Posts by randrews

The Cost of Creating Collisions Using SHA-1

Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Blog | 4 comments

SHA-1 is a cryptographic hash algorithm that is most commonly used today in TLS/SSL certificates on the Internet. It has almost completely replaced older algorithms like MD2, MD4 and MD5, which were phased out when practical attacks against those algorithms became widely known. If you do a simple web search, you’ll find a number of online services that claim to “crack” SHA-1 and other hash functions. These generally use a computer’s CPU to build and search through a rainbow table, which contains the hash value that results from a number of expected inputs, and allows you to “reverse” the...

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Always-On SSL, Part I

Posted by on January 16, 2014 in General | 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 website....

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What is Certification Authority Authorization?

Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

DNS Certification Authority Authorization (CAA), defined in IETF draft RFC 6844, is designed to allow a DNS domain name holder (a website owner) to specify the certificate signing certificate(s) authorized to issue certificates for that domain or website. Usually, the certificate signing certificate will belong to the Certification Authority (CA) that issues SSL certificates to you. It’s a way for you to indicate which CA or CAs you want to issue certificates for your domains. Using CAA could reduce the risk of unintended certificate mis-issuance, either by malicious actors or by...

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Recap of NIST’s Workshop on Improving Trust in the Online Marketplace

Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

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...

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All You Need to Know About the RC4 Encryption Scheme

Posted by on March 14, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The latest published attacks target specific algorithms used within SSL/TLS. Those algorithms are used when a client connects to a server via SSL/TLS; they’re not used when a Certificate Authority signs a certificate. The attacks demonstrate potential weaknesses in the use of the algorithms. While interesting, the attacks don’t represent an immediate practical threat to users of SSL/TLS (including online banking, e-commerce, social networking, etc.). Such attacks require an attacker to run malicious software on a user’s computer which would connect to a particular web site...

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