PKI Consortium blog

Posts by tag CA/Browser Forum

    Improving Code Signing
    November 14, 2013 by Jeremy Rowley CA/Browser Forum Code Signing Identity Malware SSL/TLS
    Previously, we discussed how code signing certificates play a key role in the trust framework by proving the authenticity of software. As mentioned, code signing certificates act as a certification that the software was unmodified after publication. Although current code signing practices greatly reduce the threats of malware and adware embedded in signed objects, the sophistication of threats has risen and there is a need for improvement. When code signing was new, skilled criminal hackers were the exception and script kiddies were the norm.

    Certificate Authority Audits and Browser Root Program Requirements
    October 15, 2013 by Kirk Hall AICPA CA/Browser Forum CASC ETSI EV ISO ITU Microsoft Policy Qualified Root Program SSL/TLS WebTrust
    Recent news stories have highlighted the need for strong security in online communications, and use of SSL certificates issued by a publicly trusted Certification Authority (CA) is perhaps the best way to achieve that. But why should the public trust SSL certificates issued from commercial CA roots, which are embedded as trust anchors in web browsers? One answer is because of the multiple layers of standards and tough requirements that all commercial CAs must meet – and for which they are audited every year.

    The (Soon to Be) Not-So Common Name
    October 8, 2013 by Ryan Hurst CA/Browser Forum CRL Encryption Identity IETF Revocation SSL/TLS Vulnerability
    If you are reading this post you are probably already familiar with the use of digital certificates and SSL even if you may not be familiar with the history. Before exploring the history of SSL, let’s review at its core what a digital certificate actually is. Fundamentally, a digital certificate is the binding of entitlements and constraints to a key, in other words a digital certificate would dictate the following, “The holder of the private key associated with this certificate can rightfully use the name John Smith when signing emails.

    Some Comments on Web Security
    June 5, 2013 by CA Security Council Attack CA/Browser Forum CASC Google IETF Microsoft Mis-issued Policy SSL/TLS
    Steve Johnson of the Mercury News posted an article on Web security and highlighted some of the issues. The posted issues help to explain why we created the Certificate Authority Security Council. We want to determine the issues, have them addressed and provide awareness and education on the solutions. The CAs also work with the browsers and other experts in the industry to develop standards for all CAs to be audited against through the CA/Browser Forum.

    CAs Support Standards and Regulations
    May 10, 2013 by Bruce Morton (Entrust) CA/Browser Forum CASC CICA ETSI EV SSL/TLS WebTrust
    There is an industry myth that certification authorities (CAs) are not regulated. In fact publicly-trusted SSL CAs support the development of industry regulations and have been audited annually to ensure compliance to the many requirements. To provide some history, SSL CAs have always self-policed themselves by having external audits performed. In the ‘90s, the CAs wrote certificate policies and certification practice statements requiring annual compliance audits. Since there were no CA audit criteria, the CAs contracted for SAS 70 audits.

    An Introduction to OCSP Multi-Stapling
    May 7, 2013 by CA Security Council CA/Browser Forum CRL IETF OCSP Revocation SSL/TLS Vulnerability
    OCSP Stapling OCSP is a protocol used to check the validity of certificates to make sure they have not been revoked. OCSP is an alternative to Certificate Revocation Lists (CRLs). Since OCSP responses can be as small as a few hundred bytes, OCSP is particularly useful when the issuing CA has relatively big CRLs, as well as when the client has limited memory and processing power. OCSP can also provide much more timely information than CRLs about the status of a certificate since the information is generally fetched more frequently.

    Recap of NIST’s Workshop on Improving Trust in the Online Marketplace
    April 17, 2013 by Rick Andrews CA/Browser Forum CASC NIST Revocation SSL/TLS
    On April 10 and 11, NIST held a workshop in Maryland to bring together many parties (industry, research and academia communities, and government sectors) to examine “technical and administrative efforts to increase trust online by improving the Public Key Infrastructure certificate marketplace supporting SSL and TLS.” From the opening keynote to the final remarks, we heard from experts around the world. There were presentations on the current state of trust infrastructure and audits, the impact of recent breaches, detailed looks on some emerging solutions like Certificate Transparency and DANE, and new ideas to manage and minimize risk in key usage.

    What the ICANN SSAC Report Doesn’t Tell You
    March 22, 2013 by CA Security Council CA/Browser Forum CASC ICANN SSL/TLS
    The CA Security Council, which comprises seven of the largest CAs, read with interest the article titled, “Internal-use SSL certificates pose security risk for upcoming domain extensions.” As a group in one of the best positions to understand the impact of the new gTLDs on organizational security infrastructure and the Internet as a whole, we felt it appropriate to comment on this and related stories which summarize the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) report sac 045 Invalid Top Level Domain Queries at the Root Level of the Domain Name System.

    World’s Leading Certificate Authorities Come Together to Advance Internet Security and the Trusted SSL Ecosystem
    February 14, 2013 by CA Security Council CA/Browser Forum CASC CRL OCSP Revocation SSL/TLS
    San Francisco, CA. – February 14, 2013 – Leading global certificate authorities announced the creation of the Certificate Authority Security Council (CASC), an advocacy group, committed to the exploration and promotion of best practices that advance the security of websites and online transactions. Through public education, collaboration, and advocacy, the CASC strives to improve understanding of critical policies and their potential impact on the internet infrastructure. Members of the CASC include Comodo, DigiCert, Entrust, GlobalSign, Go Daddy, Symantec, and Trend Micro.

    CAs Unite
    February 14, 2013 by Robin Alden (Sectigo) Announcement CA/Browser Forum CASC SSL/TLS
    Today marks an important day for internet security and future SSL enhancements, as the world’s seven largest publicly trusted Certificate Authorities are announcing the formation of the Certificate Authority Security Council. While leading CAs have worked together for years to address security challenges and meet them with evolving and increasingly strict standards and best practices through the CA/Browser Forum and other industry venues, we’ve lacked a union where we can come together and speak with a unified CA voice.

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