Presentation on theme: "About PKI Certificates Dartmouth College PKI Lab."— Presentation transcript:
About PKI Certificates Dartmouth College PKI Lab
X.509 Certificate Defined A type that binds an entity's distinguished name to a public key with a digital signature. This type is defined in the Internet X.509 Public Key Infrastructure (PKIX) Certificate and CRL Profile. This type also contains the distinguished name of the certificate issuer (the signer), an issuer-specific serial number, the issuer's signature algorithm identifier, a validity period, and extensions also defined in that document.
X.509 Certificate Defined 2 Data associated with a private key and containing a public key that provides information about: Identities of the issuer and subject Certificate validity dates and CRL location Certificate intended uses Serial number Other certificate information
X.509 Certificate Format version serialNumber signature issuer validity subject subjectPublicKeyInfo issuerUniqueIdentifier subjectUniqueIdentifier Extensions Certificate information is contained in ASN.1 structures.
Certificate Encodings DER is a binary encoding of the X.509 ASN.1 structures. PEM is the base 64 encoded version of DER. (For situations where binary format won’t work.) Text is a human-readable version of the ASN.1 structures.
Certificate Revocation List (CRL) Defined A type that contains information about certificates whose validity an issuer has prematurely revoked. The information consists of an issuer name, the time of issue, the next scheduled time of issue, a list of certificate serial numbers and their associated revocation times, and extensions. The CRL is signed by the issuer.
Certificate Revocation List (CRL) Defined 2 A secured list of no longer trusted certificates provided by a Certificate Authority so applications can reject otherwise valid certificates that are compromised or otherwise invalid before their validity period expires. Issued periodically or as needed. Checked by applications at certificate verification time. OCSP protocol provides an alternative which can be an online service.
CRL Format version signature issuer thisUpdate nextUpdate revokedCertificates crlEntryExtensions crlExtensions
Certificate Viewers Windows (invoked from IE, desktop, other applications) Mozilla/Thunderbird (invoked from Preferences in Mozilla or Account Options in Thunderbird) Other applications Demos of Certificate Viewers Windows Mozilla
Key Store Defined Protected “vault” to hold user’s private key with their copy of their x.509 certificate A function of their client computer and software Should be locally password protected Should be encrypted and/or protected by specialized hardware May be provided by OS or by application(s) May hold the only copy of a private key
Key Store Anatomy (first look before we launch into details)
Key Store Interfaces Microsoft Windows CAPI RSA PKCS#11 RSA PKCS#12 Java Keystore Application specific
Browsers and Key Stores Browsers provide one of the most common ways to access key stores GUI for key generation and certificate enrollment Viewing and manipulating certificates and keys Import/export Mozilla/Netscape/FireFox does PKCS#11 Internet Explorer/Windows does CAPI
Key Store Types “Software” –Keys encrypted in a file “Hardware” –Keys stored on specialized hardware tokens
OS Key Stores CAPI: Microsoft Windows CryptoAPI “Keychain” from Apple Many Windows applications use CAPI; others have their own key store.
“Software” Key Store Stores certificates and encrypted keys on the local computer’s file system Encryption is password protected Relatively vulnerable to key theft (depending on implementation) Requires exporting and importing to use the key on another computer or in a different key store on the same computer All PKI applications support this type of key store – for some it is the only type supported.
“Hardware” Key Store Stores certificates and keys in special purpose hardware (typically USB token or smart card and reader) Much higher assurance - the key cannot be used without the user’s password, but still not unbreakable Allows easy private key mobility between computers and applications Two-factor security (need token plus password to do anything) makes hardware key stores much more secure than software key stores
PKCS#11 Standard developed by RSA to provide applications with a key store and PKI cryptographic functions http://www.rsasecurity.com/rsalabs/pkcs/pkcs-11/ Used by Mozilla on all OSes (even Windows) Has a lower-level API for plugging in different implementations (enables hardware tokens) Open source implementations available Similar to MS CAPI – unfortunately MS opted to not support PKCS#11
Microsoft CAPI (AKA CryptoAPI) Microsoft Windows “standard” API for providing PKI functionality to applications http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/security/security/cryptography_portal.asp? Provides: – Key store function –Cryptographic operations using the key store and certificate –GUI for managing certificates and keys –Facilities to create, import, and export certificates and keys Cryptographic Service Provider (CSP) layer allows 3 rd party software, token, and smartcard solutions Microsoft’s software key store CSP has some issues
Key Store Anatomy (revisited now that we are familiar with the pieces)
Application Key Stores Some applications don’t use either CAPI or PKCS#11 Adds undesirable complexity for average end user Incompatible with hardware keys (since they can only support PKCS#11 and CAPI/CSP interfaces) Require exporting and importing certificates/keys AOL AIM has its own key store Java keystores becoming more utilized
How PKI Uses Passwords Passwords protect local key stores Stored and managed locally by the user Never stored on servers (an important feature – passwords on servers and traversing a network are more vulnerable) User provides the password to “unlock” their private key – all other operations use asymmetric key cryptography
User Accounts Windows CAPI stores software keys in each user’s profile If user accounts are secure, then CAPI keys are protected by the Windows logon security
PKCS#7 and PKCS#12 More RSA standards No awards for imaginative names… PKCS#7 is general syntax for data that may have cryptography applied to it http://www.rsasecurity.com/rsalabs/pkcs/pkcs-7/index.html PKCS#12 specifies secure containers for transporting PKI certificates with private keys http://www.rsasecurity.com/rsalabs/pkcs/pkcs-12/index.html
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