Date: Thu, 05 Mar 2015 13:43:46 +0100 From: Florian Weimer <fweimer@...hat.com> To: oss-security@...ts.openwall.com Subject: Certificate pinning and the browser PKI I'm looking for suggestions how to implement certificate pinning. Things are relatively straightforward if you are not in the browser PKI because you can pin a long-term CA certificate instead, and not the server certificate. Same if you have a dedicated (sub-)CA in the browser PKI. But if your server has to be in the browser PKI, things get a bit messy. Pinning the CA may not offer much protection (because you are still exposed to RA failures at the CA). Pinning the server certificate is problematic because the certificates are relatively short-lived, and the rollovers have to be coordinated carefully. So for the browser PKI case, it may make sense to pin the server public key instead (n *and *e), not the entire certificate. During regular rollover, you can keep the public key, and you can have a pre-pinned offline copy for emergency rollovers. Or use SNI, a different endpoint name, and a separate certificate outside browser PKI, and pin that. Are there other options I'm missing? The pinned certificate magically appears, thanks to the software update infrastructure, so that's a solved problem. It's just synchronizing things within the update infrastructure to external events that can be tricky, for various reasons. -- Florian Weimer / Red Hat Product Security
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