Certificate authorities verify the owner information of certificates by signing them.

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151
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7answers
13k views

How do certification authorities store their private root keys?

Knowledge of a CA private key would allow MitM attackers to transparently supplant any certificates signed by that private key. It would also allow cyber criminals to start forging their own trusted ...
125
votes
4answers
14k views

Is there anything preventing the NSA from becoming a root CA?

There are now tons of Certification Authorities (CAs) that are trusted by default in major OS's, many of which are unrecognizable without online lookup or reference. While there have been attempts ...
62
votes
11answers
14k views

Is there any technical security reason not to buy the cheapest SSL certificate you can find?

While shopping for a basic SSL cert for my blog, I found that many of the more well known Certificat Authorities have an entry-level certificate (with less stringent validation of the purchaser's ...
55
votes
10answers
9k views

Why do we not trust an SSL certificate that expired recently?

Every SSL certificate has an expiration date. Now suppose some site's certificate expired an hour ago or a day ago. All the software by default will either just refuse to connect to the site or issue ...
49
votes
4answers
14k views

Are all SSL Certificates equal?

After running a few tests from Qualsys' SSL Labs tool, I saw that there were quite significant rating differences between a GoDaddy and VeriSign certificate that I have tested against. Are all SSL ...
43
votes
1answer
3k views

Why does Windows Ship with Expired SSL Certificates?

I am cleaning up the certificate stores on my Windows machines, and considering which certificates I should keep, and which ones I should delete. Why does a fresh install of Windows Server 2012 R2 ...
42
votes
12answers
5k views

How feasible is it for a CA to be hacked? Which default trusted root certificates should I remove?

This question has been revised & clarified significantly since the original version. If we look at each trusted certificate in my Trusted Root store, how much should I trust them? What factors ...
27
votes
7answers
4k views

Does it matter which Certificate Authority I source my SSL Certificate from?

To secure my web site with HTTPS, does it matter which company I source my SSL certificate from, or just that the browser recognizes it? From the Area51 proposal.
26
votes
4answers
4k views

What alternatives are there to the existing Certificate Authority system for SSL?

Whilst the current CA system works very well for a lot of people, it does put a lot of power into individual CAs' hands, and makes a CA hack potentially devastating for customers and business. What ...
25
votes
5answers
10k views

Where to get an SSL certificate for personal website?

I would like to use https to login to my personal webpage (which is on shared hosting). So I went over to google and started searching for sollutions. Eventualy I found out that I need an SSL ...
22
votes
1answer
370 views

Are there security design weaknesses in the EFF Sovereign Keys proposal?

In response to SOPA and a number of high profile security breaches at certficate authourities in 2011, the EFF has released a soverign keys proposal: ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does Facebook serve several SSL certificates?

Facebook seems to be alternately serving two SSL certificates, one from DigiCert and one from VeriSign. There are only two reasons for this that I can think of: They're in the middle of a ...
16
votes
3answers
25k views

Expired SSL Certificate Implications

What are the security implications of an expired SSL certificate? For example if an SSL certificate from a trusted CA has expired will the communication channel continue to remain secure?
16
votes
4answers
6k views

Are there technical disadvantages in using free ssl certificates?

Note this question is related, except this one is about free SSL certs. There are providers who are offering totally free entry-level SSL certs (like StartSSL). I was wondering if they are ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What happens when an Intermediate CA is revoked?

Currently I'm working on a certificate manager that allows our product to securely connect to remote webservices (over TLS/SSL). For security, we use Certificate Revocation List checking (or ...
15
votes
3answers
786 views

Can a nation-state adversary perform a MITM attack by compelling a CA to issue them with fake certs?

As I understand it, with any encryption system based on a trust chain / CAs (eg SSL, TLS, S/MIME), it would be possible for a nation-state adversary (such as the NSA) to compel the CA to issue them ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the risks of a Certificate Authority hack for 'the average user'?

Recently the DigiNotar CA was hacked, and rogue certificates were issued. Since they also issue certificates on behalf of the Dutch government, the government made a statement about it as well, ...
15
votes
1answer
12k views

Configure SSL Mutual (Two-way) Authentication

A lot of tutorials, a lot of pages, a lot of question and they differ in implementation of this issue "Configure SSL Mutual (Two-way) Authentication". I have to do it with Linux, and I don't know from ...
14
votes
4answers
15k views

how digital signature verification process works

I am not able to understand that how the digital signature is verified. I know that digital signature will be attached to the message and sent by sender to receiver. then receiver uses the public key ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

Are self-signed certificates actually more secure than CA signed certificates now?

Are self-signed certificates actually more secure than CA signed certificates now? I ask this because recent leaks about the NSA spy programs and the secret FISA courts mean that the US government ...
14
votes
1answer
10k views

What is the actual value of a certificate fingerprint?

In a x509 digital certificate there is a "certificate fingerprint" section. It contains md5, sha1 and sha256. How are these obtained, and during the SSL connection, how are these values checked for?
14
votes
3answers
233 views

Domain name expiration and TLS

If I purchase a domain name that has expired, do I have any assurance that the previous owner does not have a valid HTTPS certificate for the site? In other words, do CAs check domain name expiration ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

How does OCSP stapling work?

