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Preparing for and Responding to CA Compromise and Fraudulent Certificate Issuance

Published

Author(s)

Paul Turner, William Polk, Elaine B. Barker

Abstract

As the use of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificates (e.g., the use of Transport Layer Security [TLS] and Secure Sockets Layer [SSL]) for the security of systems has increased, the certification authorities (CAs) that issue certificates have increasingly become targets for sophisticated cyber-attacks. In 2011, several public certification authorities were attacked, and at least two attacks resulted in the successful issuance of fraudulent certificates by the attackers. An attacker who breaches a CA to generate and obtain fraudulent certificates does so to launch further attacks against other organizations or individuals. An attacker can also use fraudulent certificates to authenticate as another individual or system, or to forge digital signatures.
Citation
ITL Bulletin -

Keywords

certificates, certification authorities (CAs), digital certificates, fraudulent, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

Citation

Turner, P. , Polk, W. and Barker, E. (2012), Preparing for and Responding to CA Compromise and Fraudulent Certificate Issuance, ITL Bulletin, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=911197 (Accessed March 3, 2024)
Created July 9, 2012, Updated October 12, 2021