This is Bob's current understanding about security certificates:

  • Security certificates are required for SSL communication.
  • If you want to take part in SSL communication you have buy a certificate from a trustworthy institution.
  • This institution verifies that you are the person claimed in the certificate.
  • Starting a communication the certificates proves that it's really you.

Now Bob is confronted with the following problem: To grant access to some super secret data platform Alice asks Bob for some information about his security certificate.

But Bob does not know very much about security certificates. He knows where to find certificates in his browser settings. He does not know how to match the information about certificates he finds there with the requested information.

The required information is:

  • CA of your Client Certificate
  • Keysize
  • Issuer Common Name
  • Issuer Organisation
  • Issuer Country
  • Subject Common Name
  • Subject E-Mail

As a normal user, can Bob find all the asked for and if so where, or should he contact his administrator?

Bonus question: Why is it even required to provide this information? Using certificates in general this does not seem to be the case

  • 2
    I have no idea what the OP actually wants to know but the question looks for me like a made up problem. If Alice wants to have information about Bobs certificate (presumably a client certificate) she would just ask Bob to give here the certificate. This way should would be also able to distinguish it from other certificates with the same information but different key. – Steffen Ullrich Oct 7 '17 at 10:12
  • When a TLS connection is started, the browser automatically sent the client certificate chosen by the user and the server send the server certificate set by the server administrator. Both server and browser then automatically verify each other, all the information you listed are already verified automatically by browsers and servers can be configured to verify them depending on the verification policy you set. So what's your question? – Lie Ryan Oct 7 '17 at 10:14
  • @ Lie Ryan: Actually I expected it to be like you described it. Initially I was not able to access the server, so it seems like in this case it does not work automatically. Then I was ask to provide the information stated in the question and my question is where to find them? – NashVio Oct 7 '17 at 10:20
  • I just saw, that the certificates purpose is server authentication, but not client authentication, might that be causing problems? – NashVio Oct 7 '17 at 10:22
  • 1
    The question looks like, "if neither party knows what they are doing, how can they engage in PKI?"- I'm not sure that it is answerable. The answer is to understand the process before engaging in it. – schroeder Oct 7 '17 at 10:56

Bob should simply be providing Alice with a copy of Bob's SSL certificate, which contains all the information requested (if it exists at all).

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