The state-level attack on the SSL CA security model

Martin Millnert millnert at
Fri Mar 25 12:53:35 CDT 2011

On Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 12:19 PM, Akyol, Bora A <bora at> wrote:
> One could argue that you could try something like the facebook model (or facebook itself). I can see it coming.
> Facebook web of trust app ;-)

Indeed not very unreasonable at all, except a) it would be kind of
unfortunate if Facebook would not make the data available under
adequate conditions, b) Facebook can already infer level of
relationships between people based on a whole lot of their other data
(it's kind of what makes them spin).  I agree in seeing it coming
though: "Web-of-trust 2.0".

soBGP takes on a similar approach to securing BGP.  Not a bad idea at
all at first sight, IMHO.
Anyone knows why it died out and why other (perhaps poorer) ideas are
floating around now?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Valdis.Kletnieks at [mailto:Valdis.Kletnieks at]
> Sent: Friday, March 25, 2011 9:05 AM
> To: Akyol, Bora A
> Cc: Dobbins, Roland; nanog group
> Subject: Re: The state-level attack on the SSL CA security model
> On Fri, 25 Mar 2011 08:36:12 PDT, "Akyol, Bora A" said:
>> Is it far fetched to supplement the existing system with a reputation
>> based  model such as PGP? I apologize if this was discussed before.
> That would be great, if you could ensure the following:
> 1) That Joe Sixpack actually knows enough somebodies who are trustable to sign stuff. (If Joe doesn't know them, then it's not a web of trust, it's just the same old CA).
> 2) That Joe Sixpack doesn't blindly sign stuff himself (I've had to on occasion scrape unknown signatures off my PGP key on the keyservers, when people I've never heard of before have signed my key "just because somebody they recognized signed it").
> The PGP model doesn't work for users who are used to clicking everything they see, whether or not they really should...

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