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The Hacker News — Cyber Security and Hacking News Website: Certificate Authority

Firefox to Automatically Trust OS-Installed CA Certificates to Prevent TLS Errors

Firefox to Automatically Trust OS-Installed CA Certificates to Prevent TLS Errors

July 02, 2019Mohit Kumar
Mozilla has finally introduced a mechanism to let Firefox browser automatically fix certain TLS errors, often triggered when antivirus software installed on a system tries to intercept secure HTTPS connections. Most Antivirus software offers web security feature that intercepts encrypted HTTPS connections to monitor the content for malicious web pages before it reaches the web browser. To achieve this, security software replaces websites' TLS certificates with their own digital certificates issued by any trusted Certificate Authorities (CAs). Since Mozilla only trusts those CAs that are listed in its own root store, the antivirus products relying on other trusted CAs provided by the operating system (OS) are not allowed to intercept HTTPS connections on Firefox. In recent months, this limitation continually crashed HTTPS pages for many Firefox users showing them SEC_ERROR_UNKNOWN_ISSUER, MOZILLA_PKIX_ERROR_MITM_DETECTED or ERROR_SELF_SIGNED_CERT error codes when their an
DHS Orders U.S. Federal Agencies to Audit DNS Security for Their Domains

DHS Orders U.S. Federal Agencies to Audit DNS Security for Their Domains

January 23, 2019Swati Khandelwal
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has today issued an "emergency directive" to all federal agencies ordering IT staff to audit DNS records for their respective website domains, or other agency-managed domains, within next 10 business days. The emergency security alert came in the wake of a series of recent incidents involving DNS hijacking , which security researchers with "moderate confidence" believe originated from Iran. Domain Name System (DNS) is a key function of the Internet that works as an Internet's directory where your device looks up for the server IP addresses after you enter a human-readable web address (e.g., thehackernews.com). What is DNS Hijacking Attack? DNS hijacking involves changing DNS settings of a domain, redirecting victims to an entirely different attacker-controlled server with a fake version of the websites they are trying to visit, often with an objective to steal users' data. "The attacker alter
Google Chrome Bans Chinese SSL Certificate Authorities WoSign and StartCom

Google Chrome Bans Chinese SSL Certificate Authorities WoSign and StartCom

July 08, 2017Mohit Kumar
As a punishment announced last October, Google will no longer trust SSL/TLS certificate authorities WoSign and its subsidiary StartCom with the launch of Chrome 61 for not maintaining the "high standards expected of CAs." The move came after Google was notified by GitHub's security team on August 17, 2016, that Chinese Certificate Authority WoSign had issued a base certificate for one of GitHub's domains to an unnamed GitHub user without authorization. After this issue had been reported, Google conducted an investigation in public as a collaboration with Mozilla and the security community, which uncovered several other cases of WoSign misissuance of certificates. As a result, the tech giant last year began limiting its trust of certificates backed by WoSign and StartCom to those issued before October 21st, 2016 and has been removing whitelisted hostnames over the course of several Chrome releases since Chrome 56. Now, in a Google Groups post published
Google Chrome to Distrust Symantec SSLs for Mis-issuing 30,000 EV Certificates

Google Chrome to Distrust Symantec SSLs for Mis-issuing 30,000 EV Certificates

March 24, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Google announced its plans to punish Symantec by gradually distrusting its SSL certificates after the company was caught improperly issuing 30,000 Extended Validation (EV) certificates over the past few years. The Extended Validation (EV) status of all certificates issued by Symantec-owned certificate authorities will no longer be recognized by the Chrome browser for at least a year until Symantec fixes its certificate issuance processes so that it can be trusted again. Extended validation certificates are supposed to provide the highest level of trust and authentication, where before issuing a certificate, Certificate Authority must verify the requesting entity's legal existence and identity. The move came into effect immediately after Ryan Sleevi, a software engineer on the Google Chrome team, made this announcement on Thursday in an online forum . "This is also coupled with a series of failures following the previous set of misissued certificates from Symantec, c
Google becomes its own Root Certificate Authority

Google becomes its own Root Certificate Authority

January 28, 2017Swati Khandelwal
In an effort to expand its certificate authority capabilities and build the "foundation of a more secure web," Google has finally launched its root certificate authority. In past few years, we have seen Google taking many steps to show its strong support for sites using HTTPS, like: Giving more preference to HTTPS websites in its search rankings than others. Warning users that all HTTP pages are not secure. Starting an industry-wide initiative, Certificate Transparency − an open framework to log, audit, and monitor certificates that CAs have issued. However, Google has been relying on an intermediate Certificate Authority (Google Internet Authority G2 - GIAG2) issued by a third party, with the latest suppliers being GlobalSign and GeoTrust, which manages and deploys certificates to Google's products and services. Google announced Thursday the creation of its own certified, and independent Root Certificate Authority called Google Trust Services , allowing
How Certificate Transparency Monitoring Tool Helped Facebook Early Detect Duplicate SSL Certs

How Certificate Transparency Monitoring Tool Helped Facebook Early Detect Duplicate SSL Certs

April 11, 2016Mohit Kumar
Earlier this year, Facebook came across a bunch of duplicate SSL certificates for some of its own domains and revoked them immediately with the help of its own Certificate Transparency Monitoring Tool service. Digital certificates are the backbone of our secure Internet, which protects sensitive information and communication, as well as authenticate systems and Internet users. The Online Privacy relies heavily on SSL/TLS Certificates and encryption keys to protect millions of websites and applications. As explained in our  previous article on The Hacker News , the current Digital Certificate Management system and trusted Certificate Authorities (CAs) are not enough to prevent misuse of SSL certificates on the internet. In short, there are hundreds of Certificate Authorities, trusted by your web browsers and operating systems, that has the ability to issue certificates for any domain, despite the fact you already have one purchased from another CA. An improper
What is Certificate Transparency? How It helps Detect Fake SSL Certificates

What is Certificate Transparency? How It helps Detect Fake SSL Certificates

April 11, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Do you know there is a huge encryption backdoor still exists on the Internet that most people don't know about? I am talking about the traditional Digital Certificate Management System … the weakest link, which is completely based on trust, and it has already been broken several times. To ensure the confidentiality and integrity of their personal data, billions of Internet users blindly rely on hundreds of Certificate Authorities (CA) around the globe. In this article I am going to explain: The structural flaw in current Digital Certificate Management system. Why Certificate Authorities (CA) have lost the Trust. How Certificate Transparency (CT) fixes issues in the SSL certificate system. How to early detect every SSL Certificates issued for your Domain, legitimate or rogue? First, you need to know Certificate Authority and its role: Certificate Authority and its Role A Certificate Authority (CA) is a third-party organization that acts as a centr
Let's Encrypt Free SSL/TLS Certificate Now Trusted by Major Web Browsers

Let's Encrypt Free SSL/TLS Certificate Now Trusted by Major Web Browsers

October 21, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Yes, Let's Encrypt is now one step closer to its goal of offering Free HTTPS certificates to everyone. Let's Encrypt  – the free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA) – has announced that its Free HTTPS certificates are Now Trusted and Supported by All Major Browsers . Let's Encrypt enables any website to protect its users with free SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer Security) certificates that encrypt all the Internet traffic passed between a site and users. Not only free, but the initiative also makes HTTPS implementation easier for all website or online shopping site owner to ensure its users that their browser activities and transactions are safe from snoopers. Let's Encrypt issued its first free HTTPS certificate last month and was working with other major browsers to recognize its certificate as a trusted authority. Let's Encrypt achieved a New Milestone Let's Encrypt has received cross-signatures from SSL
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