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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717
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3answers
368k views

How does SSL/TLS work?

How does SSL work? I just realised we don't actually have a definitive answer here, and it's something worth covering. I'd like to see details in terms of: A high level description of the protocol....
147
votes
5answers
104k views

What is certificate pinning?

I'm superficially familiar with SSL and what certs do. Recently I saw some discussion on cert pinning but there wasn't a definition. A DDG search didn't turn up anything useful. What is certificate ...
86
votes
6answers
69k views

Does https prevent man in the middle attacks by proxy server?

There is a desktop client A connecting to website W in a https connection A --> W Somehow between A and W, there is a proxy G. A --> G --> W In this case, will G be able to get the ...
68
votes
12answers
9k 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 ...
26
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
30
votes
2answers
4k views

Digital Certificate deployment: using two certs for each user?

At a large enterprise environment I have come across a deployment approach for Digital Certificates where each user is issued two (2) key pairs: One for signing documents, emails, etc. that is ...
107
votes
14answers
30k 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 Certificate Authorities have an entry-level certificate (with less stringent validation of the purchaser's ...
73
votes
4answers
29k 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 ...
19
votes
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 ...
75
votes
10answers
22k 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 ...
184
votes
7answers
26k 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 ...
27
votes
5answers
29k views

What ciphers should I use in my web server after I configure my SSL certificate?

There are many great questions that ask what is the best certificate to use for a website; but once the certificate is purchased, there is also the possibility to choose or edit the Cipher list. ...
71
votes
4answers
62k views

What is the difference between an x.509 “client certificate” and a normal SSL certificate?

I am setting up a web service through which my company will talk to a number of business customers' services. We will be exchanging information using SOAP. I would like to handle authentication with ...
42
votes
3answers
104k views

Understanding 2048 bit SSL and 256 bit encryption

On DigiCert's page, they advertise a 2048 bit SSL with a 256 bit encryption: http://www.digicert.com/256-bit-ssl-certificates.htm What exactly is the difference here and why are two encryption bits ...
17
votes
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, ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the benefits and drawbacks of the HTML5 Keygen element?

As of January 2013, what are the potential benefits and drawbacks of the HTML5 Keygen element?
12
votes
1answer
3k views

How does an end user differentiate between OV and DV certificates?

This is a very good link that explains the different types of SSL certificates and level of trust provided by them. An Extended Validation (EV) certificate it is easily identified by the green color ...
4
votes
4answers
746 views

Why self-signed https is less trustworthy than unencrypted http?

It wouldn't be far-fetched to guesstimate that at least 50% of the web traffic can be intercepted in 2014. However, a guesstimate of active interception attacks is likely an order of magnitude lower&...
32
votes
3answers
3k views

What is an SSL certificate intended to prove, and how does it do it?

If I get an SSL certificate from a well-known provider, what does that prove about my site and how? Here's what I know: Assume Alice and Bob both have public and private keys If Alice encrypts ...
18
votes
2answers
920 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? ...
70
votes
7answers
77k views

Certificate based authentication vs Username and Password authentication

What are the advantages and drawbacks of the certificate based authentication over username and password authentication? I know some, but I would appreciate a structured and detailed answer. UPDATE ...
146
votes
4answers
90k views

What exactly does it mean when Chrome reports 'no certificate transparency information was supplied by the server?'

When visiting Gmail in Chrome, if I click on the lock icon in the address bar and go to the connection tab, I receive a message 'no certificate transparency information was supplied by the server' (...
69
votes
2answers
36k views

ssltest: Chain issues - Contains anchor

I've run ssltest on web application and it found "Chain issues - Contains anchor" (section "Additional Certificates (if supplied)") What does it mean? Should it be fixed? Can it be exploited?
21
votes
2answers
35k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
18k 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 ...
38
votes
3answers
26k views

What are the risks of self signing a certificate for SSL

Let's say I sign a SSL certificate for myself, and I'm not using a certified CA. What are the risks and/or threats of doing it?
41
votes
2answers
34k views

What is the difference between serial number and thumbprint?

I have problems to understand what is the difference between the serial number of a certificate and its SHA1 hash. The MSDN says: Serial number A number that uniquely identifies the ...
17
votes
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 ...
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? ...
12
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 ...
16
votes
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
827 views

What kind of certificate do I need to be able to sign my own subdomain certificates?

We are making a web-based application that will be installed in intranets as a virtual machine image (we send the user a CD with the virtual machine image, user runs it in a VMWare/VirtualBox/...). ...
6
votes
4answers
546 views

What fields in a suspicious certificate should I look at?

Looking at a certificate for a web-site (in Windows/Google Chrome) I see it lists the following fields Version Serial number Signature algorithm Issuer Valid from Valid to Subject Public Key Basic ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

ECDSA ciphers and forward secrecy question about key exchange

I have heard that with forward secrecy that the ECDSA ciphers generate different keys for "each session" because they are not dependent on the private key of the server. My question is how is "each ...
6
votes
1answer
12k views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Digital Signature and Verification?

AFAIK , When Alice wants to write a message to Bob -- she uses Bob's public key and encrypt the message - and then Bob - using his private key - use to decrypt it. So public key is used to decrypt ...
2
votes
2answers
536 views

Are there other roots of trust on my computer aside from these 46 root certificates?

I've heard many people imply that modern browsers and OSes trust a myriad of root certificates. The implication is that it is impossible to ensure the private keys of all of the root certificates ...
108
votes
6answers
19k views

I can't access websites that use HTTPS, instead getting the message “your connection is not private”!

I found myself suddenly unable to access websites that use HTTPS, so I contacted my service provider, and they asked me to install a certificate in the Trusted Root Certificate Authorities store. But ...
54
votes
9answers
18k views

Should I change the private key when renewing a certificate?

My security department insists that I (the system administrator) make a new private key when I want a SSL certificate renewed for our web servers. They claim it's best practice, but my googling ...
26
votes
4answers
39k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
15k views

SSL certificate chain verification

After reading many articles and watching many tutorials I decided to be specific because there are some things about SSL certificate chain verification and SSL cetificate verification in general that ...
36
votes
10answers
12k views

Is anybody using client browser certificates?

Client browser certificates seem to be a nice way to protect sites from intruders - it is impossible to guess and should be harder to steal. Of course, they do not solve all the problems, but they add ...
20
votes
1answer
26k 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?
27
votes
4answers
19k views

What vulnerabilities could be caused by a wildcard SSL cert?

In a comment on this answer, AviD says: "There are numerous security issues with wildcard SSL certs." So, what are the problems? I understand that the same private key is being used in multiple ...
7
votes
3answers
8k views

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 (...
25
votes
10answers
5k views

Can an HTTPS site be malicious or unsafe?

I know it's possible for a computer to be infected just by visiting a website. I also know that HTTPS websites are secure. To my understanding, "secure" here refers to "immune to MITM attacks", but ...
21
votes
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.
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Can real end-to-end SSL encryption be made?

I've read the various questions tagged [ssl] and [mitm] and [proxy] and I couldn't find a duplicate. I've got a very precise question but first I need to give some background. Basically I'm very ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Understanding SSL certificate signing

I am trying to understand how SSL certificate and signing and the chain of trust works. I know about root CAs and that they are used to sign intermediate CAs that sign the end certificates that are ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Is possible that a TLS server send more than one certificate to the client for the same site?

What I'm trying to archive is enable ECDSA and DSS ciphers in my site, but at the same time not depend just of self signed certificates, so I could sent to my client more than one certificate and them ...