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Old 03-22-2007, 05:18 AM   #1
dthomsen8's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA 19130
Posts: 2,158
Default Security Certificates

My Firefox browser is set to report bad security certificates. I attach two examples of problems reported to me, but I have several more.

1) Does it do any good to report these problems to the webmasters?
2) When should I care about these problems, if ever?
3) It is hard to imagine that a big operation like Kinko's has an unrecognized security certificate. What is going on here?

I suspect that complaining to webmasters may get me some feedback worth knowing, but maybe not. Someday, I may want my own security certificate, so I do have some interest in the subject.
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	badcert0.jpg
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ID:	895   Click image for larger version

Name:	badcert1.jpg
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ID:	896   Click image for larger version

Name:	badcert2.jpg
Views:	145
Size:	39.7 KB
ID:	897  
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Old 03-22-2007, 06:50 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: In the Heart of the English Lake District
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The only time I worry about a certficate warning is if it is for an e-commerce site where I am looking to make a purchase. These days certificate is really only a secondary check that you are using SSL. Misconfigurations are common, even more so now that you can create self-signed certificates, which are supposed to be used just for server testing, but being free are sometimes used on production sites!

Most shared hosts provide a server wide certification which is perfect for the small business who does not want the extra expense of an individual domain Thawte or similar certificate - these are not cheap. Plus not everyone has a domain on a dedicated IP address, a requirement for certification.

I doubt that webmasters would be interested in knowing that a certificate has expired - almost certainly they know about it and in many cases they will have been left because the webhost themselves have to do the removal.

The Kinko report is most likely caused by the certificate being issued for the main domain of aas.com and not to the subdirectory.


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