I've been looking into OCSP stapling for HTTPS, which looks pretty interesting. From what I can tell, it's essentially a way of offloading CRLs from the CA to the server, allowing for everything to be ...
13
votes
4answers
11k views

How are Chrome and Firefox validating SSL Certificates?

How are Chrome and Firefox validating SSL Certificates? Are they requesting data from an SSL certification website, like GeoTrust, to validate the certificate received from the web server?
12
votes
2answers
560 views

How can I prevent that my users get a certificate issued for my domain on my behalf?

I have a domain, where some other users have access to upload files, use email, use XMPP, etc. How can I prevent that these users go to a certificate authority and get a certificate for my domain? ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

What kinds of SSL certificates are usable for encryption?

I know that Verizon SSL certificates cost close to $600. There are couple of cheap alternatives, but I never really understood why Verizon does not offer such certificates. Look for RapidSSL at ...
11
votes
3answers
10k views

Checklist on building an Offline Root & Intermediate Certificate Authority (CA)

Microsoft allows a CA to use Cryptography Next Generation (CNG) and advises of incompatibility issues for clients that do not support this suite. Here is an image of the default cryptography settings ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Multiple CAs signing a single Cert/CSR?

Just saw this suggested on Slashdot So I've seen quite a few people wanting a switch to self-signed certs (who IMO mostly don't understand what making that secure actually involves), and an idea ...
11
votes
1answer
366 views

Is using a CA more secure if I'm self-signing anyway?

We have a web application that we run for clients at their booth on fairs. The communication between clients and the server was done over HTTP until recently. We're currently working on improving ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the advantages of EV Certificate?

What are the various advantages of using extended validation (EV) certificates than normal certificates which also provide comparatively high degree of encryption like RC4, 128 Bit? I know that the ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Renewing Microsoft Certificate Services Root Certificate

We currently have Microsoft Enterprise Certificate Server installed on a domain member machine which issues 1 year certificates to users for authenticating to VPN. We'd like to start issuing web ...
11
votes
1answer
138 views

How CA ensures that a certificate request is coming from me?

To establish trusted SSL connection I need to create a certificate request. For example, if I use openSSL I can do it by the following command: openssl req -new -key privkey.pem -out cert.csr ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What does having an internal two-tier PKI protect against?

There are a lot of Best Practice documents that recommend having an offline Root CA and an Enterprise Subordinate CA that is signed by the root, for an internal Microsoft AD Certificate Services ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Can a wildcard SSL certificate be issued for a second level domain?

Something like *.com or *.net? How about *.edu.au? The RFC 2818 does not say anything about this topic.
10
votes
1answer
373 views

Why can the validity of an SSL certificate exceed the registration period of a domain?

I can understand why one might desire to purchase a certificate for multiple years but I am left wondering why it appears to be possible to obtain a valid certificate for a domain that may have come ...
10
votes
1answer
215 views

Where does a Hyper-V guest get its entropy when generating a certificate authority key pair?

According to findings by the EFF's SSL observatory, there are "tens of thousands of keys that offer effectively no security due to weak random number generation algorithm." My understanding of that ...
9
votes
4answers
417 views

How to stop/detect someone else registering a certificate for my domain

With the proliferation of low-cost automated CAs what can be done to mitigate the attack of someone doing a spear phishing attack to get a login to our webmail system, then using an automated service ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Certificate authorities for a PKI

Some people think the certificate authorities for a PKI should be the government, but others think certificate authorities should be private entities, such as banks, corporations, or schools. What are ...
8
votes
4answers
851 views

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 ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What Trusted Root Certification Authorities should I trust? [duplicate]

After two recent Slashdot articles (#1 #2) about questionable Root Certificates installed on machines, I decided to take a closer look at what I have installed on my machines. (I use current versions ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Obtaining an S/MIME certificate without disclosing my private key to the TTP

I would like to obtain a trusted S/MIME certificate, but all the certificate authorities I have asked so far generate the keypair on their server, sign the certificate and send me both the private key ...
8
votes
1answer
255 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
571 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: ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

What web browsers support OCSP stapling? Are the privacy and performance features the same?

OCSP stapling decreases the load on a PKI infrastructure's OCSP server by attaching a signed OCSP response to the target in a TLS connection. In addition it creates a more secure/private session ...
7
votes
2answers
674 views

security of PKI, Certificates, certificate authorities, forward secrecy

I want to understand how certificates add to the security of information exchange. Suppose i have a encrypted bidirectional connection between Alice and Bob, using a public key/private key pair. As ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

A standard way to manually add a digital signature to a pdf file?

I've created a few certificates to use myself, but I find myself stumped when it comes to creating a certificate which contains a digital signature. First, how would I go about creating a standard ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How does DNSSec work? Are there known limitations or issues?

Based on information from this site, DNSSec is needed to protect us from a number of DNS and SSL / TLS hacks, including: DNS spoofing, especially on wifi or shared medium Registrars that abuse their ...
7
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
387 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 ...