PKI Consortium blog

Posts by author Wayne Thayer

HTTP/2 Update
October 26, 2016 by Wayne Thayer Google SSL/TLS
I wrote about the next version of the HTTP protocol 18 months ago. Since then, HTTP/2 has gained significant traction, but not without generating some controversy along the way. Performance Perhaps the biggest question lingering over HTTP/2 relates to real-world performance benefits. A demonstration comparing the time it takes to load a website over HTTP/1.1 without SSL/TLS versus HTTP/2 (which only works in browsers over HTTPS) has been criticized for being unrealistic.

HTTP/2 Is Speedy and Secure
April 20, 2015 by Wayne Thayer Announcement Chrome Firefox Forward Secrecy Google HSTS IETF Microsoft Mozilla SSL/TLS Vulnerability
Since we last wrote about SSL/TLS performance, there has been a lot of activity in the IETF HTTP Working Group, resulting in the February announcement that the next version of HTTP has been approved. This is big news because it means that major SSL/TLS performance improvements are on the way. Background When your browser connects to a website today, it most likely uses the HTTP/1.1 protocol that was defined in 1999 in RFC 2616.

Extra Trips are for Frequent Flyers, Not SSL/TLS Performance
October 30, 2014 by Wayne Thayer Firefox Forward Secrecy Google HSTS OCSP Revocation RSA SSL/TLS
TLS is quickly becoming a de facto requirement for every website due to increased concerns about spying and Google’s recent move to use HTTPS as a factor in search engine ranking. In a recent article we explained how HSTS helps website operators to ensure that their site is always using TLS, but now we want to ensure that your performance isn’t sacrificed in the name of enhanced security. While the myth that TLS slows down a website has been debunked, some basic settings can make a site using TLS even faster.

What To Do When You Rely on Internal Names in TLS/SSL Certificates
July 18, 2014 by Wayne Thayer Attack CA/Browser Forum Firefox IANA ICANN Microsoft MITM Qualified SSL/TLS
A deadline set by the CA/Browser Forum for the use of Internal Names is quickly approaching, and many system administrators need to understand how best to adapt to this change. At the same time, hundreds of new top-level domains are being launched, which redefines what constitutes an Internal Name. In this post we’ll explain what the changes are, why they’re being made, and how you can update your systems in response to the problem.

Benefits of Elliptic Curve Cryptography
June 10, 2014 by Wayne Thayer CA/Browser Forum ECC ECDH ECDSA Encryption RSA SSL/TLS
Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) has existed since the mid-1980s, but it is still looked on as the newcomer in the world of SSL, and has only begun to gain adoption in the past few years. ECC is a fundamentally different mathematical approach to encryption than the venerable RSA algorithm. An elliptic curve is an algebraic function (y2 = x3 + ax + b) which looks like a symmetrical curve parallel to the x axis when plotted.

When to Choose an Extended Validation Certificate
March 25, 2014 by Wayne Thayer CA/Browser Forum EV SSL/TLS
In our last post, we made a case for using Organizationally Validated (OV) or Extended Validation (EV) certificates for e-commerce, but we didn’t go into detail about the differences between OV and EV. EV certificates provide the highest level of assurance about your business, and they visually indicate this to your site’s visitors. The telltale sign that a business has obtained an EV certificate for their website is commonly referred to as the “green bar” displayed in the browser.

Pros and Cons of Single-Domain, Multi-Domain, and Wildcard Certificates
February 26, 2014 by Wayne Thayer Microsoft SSL/TLS
We have previously written about the different types of SSL certificates, but in that article we focused on validation levels. A recent post on LinkedIn highlighted the fact that there is another dimension that we haven’t yet explored. SSL certificates come in three basic packages: “single-domain” certificates that can only be used on one specific website, “multi-domain” certificates that can be used on more than one website, and “wildcard” certificates that can be used on any website within a specific domain name.

Ten Steps to Take If Your Website Is Compromised
February 12, 2014 by Wayne Thayer CSR Encryption Google Malware SSH SSL/TLS Vulnerability
After the news broke that 40 million credit card numbers were stolen from Target in a data breach of epic proportions, many of their customers went to work checking their accounts for fraudulent purchases and replacing cards we’d used recently at Target. These have become standard responses to news of this sort. In much the same way, there are some common actions that you should be aware of if your website becomes compromised.

It’s Time for TLS 1.2
September 19, 2013 by Wayne Thayer Attack BEAST Chrome Firefox OCSP RC4 SHA2 SSL 3.0 SSL/TLS TLS 1.0 TLS 1.1 TLS 1.2 Vulnerability
In a previous post titled Getting the Most Out of SSL Part 2, we touched on the recommendation that Web servers be configured to prefer Transport Layer Security (TLS) version 1.2. With the planned release of Firefox 24 and recent release of Chrome 29 adding support for TLS 1.2, now is a great time for website administrators to make the switch. Transport Layer Security was formerly called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and is the protocol that enables secure “https://” connections to websites.

Firefox 23 Blocks Mixed Content
August 13, 2013 by Wayne Thayer Chrome Encryption EV Firefox Google Malware Mixed Content Mozilla SSL/TLS
The latest version of the Firefox Web browser from Mozilla was released on August 6th with a great new security feature called a “mixed content blocker”. In a nutshell, this feature ensures that all of the parts of a secure Website are indeed encrypted via SSL certificates. All of the data on the website is prevented from being intercepted, and it becomes more difficult to add malware into the site’s content.

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