Facebook Helps Companies Detect Rogue SSL certificates For Domains

by sslstreet admin

Posted on November 10,2018 10:55 am

The SSL Street

Facebook Detect Rogue SSL Certificate:-There are cases when domain owners have been issued TLS/SSL certificates without their consent. Facebook has successfully launched a tool with the help of which the owner can find out such certificates. This can be done by using data which is being collected from many Certificate Transparency (CT) logs. These logs are publicly accessible. As per the CT standard, every Certificate Authority (CA) is required to disclose the certificates that they issue.

Earlier it was impossible to track the certificates issued by every Certificate Authorities (CA). If there was a requirement then researchers had to scan the complete web in order to collect all the certificates being used on the public server. Being a tedious task, it became very difficult to identify certificates, which were issued by CAs without the approval of domain owner.

There are cases in the past where certificates were being issued incorrectly due to some-of-the-other reason. Few of the reasons are:

  1. Human error

  2. Technical error

  3. Compromised infrastructure

Problem is, such certificates are valid and can be used by the hacker to intercept traffic on https:// protected website. As all the CAs around the world do not adopt CT, web security cannot be achieved a 100%. It is important to make it compulsory for all the CAs to adopt Certificate Transparency (CT). Google is the first one to take a drastic step by making CT mandatory in the Chrome browser after Oct 1, 2017. Certificate issued after this date without CT log will not be trusted by Chrome.

Facebook adopting CT

For internal use, Facebook had initially built its own CT monitoring service as FB uses various websites for marketing. Special events are also outsourced to the third party. To keep a track, which was not possible without monitoring services, CT played an important role. CT monitoring helps in tracking various sites even if direct management is delegated to another party. With the help of CT, the Facebook security team was able to detect two certificates issued for ‘fb.com’, which the security team had no knowledge of. Although after complete investigation it was discovered that the certificate was issued on request of another Facebook team but they failed to inform the FB security team in time.

Facebook built a tool to detect rogue SSL certificates

Facebook had the good understanding of the importance of adapting CT and decided to build a tool for the public. This tool would help other companies to keep track of SSL certificate issues for their domains. With the help of this tool

  • The Domain owner can detect a mis-issued certificate within an hour

  • Keep track of existing certificates being used

  • An Owner can subscribe to receive email alerts when a new certificate appears in CT logs

In case you receive an alert on CA issuing certificate that you have not requested, follow these steps:

  1. Contact concerned CA, who issued the certificate

  2. Make sure that your identity is not compromised

  3. Consider revoking that certificate

How Facebook’s tool is helpful for domain

Facebook has come up with a tool to make it easier for domain owner (or security team) to search and keep track of certificates associated with their domain through CT logs. CT maintains logs listing TLS/SSL certificates, which are publicly accessible. CT framework outlines various rules and procedures, such as:

  • How CAs and domain owners submit records of TLS certificates to public logs

  • Audit the logs to ensure the certificates are properly added

  • Monitor the logs to look for new entries

Various threats CT addresses are

  • Mis-issued certificates

  • Stolen certificates

  • Rogue certificate authorities

From all the public CT logs, this tool fetches data periodically; it is then synced before performing ‘user-supplied query’. Whenever a new entry in the synced list is detected, users will receive an email notification. There are no restrictions on usage of this tool, so anyone can use it to search for logs for any domain.

For further information, feel free to contact us on +1 (888) 606-7330. We will also help you to provide Comodo SSL Certificate for domain and sub-domain to secure your online business website.Go ahead and visit us at https://www.thesslstreet.com/