An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate is the industry standard for encrypting data shared over a connection between a website and a visitor’s web browser. An SSL Certificate ensures any sensitive data shared over a …read onconnection, including credit card numbers and personal details, is secure and safe. 99.9% of web browsers recognise SSL Certificates, and will display a padlock symbol or green ‘HTTPS’ in the browser address bar. This reassures visitors of the authenticity of your website and the additional precautions you take to keep their data safe.
The server will attempt to decrypt the client’s Finished message and verify the hash and MAC. If the decryption or verification fails, the handshake is considered to have failed and the connection should be torn down.
You must obtain a security certificate as a part of enabling HTTPS for your site. The certificate is issued by a certificate authority (CA), which takes steps to verify that your web address actually belongs to your organization, thus protecting your customers from man-in-the-middle attacks. When setting up your certificate, ensure a high level of security by choosing a 2048-bit key. If you already have a certificate with a weaker key (1024-bit), upgrade it to 2048 bits. When choosing your site certificate, keep in mind the following:
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A sophisticated type of man-in-the-middle attack called SSL stripping was presented at the Blackhat Conference 2009. This type of attack defeats the security provided by HTTPS by changing the https: link into an http: link, taking advantage of the fact that few Internet users actually type “https” into their browser interface: they get to a secure site by clicking on a link, and thus are fooled into thinking that they are using HTTPS when in fact they are using HTTP. The attacker then communicates in clear with the client. This prompted the development of a countermeasure in HTTP called HTTP Strict Transport Security.
Browsers essentially restrict their use of the word in this context to mean the connection between itself and the website, considering as well all the connections made for subresources and perhaps even the content of the page (such as login forms and credit card fields). But most users don’t what this means. They don’t know that a website and a connection to that website are different things. They may not even know what a connection is. The current padlock icon does nothing to indicate a “connection” like the good-old days of dial-up:
Jump up ^ Joris Claessens; Valentin Dem; Danny De Cock; Bart Preneel; Joos Vandewalle (2002). “On the Security of Today’s Online Electronic Banking Systems”. Computers & Security. 21 (3): 253–265. doi:10.1016/S0167-4048(02)00312-7.
The Perspectives Project operates network notaries that clients can use to detect if a site’s certificate has changed. By their nature, man-in-the-middle attacks place the attacker between the destination and a single specific target. As such, Perspectives would warn the target that the certificate delivered to the web browser does not match the certificate seen from other perspectives – the perspectives of other users in different times and places. Use of network notaries from a multitude of perspectives makes it possible for a target to detect an attack even if a certificate appears to be completely valid. Other projects, such as the EFF’s SSL Observatory, also make use of notaries or similar reporters in discovering man-in-the-middle attacks.
The locationaddress bar also searches through your open tabs, displaying results with a tab icon and the text “Switch to tab”. Selecting these results will switch you to the already open tab instead of creating a duplicate.
When a user visits an HTTPS page with Mixed Passive Content, Firefox will not block the passive content by default. But since the page is not fully encrypted, the user will not see the lock icon in the location bar:
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The client now sends a ChangeCipherSpec record, essentially telling the server, “Everything I tell you from now on will be authenticated (and encrypted if encryption parameters were present in the server certificate).” The ChangeCipherSpec is itself a record-level protocol with content type of 20.
I remain a bit surprised as I’ve always considered that if non-secured Mixed Active Content should be blocked (and it is by default on Firefox), on the other hand non-secured Mixed Passive Content had no serious reason to be blocked (and it isn’t on Firefox at this time).
Attempts to use stolen card details could involve cards being stolen in one part of the world, which are then sent electronically to the other side of the planet and used to try to perpetrate online fraud.
With an EV SSL, the Certificate Authority (CA) checks the right of the applicant to use a specific domain name plus, it conducts a thorough vetting of the organization. The issuance process of EV SSL Certificates is strictly defined in the EV Guidelines, as formally ratified by the CA/Browser forum in 2007. All the steps required for a CA before issuing a certificate are specified here including:
When a website is accessible over http://, loading other insecure resources does not generate any sort of warning, and so websites operating over plain HTTP often accumulate many of these sub-resources.
There is a move afoot to “shame” website owners into upgrading their encryption standards. Unfortunately this is no easy task (seriously, it would be many days worth of work on my part – I’d actually have to move to a newer server). This attempt is backfiring on the browsers so I expect that they’ll back off on this warning at some point. Particularly when it comes to Ask Leo! it’s completely safe to ignore.
Early browsers required users to enter URLs in the address bar and queries in the search box, which often confused novices. Entering the data into the wrong field produced an error; however, today, all browsers differentiate between a URL and a search, at most requiring the user to click the results list one more time. Google’s Chrome browser was introduced with only one address/search box and directs the request to a website or to Google, depending on its structure. See Chrome browser, address and URL.
^ Jump up to: a b John Leyden (1 August 2013). “Gmail, Outlook.com and e-voting ‘pwned’ on stage in crypto-dodge hack”. The Register. Archived from the original on 1 August 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2013.