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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

12
votes
1answer
6k views

Which properties of a X.509 certificate should be critical and which not?

RFC5280's section 4.2 states Each extension in a certificate is designated as either critical or non-critical. A certificate-using system MUST reject the certificate if it encounters ...
12
votes
4answers
2k 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?
12
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
27k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
289 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it safe to send a CSR via email?

I'm new to commercial SSL certificates and would like to know if a CSR that I generate is safe to send via email?
11
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Difference between Certificate Authorities

I've been wondering for a long time about is. There are many certificate authorities having different types of certificates. But even certificates of the same security level cost a lot more with one ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

SSL Certificate revocation check

In the SSL protocol I don't see where the certificate is checked for revocation status. https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Introduction_to_SSL Is the Certificate Revocation and Status Checking not ...
11
votes
4answers
11k views

What SSL key should I make for IIS: RSA or DH? What bit length is appropriate?

I'm creating an SSL cert for my IIS server and need to know when I should choose the Microsoft RSA SChannel Cryptographic Provider or the Microsoft DH SChannel Cryptographic Provider. Question 1 Why ...
11
votes
1answer
12k views

SSL Certificate framework 101: How does the browser actually verify the validity of a given server certificate? [duplicate]

Sorry I know this is a complete noob question and at the risk of posting a somewhat duplicate topic. I have a basic understanding of public/private key, hashing, digital signature... I have been ...
11
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

What elliptic curves are supported by browsers?

Wireshark'ed Firefox 3 request. Their names are nowhere documented. Elliptic curve: secp256r1 (0x0017) Elliptic curve: secp384r1 (0x0018) Elliptic curve: secp521r1 (0x0019) What are the supported ...
11
votes
4answers
2k 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
527 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
1answer
694 views

Kaspersky Antivirus “secure connection scan” as broken as Superfish?

I've read a lot about Superfish (and similar ad-ware) lately and I basically understand the vulnerability to MITM attacks. But I'm actually wondering if the "secure connection scan" by Kaspersky ...
11
votes
1answer
168 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
3answers
185 views

Why is Firefox shipped with expired root certificates?

What's the purpose of shipping Firefox with expired root certs? I checked and there are two expired certs listed. In fact the company's website for the first expired cert (A-Trust) states that the ...
11
votes
1answer
390 views

How should I store and secure self-signed certificates?

I'm fairly certain I shouldn't commit certificates into source control. Even if the repository is private and only authenticated coworkers (for example) have access to it. That would allow for ...
11
votes
2answers
12k views

Encrypting local HTTP traffic using a self-signed certificate

For the past couple of hours I've been trying to create a self-signed certificate which I'd like to use to encrypt HTTP traffic between computers and a server on my home network (because I'm paranoid ...
11
votes
1answer
392 views

Is TLS in Tor useless?

I am trying to optimize the Orchid Tor client library for my needs and noticed that every connection with every node uses TLS with turned off certificate verification. Actually there are no TLS ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How are digital certificates compared?

I have read about SSL and TLS; I know how RSA works and why digital certificates are necessary (more or less), but I am curious about how we prevent a fake digital certificate. The operating system ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

How does an SSL server prove its identity?

This document says that a challenge response authentication proves the servers identity. But is a man in the middle attack still possible if the client does not verify domain name ? Please help me ...
10
votes
3answers
739 views

Can we make sure that the new Lavabit certificate is not under control of the FBI?

After the Lavabit shutdown, Ladar Levison (founder of Lavabit) announced that he’s "looking into setting up a site where users can download their data". Such a site is now online: ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

HTTPS self signed certficiate for personal website

I want to make my Synology NAS accessible over the internet. When I create my own certificate and import this on all my devices (PC, Laptop, Smartphone, Tablet, etc.) is this as secure as buying a ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How does obtaining a SSL certificate work?

I have been carrying out some work on SSL certificates and found that there are some places that charge you for an SSL certificate, but, how do they obtain the rights to do so? And, how, are they ...
10
votes
3answers
7k views

What issues arise from sharing a SSL certificate's private key?

