Microsoft deems all DigiNotar certificates untrustworthy, releases updates

Eliot Lear lear at
Mon Sep 12 09:30:34 UTC 2011

Hank and everyone,

This is a very interesting problem.  As it happens, some folks in the
IETF have anticipated this one.  For those who are interested, Paul
Hoffman and Jakob Schlyter have been working within the DANE working
group at the IETF to provide for a means to alleviate some of the
responsibility of the browser vendors as to who gets to decide what is a
valid certificate, by allowing for that burden to be shifted to the
subject through the use of secure DNS.  A list of hashes is published in
the subject's domain indicating what are valid certificates.  And so if
a CA went rogue, the subject domains would be able to indicate to the
browser that something is afoot.  For more information, please see


On 9/12/11 7:22 AM, Hank Nussbacher wrote:
> 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:
> 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
>> ()  ascii ribbon campaign against html e-mail
>> /\

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