aware of ...
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1answer
863 views

For a desktop application, why use an SSL certificate from a trusted authority?

When a web browser connects to a server and downloads an SSL certificate, a third-party trusted authority ensures that the client is talking to the host that it's looking for. If the host uses a self-...
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172 views

What is the purpose of Intermediate Certification Authorities store in Windows?

Suppose I have CA1 root certificate and two intermediate CA2 and CA3 certificates issued by CA1. Would it pose any security issue if all of the intermediate certificates were installed in the root ...
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Issuing certificates to two departments from same ROOT CA so one does not trust the other

Scenario: We have two departments within IT; Say Department-OLD and Department-NEW. A single internal PKI environment exists and a root CA (singular) is trusted by All endpoints. Problem: ...
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Browsers silently adding trusted root certificates in Windows

When accessing https://internetbanking.caixa.gov.br (site of a well known bank in Brazil), the server returns a certificate signed by "Autoridade Certificadora Raiz Brasileira" (Brazilian Root ...
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Why does the issuance speed of a CA depend on the number of certs they have already issued?

I have seen proprietary testing results of pummelling a CA for a long time and measuring its throughput (certs issued / second). It was found that CAs become slower to issue new certificates as the ...