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Trustworthy Internet Movement Builds SSL 'Avengers'

Industry's top names in SSL development agree to join task force
The new movie "The Avengers" is about superheroes who get together and act when something needs to be done. Last week, several of the industry's leading experts on Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology agreed that something needs to be done about SSL, and they've agreed to work together to make it happen.

The Trustworthy Internet Movement (TIM), which formed two months ago, announced today that it has chosen SSL governance and implementation across the Internet as its first project. The nonprofit, vendor-neutral organization has formed a task force of well-known security experts to review SSL governance issues and develop new proposals aimed at making SSL pervasive on the Internet.

In addition, TIM launched SSL Pulse, a new index that tracks the progress of how well SSL is implemented across the top 1 million websites.

TIM's SSL task force comprises a "who's who" of SSL experts who often speak to the industry but have never worked together before: Michael Barrett, CISO at PayPal; Taher Elgamal, founder and chief identity officer at IdentityMind and one of the creators of the SSL protocol; Ryan Hurst, CTO at GMO GlobalSign Inc., one of the longest established certificate authorities and SSL providers; Adam Langley, staff software engineer for Google, who works on SSL/TLS in Google Chrome and Google's front-end servers; Moxie Marlinspike, founder at Whisper Systems, recently acquired by Twitter, and creator of the Convergence authentication concept; and Ivan Ristic, director of engineering at Qualys and creator of SSL Labs, a research project to measure and track the effective security of SSL on the Internet.

The TIM SSL Internet Taskforce will work with other experts to objectively review all proposals to fix both SSL and certificate authority (CA) ecosystems, according to TIM. Based on this independent review, the task force will identify new recommendations aimed at SSL.

"Nothing can be safe forever. The real question is not whether SSL is safe, but if we are updating our technology to keep up with threats and stay safe," Elgamal said.

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