PKI Consortium blog

Show posts by Author, Tag or Series

The Web Is Moving From HTTP to HTTPS
November 21, 2016 by Dean Coclin Chrome Encryption Google SSL/TLS
The four letters, “http”, are known to technical and non-technical users alike as the beginning of any web address. These have been ubiquitous for many years. But things are about to change. Pretty soon, you won’t be able to go to many popular websites just by using those 4 letters. You will need to add an “s” at the end (https). Why is this happening? What are the reasons for this change?

Trust on the Public Web – The Consequences of Covert Action
November 11, 2016 by Dean Coclin Apple Chrome Firefox Mis-issued Mozilla SSL/TLS
You may have heard in the news that the Chinese Certificate Authority, WoSign, was caught backdating SHA-1 certificates to make it look like they were issued before the December 31, 2015 deadline. Why is this newsworthy? For web-based security to remain an integral part of an ecosystem used every day by millions of people around the world, it all comes down to Trust; trust in the organization issuing the certificates, trust in the browsers that validate and display certificate information to the user, and trust by relying parties browsing web pages secured by certificates.

Google Certificate Transparency (CT) to Expand to All Certificates Types
November 8, 2016 by Jeremy Rowley Announcement CA/Browser Forum Chrome DV EV Google IETF OV Policy SSL/TLS
The policy change goes into effect October 2017 A recent Google announcement stated that all publicly trusted SSL/TLS certificates issued in October 2017 or later will be expected to comply with Chrome’s Certificate Transparency (CT) policy or be untrusted by the browser. Since January 2015, Chrome has required Extended Validation (EV) certificates to comply with CT. With this policy change, the Chrome CT policy will also apply to Domain Validated (DV) and Organization Validated (OV) certificates.

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.

Why Is Certificate Expiration Necessary?
October 19, 2016 by Bruce Morton (Entrust) Attack CA/Browser Forum EV Hash Function Identity OCSP Policy RSA SSL/TLS Vulnerability
The Long Life Certificate – Why It Doesn’t Exist Why is certificate expiration even necessary? Wouldn’t it be better if I could just buy a certificate with a long life before expiration? It would really simplify certificate management if it could be installed and forgotten. Simple, no management required, just file-and-forget. Imagine, I’ve been in business, starting say 10 to 15 years ago. I roll out my web pages and secure them with a 20-year-validity SSL certificate.

Always-On SSL
September 30, 2016 by Rick Andrews, Ben Wilson Encryption Firefox Google Identity Microsoft Mixed Content OpenSSL Policy Qualified SSL/TLS
There is no doubt that content owners and publishers have a duty to encourage trust and the confidence during internet usage by adopting security best practices. If a customer believes that their data and identity are safe and protected, they are more inclined to continue their online transactions. Industry best practices for website protection should be vendor-neutral, easy to implement, and globally accessible. Websites should take all the reasonable steps possible to adopt best practices in secure design and implementation, and this includes using Always-On SSL across the entire website.

Chrome to Show HTTP Sites as Not Secure
September 15, 2016 by Bruce Morton (Entrust) Chrome Google HSTS SSL/TLS Vulnerability
Always-On SSL should be deployed to prevent the “Not secure” warning Website owners who do not secure their website with an SSL/TLS certificate will have to rethink their online strategy. In a push to make the Internet safer for all users, Google will soon be issuing a stronger warning to visitors who navigate to a website that does not have the protection of an SSL/TLS certificate. With the release of Chrome 53 on Windows, Google has changed the trust indications to introduce the circle-i.

How a SWEET32 Birthday Attack is Deployed and How to Prevent It
September 7, 2016 by Bruce Morton (Entrust) 3DES Attack Encryption RC4 SSH SSL/TLS TLS 1.0
Details surrounding the SWEET32: Birthday attacks on 64-bit block ciphers in TLS and OpenVPN can be found in the paper released by Karthikeyan Bhargavan and Gaëtan Leurent from INRIA in France. The paper shows that cipher suites using 64-bit block length ciphers are vulnerable to plaintext recovery attacks. As such, Triple-DES (3DES) and Blowfish are vulnerable. Here’s an overview. Vulnerabilities to a SWEET32 Birthday Attack Certain scenarios are pre-disposed to a SWEET32 Birthday attack.

Trust Indication Change in Google Chrome
August 24, 2016 by Bruce Morton (Entrust) Chrome EV Google ISO SSL/TLS
Google is making security icon changes in the Chrome status bar. The changes are based on a research paper prepared by members of Google and University of California, Berkeley. The research evaluated forty icons, seven complementary strings and surveyed 1,329 people. The goal is to make it easier for browser users to determine how secure their connection to a site is and indicate if the site is dangerous or deceptive. In addition, the icons are to indicate to people that HTTP is less secure than HTTPS.

Minimum Requirements for Code Signing Certificates
July 20, 2016 by Bruce Morton (Entrust) CA/Browser Forum CASC Code Signing FIPS HSM Malware Microsoft Revocation TSA
It is time for an update on the Baseline Requirements for Code Signing. First the bad news, the new standard was not approved by the CA/Browser Forum due to philosophical differences among some forum members who felt code signing was not in scope with the Forum’s charter. The good news is the document was created in a multi-stakeholder environment and substantially improves the current management processes. As such, it was decided to bring the document outside of the forum and finalize it as part of the CA Security Council.

Participate in our community discussions and/or join the consortium