Microsoft deems all DigiNotar certificates untrustworthy, releases updates

Hank Nussbacher hank at efes.iucc.ac.il
Mon Sep 12 00:22:46 CDT 2011


At 13:00 11/09/2011 -0600, Keith Medcalf wrote:
>Damian Menscher wrote on 2011-09-11:
>
> > Because of that lost trust, any cross-signed cert would likely be
> > revoked by the browsers.  It would also make the browser vendors
> > question whether the signing CA is worthy of their trust.
>
>And therein is the root of the problem:  Trustworthiness is assessed by 
>what you refer to as the "browser vendors".  Unfortunately, there is no 
>Trustworthiness assessment of those vendors.
>
>The current system provides no more authentication or confidentiality than 
>if everyone simply used self-signed certificates.  It is nothing more than 
>theatre and provides no actual security benefit whatsoever.  Anyone 
>believing otherwise is operating under a delusion.

The problem is about lack of pen-testing and a philosphy of security.  In 
order to run a CA, one not only has to build the infrastructure but also 
have constant external pen-testing and patch management in place.  Whether 
it be Comodo or RSA or now Diginotar, unless an overwhelming philosphy of 
"computer and network security" is paradigmed into the corporate DNA, this 
will keep happening - and not only to CAs but to the likes of Google, 
Cisco, Microsoft, etc. (read - APT attacks).

If 60% of your employees will plug in a USB drive they find in the parking 
lot, then you have failed:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-27/human-errors-fuel-hacking-as-test-shows-nothing-prevents-idiocy.html

The problem for us as a community if to find a benchmark of which company 
"does have a clue" vs those that don't.  Until then, it will just be 
whack-a-mole/CA.

-Hank






>--- Keith Medcalf
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