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What You Should, But Don't, Do About Untrusted Certs, CAs
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User Rank: Ninja
9/10/2015 | 7:39:06 AM
amid piles of certificates which are actually valid
one of the big troubles with x.509 certificates is that you cannot tell the difference between a correct certificate and a fake just by looking at it

first off you likely don't know what the certificate is supposed to look like

second, even if you did know what the certificate is supposed to look like a digital forgery can be presented

you need to check the "fingerprint" that appears on the certificate,-- which looks like this :

EB17 451D CBD3 089F 8095 500E F6E9 41B1 4DEA 0DAD

you also need a reference to check it against

the good news though is that from the pile of x.509 certificates that you have in your browser you likely need to hard-verify only a handful: those that deal with money.   credit union, IRS, online shopping, --that sort of thing.    these services need to help customers with fingerprint checking.    perhaps near-field radio could be incorporated into a digital-keychain product.

in the Army we used to have a special device for carrying our digital keys.     Perhaps we should review this thought.

i would not use my smartphone for this nor recommend anyone use their smart phone, tablet  etc for that purpose: these devices are too likey to be pwned -- because they have too many "apps" on them .    we need a device that does one thing -- and does it well.   you will use that device to update the certificates in your other devices .

your electronic key-carrier would then (1) validate a certificate for you, and then (2) countersign that certificate making it fully trusted.   all of the other certificates loaded into your browser by your software OEM would remain at marginal trust only -- and not acceptable for any application dealing with money.     if you want to use a secure certificate for e/mail that ought to be an option .
User Rank: Apprentice
9/9/2015 | 10:41:52 PM
Reappearing certs
I don't know if this is still true; however, I used to delete all of the certs that I perceived to be untrustworthy. However, every time I updated the browser (didn't matter if it was IE, Firefox, or Chrome), the certs would reappear.

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