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A month with only 10 trusted root CA certificates

krypticmind (1369357) writes | more than 4 years ago

Security 1

krypticmind (1369357) writes "Researcher Nasko Oskov from has spent 30 days trusting only 10 CA root certificates in his browser and details the findings in his blog. "It was an interesting one month and I’ve learned a bunch. The main takeaway from this experiment is that I don’t need 3 digit number of trusted CAs in my browser." This comes after previous concerns on breaking the chain of trust for certificates here ("
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Windows trusts more CA's than they show in the UI (1)

schwaang (667808) | more than 4 years ago | (#32164642)

As Christopher Soghoian and Sid Stamm point out in their recent paper [] regarding man-in-the-middle attacks on SSL, apps like IE that rely on Windows' Trusted Store will reach out to a Microsoft server to decide whether a CA is trusted. So the short list of CAs you might see in IE's UI isn't anywhere near the whole story:

Thus, any web browser that depends upon Microsoft's Trusted Root Store (such as Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari for Windows) ultimately trusts 264 different CAs to issue certicates without warning, although only a handful of them are listed in the operating system's user interface.

TFA refers to this through links to MS docs, but it's worth stating up front since most Windows users wouldn't realize it.

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