[clug] SSL Man-in-the-Middle attack - by "Law Enforcement"? [SEC=PERSONAL]

Roppola, Antti Antti.Roppola at daff.gov.au
Wed Mar 24 22:46:44 MDT 2010

Steve wrote:

> <http://www.crypto.com/blog/spycerts/>
> "They found turnkey surveillance products, marketed and sold to law
> enforcement and intelligence agencies in the US and foreign countries,
> designed to collect encrypted SSL traffic based on forged "look-alike"
> certificates obtained from cooperative certificate authorities.

No real surprise here. Someone that paranoid isn't going to trust a 3rd
party CA anyway.

However I'm not surprised that there are incorrect generalisations about
exactly what sort of trust a purchsed certificate means. A CA is a 3rd
party in a trust relationship who is mutually trusted because they are
external & impartial. As soon as they are "inside" the relationship
bubble they become a stakeholder like everyone else. Viz, all three
parties (Alice, Bob and the CA) answer to the same higher powers.


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