A public-key infrastructure (PKI) is a set of hardware, software, people, policies, and procedures needed to create, manage, distribute, use, store, and revoke digital certificates. In cryptography, a PKI is an arrangement that binds public keys with respective user identities by means of a ...

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321
votes
3answers
114k views

How does SSL 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. ...
27
votes
11answers
3k 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 ...
37
votes
4answers
21k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
10k views

How to achieve non-repudiation?

If I have a message that I need to send to another person, how do I achieve non repudiation ? Is digitally signing the message sufficient ?
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Can a HTTPS connection be compromised because of a rogue DNS server

If I'm visiting (just a desktop pc, client side) a site that has a valid HTTPS cert/connection, that can it be compromised if I'm using [not with free will, so e.g.: I'm "attacked"] a rouge DNS ...
52
votes
7answers
26k 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 ...
39
votes
4answers
24k 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 ...
24
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
6k 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?
18
votes
6answers
1k views

Shouldn't GPG key fetching use a secure connection?

If I run this for example: gpg --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 0xFBB75451 then does the importing occur in a secure way? I mean does it go over only secured connections? (HKP?) ...
5
votes
4answers
318 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

How would I implement “Broadcast Encryption”?

I have a stream that I want to encrypt for broadcast to 10,000 subscribers. I know I should encrypt this data using a symmetric key; and also intend that this symmetric key will be rotated every 30 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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 ?
8
votes
2answers
388 views

Is there a way to negotiate a secret between 2 parties with no prior knowledge?

Is there a way for 2 parties to negotiate a shared secret (for example, a session key) without having a pre-shared knowledge? SSL does this by using asymmetric encryption. Is there any other way to ...
0
votes
3answers
125 views

Is it ok to send user's private key away, even if protected with a SSL channel?

I'm developing a webserver that performs digital signatures of (xml, pdf and office) documents and then validates those signatures. My idea is: an user puts its SmartCard and through a PIN, he gets ...
138
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
48
votes
10answers
6k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
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, ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the common pragmatic strategy for managing key pairs?

I have a small number of different workstations (plus client devices like iPhone) that I use for to connecting to numerous servers using SSH. Originally when I learned about PKI, I created a single ...
5
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
18k 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?
15
votes
2answers
659 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
899 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it safe to store a single symmetric key encrypted with several different RSA public keys?

For the field-based encryption of a database containing sensitive information, I was thinking of the following design: Every user has a smartcard used for client certificate login. After login the ...
3
votes
1answer
650 views

What are the Netscape Cert Type attributes? Why/when are they needed?

What are the Netscape Cert Type attributes in a X.509 Certificate and how are they different with the X509v3 extensions? Example: There is the Client/Server Extended Key Usage (X.509) but there is ...
0
votes
1answer
310 views

Enterprise Encryption Considerations

What are the different aspects to consider for Enterprise Encryption policy? So far the resources I have are: https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Cryptographic_Storage_Cheat_Sheet ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Computationally simple, lightweight replacement for SSL/TLS

Target hardware is a rather low-powered MCU (ARM Cortex-M3 @72MHz, with just about 64KB SRAM and 256KB flash), so walking the thin line here. My board does have ethernet, and I will eventually get ...
15
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
10k views

Recommendations for a Certificate Management tool for Linux

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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

How to set up OpenSSH to use x509 PKI for authentication?

I do not mean simply putting the public RSA key of a x.509 certificate into ~/.ssh/authorized_keys - I'm looking for a way to set up a ssh such that x.509 certificates signed by a pre-defined CA will ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there really functioning quantum computers?

I saw this video on youtube on quantum computing. It says that a company called dwavesys has already made commercially available quantum computer. I checked on the website and it exists. I thought ...
7
votes
4answers
719 views

Alternative to “web of trust”

Let's say I have an SMIME platform where I want to easily establish trust across the entire world for a particular purpose, for example for sharing valid financial information. I think that a ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Dealing with expired or revoked signing certificates with Infopath documents

Suppose I have an Infopath form that is digitally signed today by a valid, and active user. When that user leaves the company, we disable the account and revoke the certificate. This causes a problem ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

How does RSA encryption compare to PGP?

On this answer ck says RSA and PGP are different. What you are essentially asking is how do I run my petrol car on diesel? The answer is you can't. I would be interested in a more ...
11
votes
4answers
934 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
335 views

Geographic equivilent of RFC 3161 (X.509 PKI Time-stamp Protocol)

First time poster here, hope to be around more often. I'm in need of a cryptographically secure 'stamping' system that allows not only time but also location to be attached to data, while still ...
5
votes
2answers
565 views

Two certificates on smart card

I have a question regarding Swedish gov eID (but I guess it is a pki/smart card general question); Why is there two certificates/keys on the card? Background: In Sweden you can have a "citizen ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

AIA/CRL locations for Offline Root

I've read the answer to the following "Checklist on building an Offline Root & Intermediate Certificate Authority (CA)" and I have one questions based on the system I am trying building It's an ...
9
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
551 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 ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

How can I share files with other individuals using the cloud in a secure way?

I would like to use a dropbox because it is easy and convenient. But I want to encrypt the files with the public key of the intended recipient, so he will be the only one who can access the data in ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Can an intermediate CA be trusted like a self-signed root CA?

Is it possible within the limits of the X.509 specification to mark an intermediate CA as trusted for a specific purpose, e.g. to verify a VPN, HTTPS etc. server key, just like it would work with a ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Certificate Chain checking

I have a very specific question. A client verifies a sever by taking the certificate and checking specific values and that the digital signature of the intermediate CA is correct (According to the ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it possible to create a self signed certificate authority?

Would it be possible to create a legitimate certificate with the CA bit set? I dont have a usecase associated with this, I'm merely curious. To explain my question : Suppose I sign a public ...