31 Mar 2022
Bulletproof TLS Newsletter is a free periodic newsletter bringing you commentary and news surrounding SSL/TLS and Internet PKI, designed to keep you informed about the latest developments in this space. Received monthly by more than 50,000 subscribers. Maintained by Hanno Böck.
As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, several certificate authorities, like DigiCert and Sectigo, have revoked certificates of Russian entities or are refusing to issue new certificates for them. In response, Russian government authorities have created their own certificate authority.
Users in Russia are advised to either install the new root certificate in their browser or use one of the Russian-based Yandex and Atom browsers.
Unsurprisingly the operation of a state CA outside the normal web PKI system raises concerns. The root certificate could be used to perform man-in-the-middle attacks against users that have installed it. A previous case in which the country of Kazakhstan asked its users to install a root CA, which we have covered in this newsletter before, has been mentioned often.
Yandex has put up a blog post with more details (the post is in the Russian language; here’s a version translated with Google Translate). Notably, Yandex claims that its browser will only accept certificates issued by the new CA if they are in a list of domains actually approved for the use of this CA. This may limit the potential security impact of man-in-the-middle attacks. Yandex also mentions that it plans to operate a Certificate Transparency log for this new CA.
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Here are some interesting jobs we've come across in the last month:
If you know of similar jobs that our readers might be interested in, for example cryptography, TLS, or PKI, let us know and we may add them to future newsletters.
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