[cryptography] really sub-CAs for MitM deep packet inspectors? (Re: Auditable CAs)

Peter Gutmann pgut001 at cs.auckland.ac.nz
Mon Dec 5 05:12:28 EST 2011

Ondrej Mikle <ondrej.mikle at nic.cz> writes:

>Matches my observations, especially when looking at CRLs of some small CAs
>(company internal). I had a hunch some of those revocations could be due to
>CA compromise, but from my point of view it is be only a speculation. I
>appreciate sharing your experience working with CAs, it gives me a bit more
>understanding in my guesswork how they operate internally :-)

So I'm going to invoke the Carl Ellison "if you think that's bad" rule (stated
approximately as "whenever someone tells a horror story about PKI, someone
else will come along with 'if you think that's bad...'") and mention a trusted
root CA that went out of business (I tracked its root key through three
resales but I have no idea who has it now) where not only did no-one who was
left know how to put reason codes in CRLs, there was no-one who actually knew
how to issue a CRL.  So if you had a cert from them you could pretty much do
whatever you wanted with it (until it expired naturally) because there was no
way to revoke it.


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