Scenario: I am hosting a website for a my client, who we'll call S. S owns the domain s.com and I own the servers that actually host the website. S now wants to enable SSL on their website. I have ...
10
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
660 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Creating an X.509 certificate with an invalid signature

Creating an X.509 certificate with a valid signature with OpenSSL is pretty well documented all over the Internet. There are instructions on creating certificates that are signed by themselves and ...
10
votes
2answers
6k views

How to set “Not Before” value to past when creating certificate request

We have lots of embedded TLS clients on the field. TLS Servers must be authenticated. Because long power cuts may reset clock of those devices, we have requirement to use certificates with validity ...
10
votes
1answer
525 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
6answers
3k views

Can Javascript/Flash verify the SSL connection to prevent “SSL Inspection”?

I'd like to determine if an SSL webpage is being debugged through Fiddler, or if it's going through an SSL Proxy. So some people may ask What is the point of re-validating SSL using javascript? ...
10
votes
1answer
739 views

Should I use a Certificate Revocation List?

I've been trying to provide security to my API. I will issue certificates to my clients to access my API through a TLS channel. So it'll be a SSL-Client Authentication. I'm wondering, should I use ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Are certificate authorities required to obey to the signature algorithm (hashing) specified in the CSR?

I was playing a little bit with signature algorithms, trying to determine which CAs among the ones I use are currently issuing SHA2 certificates. I generated a CSR specifying the SHA256 hash (either ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

OCSP and CRLs: Specified in CA or client certificate?

Here's an example PKI setup: * Root CA (offline) * Issuing CA * Client 1 * Client 2 I'd like to specify a CRL distribution point for CRLs generated by Root CA, and an OCSP URL for Issuing ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Is “Fingerprint Check” enough to verify HTTPS certificates?

So I'm at place A, see this sign: and I'm writing the fingerprints to a piece of paper (this website is just an example): Ok. Then, I go to place B (other country, etc.) then I check this ...
10
votes
2answers
734 views

PKI solution vendor selection

What would you look for in a (X.509-) PKI solution, and why would you look for that, given the following constraints: Available programming/sw-engineering know how is limited (ie, "OpenSSL with a ...
10
votes
2answers
242 views

What real life scenarios require separate end user certificates for Signing and Identity?

Based on this question, I'm interested in any rational argument that would support the idea of maintaining separate signing and authentication certificates. Conventional logic & wisdom says there ...
10
votes
1answer
11k views

Reset Windows trusted certificates store to its default

Over the time I have installed several additional trusted CA certificates to Windows trust store, sometimes because an app pushed me to do so, some other times for development and testing. Is there ...
9
votes
8answers
5k views

Is Spoofing a CA signed certificate possible?

I had never thought about this situation before, I may be completely wrong but I am going to have to clarify it anyway. When a communication starts with a server, during the client handshake, the ...
9
votes
2answers
263 views

Why do some certificates specifically identify a corporation and most don't?

Looking at a handful of websites that allow for/require HTTPS, I realized that the certificate for a few of them specifically identifies the owning corporation, but some (most) don't. What's the ...
9
votes
2answers
13k views

Is there any way to get Chrome 27 to trust a self-signed cert? [closed]

I'm running latest gen Chrome (27) and preparing a demo that requires using a self-signed cert to support HTTPS on a local IIS website. The cert has been created with the correct common name for the ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
617 views

What are the problems with creating an own CA for intranet?

In the comments to Creating my own CA for an intranet several people strongly advise against creating your own CA for an intranet. Especially: don't do it. Nope. Bad idea. Buy $10 CA signed ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

When you buy a certificate, does the certificate authority have (a copy of) the private key?

I always assumed that the process for getting a (trusted, not self-signed) certificate was more or less like this: You generate a public and private key pair From this key pair you generate a ...
9
votes
3answers
634 views

Do client certificates need to be trusted by the client?

I'm looking for some clarification around the trust requirements (if any) of client certificates. I'm working with a third party to access their services via Mutual TLS. I generate a CSR, send it ...
9
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
423 views

Why is there no Domain CA?

I was asked to deliver a signed SSL certificate for an IIS server for a client. I have previously done this for the same client/domain before, so it start to seem like an unnecessary expense to hold ...
9
votes
1answer
438 views

Why does GoDaddy have four different certificate chain, G2, G3, G4?

I see from Godaddy they have multiple certificate chains https://certs.godaddy.com/repository GoDaddy Certificate Chain GoDaddy Certificate Chain - G2 GoDaddy Certificate Chain - G3 GoDaddy ...