Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

186

It is already done: It is the FPKI root CA, under explicit and full control of the US government. Windows already trusts it by default. Before you flip out and begin to delete root CA certificates, burn your computer's motherboard, or drink a gallon of vodka, think about what it means. It means that the US government could technically emit a fake ...


57

In essence, these certificates are necessary and required for backward compatibility with XP and Server 2003. If anything was signed with these certificates, even if they're expired now, your server needs the cert trusted in order to trust the thing that the cert signed. Source: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/293781 Some certificates that are listed in ...


33

The NSA could and probably already has gone -- using a USA PATRIOT Act demand letter, or other similar legislative tool -- to all the major CAs in the United States (e.g. VeriSign, GeoTrust, etc.) and demanded that they remit their private root keys to "No Such Agency", "for purposes of 'national security'". Of course, all such requests must (per PATRIOT ...


28

Mostly yes, any CA in your trusted root, (or subordinates) can issue a cert for any DNS name. Name constraints and Enhanced Key Usage can be used to mitigate this, but they aren't enforced everywhere. DANE, Certificate Pinning, and Certificate transparency are a few projects that help protect from this risk.


17

Can any CA sign any cert for any domain? In general, yes. Trusted root certs are trusted for anything under the root. If the answer is yes, what prevents having two different CAs creating a valid cert for the same domain? Nothing - it's completely legitimate for you, the owner of example.com, to go get a certificate for www.example.com issued by ...


15

It's prevented through legal (contractual) and not technical means. What happens if a CA creates an certificate which is not duly authorized by the legitimate domain owner: Time passes, with users unknowingly trusting the fraud. Somebody notices and reports it. Browser vendors remove that CA's root certificate from the next update to the trusted list All ...


13

No. In addition to the obvious government Root CAs in your trust stores; the NSA is a spy agency and as such has likely already stolen the private keys of several other CAs. If they are devious, they'd steal the private keys of other government CAs for potential false flag operations. Additionally, unless every operating system and browser explicitly locks ...


11

Depending on how the CA does things, it may or may not have a copy of your private key. Usually it doesn't. The normal method is that you generate your private/public key pair on your own machine, then send the public key to the CA as part of a certificate request. The CA assembles and signs the certificate, and sends it back to you. Your private key never ...


11

You can add, for example the -sha256 flag to the OpenSSL command line when generating the CSR. I don't believe any CA will change how they sign your CSR based on this, and it certainly won't affect the certificate chain. They're not resigning the cert chain for each key, the only signature operation they do is on your CSR itself. Any intermediate/root CAs ...


10

So we had to install their root certificate "PrivateCompany Root CA" to our web server. Why? Globally trusted CAs are useful in general purpose clients like browsers. But if you consume specific web services from a custom client you can add that CA locally. Every decent SSL client allows you to influence certificate validation. For example by ...


10

There are multiple ways to exploit a compromised certificate. If you have a compromised website certificate, you need to get people onto your server when they type the address of the compromised one. This can be done: By getting control of a DNS server, there you can basically change the association of a website URL to your server IP address. By ...


8

It's not at all clear to me what you don't understand, so I'll take it very slowly. First some terminology. It's important to get this straight, because otherwise you can't know correctly what you're hearing and saying. Key pair: a private key and a corresponding public key which are mathematically related and used for public-key cryptography (PKC) also ...


8

... But in reality, a self-signed cert is not significantly less secure than a cert signed by a CA - in the sense that your traffic is encrypted and sent to the web server and decrypted there. It just means that no one "trusted" checked the identity of the webserver in question. This just is a very important part. If you don't verify, that the peer you ...


7

There is no risk of compromising the private key, because you send only the CSR which contains the public, but not the private key. But using a CA is in effect a trust delegation, as people trust your certificate because they (or the browser) trust the CA that signed the certificate. Once they notice that the CA is no longer trustworthy (like DigiNotar after ...


7

It's a rather short list: ‘admin’, ‘administrator’, ‘webmaster’, ‘hostmaster’, or ‘postmaster’ Now that's the fixed and static list. But: contact info from WHOIS is also legal. From the CAB-Forums' Baseline requirements, page 17: 11.1.1 Authorization by Domain Name Registrant For each Fully-Qualified Domain Name listed in a Certificate, the CA SHALL ...


