Why We Need to Move to SHA-2

Posted by on January 30, 2014 0 comments

Previously, we advised that the SSL industry must move to the SHA-2 hashing algorithm for certificate signatures. We thought it would be helpful to provide the reasoning behind the position. In the context of SSL, the purpose of a hashing algorithm is to reduce a message (e.g., a certificate) to a reasonable size for use with a digital signature algorithm. The hash value, or message digest, is then signed to allow an end-user to validate the certificate and ensure it was issued by a trusted certification authority (CA). In the past, we used MD5 for hashing; we are now primarily using SHA-1...

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CA Day in Berlin

Posted by on January 24, 2014 0 comments

“CA Day” (also known as CA Conformity Assessment) was hosted by the German company TuVIT in Berlin on January 16, 2014. In attendance were approximately 100 people from mostly European CAs. Under the European regulatory framework, CAs are included in a group referred to as “Trust Service Providers” or “TSPs.” CASC members in attendance at CA Day were Symantec, Digicert and Comodo. The dominant theme for this CA Day was the draft Regulation on Electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS) and upcoming...

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Always-On SSL, Part I

Posted by on January 16, 2014 0 comments

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...

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Intermediate CA Certificates and Their Potential For Misuse For Man-In-The-Middle Attacks

Posted by on January 9, 2014 0 comments

We have seen recently that Google detected that publicly trusted TLS/(SSL) certificates had been created for Google domains without having been requested by Google themselves. The existence of such certificates might usually be taken as an indication of misissuance by the issuing CA (i.e. a failure or mistake by the CA which allowed the issuance of an end-entity certificate otherwise than in accordance with their policy) or as an indication of compromise of the issuing CA. In this case the problem was not quite either of those things but instead arose from the issuance of an unconstrained...

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2014 – Looking Back, Moving Forward

Posted by on January 6, 2014 0 comments

Looking Back at 2013 Protocol Attacks The year started with a couple of SSL/TLS protocol attacks: Lucky Thirteen and RC4 attack. Lucky Thirteen allows the decryption of sensitive information, such as passwords and cookies, when using the CBC-mode cipher suite. Lucky Thirteen can be mitigated by implementing software patches or preferring the cipher suite RC4. That being said, RC4 was also attacked, where through 16 million sessions a small amount of plaintext can be recovered. The best solution to mitigate the RC4 attack and CBC attacks is to move to TLS 1.2 and use AEAD cipher...

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