A piece of data used in public key cryptography that contains identifying information (i.e. email address or web address), a hash of a public key, and a digital signature that authenticates the data in the certificate.

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What prevents a man in the middle from requesting a certificate for your server?

Let's say you have a server at shop.example.com and you are requesting a certificate from some trusted CA like Comodo (they say they'll issue it within few minutes online). First of all, how can ...
24
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1answer
4k views

Why would the BBC web site always ask for a personal certificate, and how do I avoid giving it away?

After installing a CAcert personal certificate, every time I land on the BBC weather site it asks me to identify myself with a certificate. Why would any non-malicious web site do that unless I've ...
24
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3answers
1k views

A Different Approach to PKI

After yet another failure of the public key infrastructure, I was thinking about how broken the whole thing is. This business of undeniably associating an identity with a public key, and all the work ...
23
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3answers
3k views

Superfish vs. Corporate MITM

I work for a consulting company, and I have been implementing a tool from a security vendor, which is a cloud proxy for all user traffic. It will perform malware scanning and filtering of all web ...
23
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5answers
5k 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 ...
22
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6answers
8k views

Possibility to sniff HTTPS traffic on devices without installing a certificate

My goal is to sniff the HTTPS traffic of some digital devices (AppleTV, game consoles, etc.), and decrypt the HTTPS packets in my local network. I cannot figure out a way by using some HTTPS ...
22
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5answers
3k views

Are login “certificates” more secure than standard username + password authentication?

I just opened a new bank account which comes with internet banking. Unlike the others I have used so far, this one requires a personal certificate (a .p12 file stored on my computer) + password for ...
22
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4answers
20k views

Provide subjectAltName to openssl directly on command line

Is it possible to provide a subjectAltName-Extension to the openssl req module directly on the command line? I know it's possible via a openssl.cnf file but that's not really elegant for batch-...
21
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3answers
9k views

Is SHA1 weak for SSL?

I noticed that today after I scanned a site on the Qualys SSL Labs site that SSL ciphersuites which use SHA1 are now highlighted as being "Weak". It seems this has just happened; I scan sites pretty ...
21
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4answers
2k views

Cloudflare's free SSL options require trusting them; what could they do to change that?

Cloudflare offers 3 free SSL options: Flexible SSL, Full SSL, and Full Strict SSL. The article “CloudFlare’s great new features and why I won’t use them” explores the shortcomings of the Flexible and ...
21
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3answers
3k 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.
21
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2answers
34k views

Advantages of client certificates for client authentication?

I'm no security expert, so please just ask in a comment if I haven't made my question clear enough for an answer. The Scenario We have a server running WCF services, and a number of clients ...
20
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2answers
28k views

What's the difference between X.509 and PKCS#7 Certificate?

Am I correct calling file with .p7b file extension saved as 'Cryptographic Message Syntax Standard - PKCS#7 Certificates (.P7B)' in Windows - a 'PKCS#7 certificate'? Or is it better called 'X.509 ...
20
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1answer
25k 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?
20
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1answer
16k views

4096 bit RSA encryption keys vs 2048

Where do 4096 bit RSA keys for SSL certs currently stand in terms of things like CA support, browser support, etc? In the overall scheme of things is the increased security worth the risk of 4096 bit ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Let's Encrypt for intranet websites?

Many companies have intranet websites that are not reachable via the internet. Usually they just use a self-signed certificate, which causes a bad habit for the users since they get used to just ...
19
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4answers
15k 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 ...
18
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2answers
20k views

Chrome SSL Warning: “You cannot proceed because the website operator has requested heightened security for this domain. ”

I'm trying to go to the URL below, and Chrome warns me that the wildcard certificate is not valid for this domain. https://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=100x100&chl=otpauth%3A%2F%...
18
votes
2answers
898 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? ...
18
votes
7answers
11k views

How do I check if a gmail/gtalk SSL certificate is valid?

Pidgin started prompting me to accept/reject new gtalk SSL certificate a few days ago and I am not able at the moment to tunnel the traffic to check if it would continue to happen or if it wouldn't (...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

Anything to do about old gpg keys?

Quite A few years ago (in middle school) I created some gpg keys, published them to a keyserver, etc. because I was l33test kid on the block. Now I have gone through a few new computers and OS's, etc....
18
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4answers
24k 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?
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5answers
2k views

Who is responsible for revoking a certificate?

The CA issues certificates to clients/servers. Whenever a request is made by the client/server, the certificate is used to verify the identity. Now, if a certificate needs to be revoked then who does ...
17
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5answers
7k views

Why can SSL certificates not be free of charge?

I am a newbie in this field. I am confused with why SSL certificates cannot be free of charge. In my understanding the certificate is just a text file consisting of cryptic numbers installed on a ...
17
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4answers
5k views

What is the potential impact of these SSL certificate validation vulnerabilities?

I just finished reading through this paper by Georgiev et al, which demonstrates a wide range of serious security flaws in SSL certificate validation in various non-browser software, libraries and ...
17
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2answers
2k views

How can you prevent employees of your company from creating valid ssl certs? [duplicate]

When registering for an SSL cert, I was able to validate that I "owned" the domain I was creating the cert for by having a valid @domain.com email address. If I worked for a large company, say ...
17
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3answers
2k 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, ...
17
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3answers
4k views

Are there any downsides to using Let's Encrypt for a website's SSL certificates?

On the advantages side, I see several benefits to using the Let's Encrypt service (e.g., the service is free, easy to setup, and easy to maintain). I'm wondering what, if any, are the disadvantages to ...
17
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1answer
13k views

What is the difference between a “Thumbprint Algorithm” “Signature Algorithm” and “Signature Hash Algorithm” for a certificates?

I'm a bit confused on the differences between Signature Algorithm, Signature Hash Algorithm, and Thumbprint Algorithm that are present in SSL/TLS certificates. Can someone please elaborate?
16
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3answers
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Multi-tenancy, SSL Certificates, and Subject Alternative Name

The X509 specification allows a CA to issue a single certificate for multiple hostnames, by using the "Subject Alternative Name" extension. From the spec: The subject alternative name ...
16
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3answers
3k 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 CRL-...
16
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4answers
2k views

Broken SSL on every website [duplicate]

One of my friends called me saying every website anyone in her family goes to has untrusted SSL certificates. From any computer in her house, HTTPS is broken and Firefox or Chrome asks to add an ...
16
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2answers
827 views

Why does rfc6797 say “An HSTS Host MUST NOT include the STS header field in HTTP responses over non-secure transport.”

Why does the RFC prohibit the server from sending HSTS to the client over HTTP? I can see that if a HTTP client responds to that unsecure HTTP response it might cause that site to be inaccessible ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Encryption and the “security time decay” of prior encrypted data

This question is on the assumption that any data once encrypted, may (eventually) be decrypted through Brute force (compute power/time) Exploits in the cryptography used Theft of private keys ...
16
votes
1answer
4k views

REST specific security weaknesses

I need to start working with RESTfull Web Services. SOAP based web services have already so many standards to secure communication, establish trust etc. I am not aware of any for REST. What I would ...
16
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4answers
30k views

Recommendations for a Certificate Management tool for Linux [closed]

A client is looking to roll out OpenVPN to all its mobile employees and will use certificates on both the server and all clients. This creates a new challenge to manage all these certificates and ...
16
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4answers
32k views

how to import a private key in windows

Say I have an X.509 cert and a private key that corresponds to it. I can import X.509 certs easily enough into Windows but what about private keys? Is the only way I can do that by converting both ...
16
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2answers
2k views

SSL fingerprint inconsistency: what does it mean?

I apologize if this is not the best place to ask my question on the stackexchange network, I couldn't figure out where to get enough attention and be relevant. Facebook provides a SSL host, it can be ...
16
votes
3answers
596 views

What email addresses are treated as trusted?

Windows Live recently suffered a security incident because they didn't realize that email addresses like administrator@live.fi are considered "trusted": some certificate authorities will consider ...
16
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2answers
717 views

Alternatives to HTML's deprecated <keygen> for client certs?

The keygen tag is used to make browsers generate private keys and POST the resulting CSR to the server, which can then issue a certificate. It's now been deprecated, for rather stupid reasons but that'...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

How can trusting ONE certificate jeopardize everything I do online?

I am not sure I understand how TLS works correctly. To my understanding trusting a certain website's certificate is all about trusting that website or not, but the questions below suggest that ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

Secure communication between applications using SSL Certificates

I am looking for a way how to secure communication between our applications. There is a "server" application listening on some TCP port and "client" application which is communicating with the "server"...
15
votes
4answers
8k views

SSL root certificate optional?

I may have been under the wrong impression on how servers should be setup and what certificates actually get sent over during the server hello certificate message. I came across this today from ...
15
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1answer
14k views

Which key usages are required by each key exchange method?

I'm only really concerned with RSA keys, so the exchange methods are RSA (generate a key, encrypt it, and send it over) and [EC]DHE_RSA (generate an ephemeral [EC]DH key, sign it, and use it for key ...
15
votes
1answer
17k views

Firebug reports SHA-1 certificate error

For the script at the bottom of this post, Firebug reports the following error: This site makes use of a SHA-1 Certificate; it's recommended you use certificates with signature algorithms that ...
15
votes
2answers
558 views

How much of a problem is it that Windows “hides” some of the trusted root CA certs?

Based on information on this page, Windows actually trusts many more root CA certificates than what are displayed when a user launches certmgr.msc and navigates to Trusted Root Certification ...
14
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4answers
2k views

Is my Company Tracking Me?

Every time I try to connect to a site through HTTPS from my office computer, there is a Certificate Error thrown 2-3 times before showing the login screen. Till now I use to ignore this and click ...
14
votes
2answers
10k views

What is the difference between SSL and X.509 Certificates?

I used openssl to create a X.509 certificate but I don't quite understand the relationship between a X.509 and a SSL certificate. Are they the same? Is a SSL certificate just a X.509 certificate that ...
14
votes
3answers
23k views

Is it possible to use wildcard certificates on multiple devices?

I have a server that I want to use a wildcard cert on. It runs multiple services. I purchase a wildcard cert so that I can protect mail.something.dom, www.something.dom, im.something.dom, calendar....
14
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4answers
3k views

Why is it a good idea that X.509 digital certificates have an expiry date?

What is the benefit of having certificates expire at some fixed date?