6

To be intentionally recognized, the trusted certificate authorities (CAs) will need to get their root certificates pre-bundled with specific web browsers and operating systems (OS), like Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera (et al.). The trusted root certificate list is usually updated periodically to add or ...


6

Yes, it is possible, but the better question is would they? The CA's reputation is their life blood. Why would they give a trusted signing authority to another CA that might not hold up to their standards (and could be a direct competitor in the future.) To the best of my knowledge, no CA offers this kind of service, nor do I see any reason why they would ...


6

You are correct that SSL uses a asymmetric key pair. One public and one private key is generated which also known as public key infrastructure (PKI). The public key is what is distributed to the world, and is used to encrypt the data. Only the private key can actually decrypt the data though. Example time. Say we both go to walmart.com and buy stuff. ...


6

The question is... a bit complex. The critical issues are existence and availability of intermediate CA certificates. Consider the following points: Root CA are not "revoked". Revocation is a mechanism by which the issuer for a given certificate specifies, directly or indirectly, that one of its issued certificates is not to be trusted and must not be used ...


6

From RFC 5280 3.3 Revocation An entry MUST NOT be removed from the CRL until it appears on one regularly scheduled CRL issued beyond the revoked certificate's validity period. If you have a lot of changes (people leaving etc.) it's best to not make the certificate validity too long otherwise the CRL can grow large (some CRLs are > 30MB which ...


6

There is only full trust with the CAs you've installed. This means, that there is no restriction which certificates a trusted CA can sign. So it can also sign fake certificates for sites they don't own (e.g. banking.com) and you will accept them. I don't know how you communicate with the partner, but with languages like Perl, Python etc you can specify a CA ...


5

The risk of using a shifty-looking CA is not in the certificate enrollment process: as long as you generate the key pair yourself and send only the certificate request to the CA (which contains only the public key) and receive the raw certificate in return (not a PKCS#12/PFX archive), then your private key is yours and yours only. The risk, though, is in ...


5

To answer your first question: As far as I know, there is no way to circumvent this. It's a security feature. To answer your second question: Yes, non-default trusted root certs are definitely potentially problematic. They are often abused. They are sometimes used for workplace or traffic monitoring (which is potentially OK if adequately disclosed, ...


5

There is no global directory of all issued certificates (X.509 was designed to support the Directory, but it never existed in practice). You will have to contact "all CA" and ask them nicely. Basically, this would mean going to their site, and using the "I lost my password" feature so as to regain control of your account, if it exists. Details vary depending ...


5

It's safe as long as you understand the implications. Fiddler acts as a proxy / man in the middle to intercept and decrypt traffic between you and the target. For SSL sites, it does this by dynamically generating an SSL certificate with the name of the target. The problem is that your browser will not trust certificates issued by Fiddler, hence the ...


5

Others have mentioned mitigation techniques, here are some examples: Questionable Compromises Antivirus manufacturers like Kaspersky frequently install a CA in order to "protect" you by eavesdropping on all your connections, including SSL links. In February 2015, media covered the SuperFish adware / malware deliberately installed by Lenovo on its ...


5

Certificate Authorities cross-sign each other when they get married together. When CA Y issues a certificate for CA Z, then any system who trusts Y will indirectly gain confidence in everything that Z issues, since, for any certificate X issued (signed) by Z, a system that trusts Y will build the chain Y→Z→X. Thus, this cross-certification represents an ...


5

Within SSL/TLS, the server sends its certificate chain systematically to the client (well, unless the client wants to negotiate a cipher suite that uses no certificate at all, but that's pretty rare in practice). See the TLS standard, in particular this diagram, which says it all: Client Server ClientHello ...


5

is it trust-worthy because the CA authority did a background check on them? No. A SSL certificate is comparable to a passport: it says who the person is and which country the passport issued. But it does not say how trustworthy the person is. The main use of the certificate is to make end-to-end encryption possible, that is protecting against ...


4

Not only could they - some do. But they are effectively delegating their monopoly to you they will charge you a LOT of money for the privilege (as in if-you-need-to-ask-then-you-cant-afford-it). Its not cost-effective unless you are issuing a HUGE number of certificates.



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible