Certificate Transparency

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By Chelsea​ ​Barabas, Neha​ ​Narula and Ethan​ ​Zuckerman:

"In order to provide more transparency (in the Authentication of Naming and Identity on the Internet), Google has developed a projected called Certificate Transparency (CT). CT is an open framework to audit and monitor digital certificates in real time. CT was created to help address the problem of certificate 89 revocation–the process of taking back certificates that are no longer valid. The problem it solves is that if any certificate authority along a chain has been compromised, all certificates issued along the chain from then on must be deemed suspicious. In order for a user’s browser to find out about a compromise, ideally they would receive a notification that the certificate authority, and all certificates derived from it, should be nullified. But in practice, it is difficult to update browsers quickly, before they are attacked. CT is the first step in addressing this–anyone can run a CT server which logs and audits certificate issuance in real time. An owner of a domain can monitor the logs to verify that bad certificates aren’t being issued for their domain. CT is an attempt to make a more transparent audit for changes to the certificate authority system, and probably has interesting applications in other domains where monitoring would be helpful." (http://dci.mit.edu/assets/papers/decentralized_web.pdf)