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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474
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3answers
231k 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 ...
82
votes
5answers
57k 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 ...
48
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 ...
49
votes
5answers
34k 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 ...
57
votes
4answers
18k 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 ...
23
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
62
votes
10answers
12k 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 ...
12
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2answers
5k 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 ...
71
votes
11answers
17k 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 ...
29
votes
3answers
65k 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
21k 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
55k views

Chrome is telling me I am receiving a forged certificate for Gmail, is someone trying to hack me?

I went to log on to https://mail.google.com this morning and I got the following error. Is someone trying to attack me or is this just a bug? I'm on a WPA2 encrypted wireless connection using Chrome ...
50
votes
4answers
41k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k 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?
24
votes
2answers
13k 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?
0
votes
1answer
139 views

Secure way to pass client certificate to the client2

Our product is comprised of two servers. We would like to authenticate one server to the main server by means of client certificate. I assume that we should ask the customers (who purchase the ...
158
votes
7answers
15k 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 ...
60
votes
7answers
49k 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 ...
27
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
16
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, ...
11
votes
5answers
2k 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? ...
5
votes
4answers
429 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
539 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/...). ...
7
votes
1answer
969 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 ...
15
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 ...
40
votes
2answers
20k 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?
28
votes
8answers
7k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
19k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Extensions for SSL server certificate

I have some question about the X.509 v3 extensions. What extensions should appear in a proper certificate for a SSL server ?
17
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2answers
936 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
347 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 ...
114
votes
4answers
59k views

What exactly does it mean when Chrome reports a certificate 'does not have public audit records'?

When visiting Gmail in Chrome, if I click on the lock icon in the address bar and go to the connection tab, I received a message 'The identity of this website has been verified by Google Internet ...
17
votes
2answers
23k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

Does HTTPS Everywhere defend me against sslsniff-like attacks?

http://www.thoughtcrime.org/software/sslsniff/ If I have a domain on my HTTPS Everywhere list, so that theoretically it could be only visited via an HTTPS connection in my Firefox, then could an ...
17
votes
1answer
13k 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?
34
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How does adding a random serial number improve a certificates' security?

This article says: "Finding collisions is a tricky process, since it requires you to muck with the bits of the public key embedded in the certificate (see this paper for more details). Also, ...
18
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Do client certificates provide protection against MITM?

I'm looking for a way to protect clients from a MITM attack without using a VPN, and ToR. My thought is that client certificates might do the job, but I'm not entirely sure since not too much server ...
13
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.
11
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
29k 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?
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Why isn't OCSP required by default in browsers?

According to the following screenshot, taken from firefox-3.6.17-1.fc14.i686, Firefox has an option to fail closed when unable to connect to OCSP servers. Can someone please explain why this isn't ...