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full-disclosure-uk: Re: [Full-disclosure] FD / lists.grok.org -

Re: [Full-disclosure] FD / lists.grok.org - bad SSL cert

From: Volker Tanger <vtlists_at_nospam>
Date: Mon Jan 05 2009 - 21:43:33 GMT
To: full-disclosure@lists.grok.org.uk


Hi!

> The prevailing use of self-signed certs on the Internet basically
> destroys the usefulness of HTTPS, since it trains users to simply
> click "add exception" and ignore the scary warnings "because then I
> get the lock icon, which means I'm safe!"
[...]
> stop being so effing
> stingy and cough up the $70 for a certificate signed by a CA that is
> in the default trusted bundle of major browsers.

Well, last month we saw reports that one of those "trusted" CAs (one of those preinstalled-in-all-browsers one) signed certificates without *any* check. The example chosen was MOZILLA.ORG (.com? not sure). Few years ago there was the case of microsoft.com cert being signed to a non-MS person.

So training the users "lock = safe" or even "green lock = safe" is as misleading as using self-signed certs.

And as browsers usually do not check CRLs, there is no way preventing the use of wrongfully signed certificates short of distributing a "software update" (as was with the MS case). If browsers had a cert cache and checked it similar to SSH, MitM-attacks would be much harder.

Bye

Volker -- Volker Tanger http://www.wyae.de/volker.tanger/ -------------------------------------------------- vtlists@wyae.de PGP Fingerprint 378A 7DA7 4F20 C2F3 5BCC 8340 7424 6122 BB83 B8CB _______________________________________________ Full-Disclosure - We believe in it. Charter: http://lists.grok.org.uk/full-disclosure-charter.html Hosted and sponsored by Secunia - http://secunia.com/