CertiVeR, a European research project under the eTEN programme, developed and launched a complete and decentralised service for certification authorities (CAs) and other users. The technology – a secure online certificate status information system – has resulted in a high performance, flexible service available 24/7 that validates and revokes digital certificates in real time.
“Now, users can be sure that the digital credential is secure and valid,“ explains Oscar Manso. “A digital certificate is like a passport. If it is stolen, it can be reported and cancelled, or revoked.”
CertiVeR offers a certificate validation and revocation service with the corresponding Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) publication. This enables the user to verify the state of a specific certificate before executing any operation or transaction upon it. The system is available to any certificate authority in the world, but the consortium is focusing on Europe where the e-Signature Directive requires the provision of this service across all EU Member States.
The use of electronic signatures requires the verification of the signature policy, which includes the validation of all the certificates in the signer’s certification path. However, as Manso explains, the time between when a certificate may have been revoked and the time the new Certificate Revocation List (CRL) is released, could be significant.
A CRL is a list of certificates and their serial numbers that have been revoked, are no longer valid and should not be relied upon by any system user. For example, a certificate is revoked if the CA had improperly issued a certificate or if a private key is believed to be compromised. In the past, CAs did not use an online validation service, resulting in delays of up to one week.
“Because CertiVeR operates in real time, this security barrier is overcome,” he says. “CertiVeR can be connected to all CAs in Europe to refresh the status of certificates. Users can now have a single access point. Certificate revocation is easier and safer, which increases transaction confidence, and there is now a single phone number to revoke all certificates.”
CAs, both private and public, would profit from CertiVeR’s real time information. This level of service is far too complex and expensive to be run individually. Cost savings are realised as a result of the technical, managerial and R&D economies of scale.
CertiVeR establishes secure connection interfaces with the CAs to obtain identification information about a user. Several identification systems can be used to identify CA users, including voice biometrics. When a user wants to revoke a certificate, a call is made to the central revocation number. The automated call centre system tries to verify the identity of the caller through voice recognition technologies.
If the automated system is unable to verify the call, it is transferred to an operator who tries to determine the user’s identity by means of secret questions and general information stored. Once a user is validated into the certificate revocation system, the user can suspend or activate any certificates in real time.
CertiVeR’s online certification status information system was originally developed to fill the needs of the financial sector. A secure central repository for certificate revocation information creates and manages revocation documents and authenticates requests following the requirements of the ISO 10779 standard.
Twelve pilots at European and global level include three currently running that, according to Manso, are performing “very well”. A significant pilot ran with TERENA (Trans European Research and Education Networking Association) in The Netherlands. In this instance, the consortium created TACAR, TERENA’s Academic CA Repository, and worked on getting the appropriate root CA certificates needed by users’ browsers in a practical and cost-effective manner.
CertiVeR also participated in the production of open source tools and demo environments to promote the adoption of real-time validation environments at global level. The consortium is now targeting software developers to simplify the validation so they can create applications with a single point of access.
“Other end users can take advantage of CertiVeR’s infrastructure to validate and use their digital signatures for activities such as electronic bills and online transactions,” he adds. “The potential for B2B and B2C applications is huge.”
Manso expects a full-scale marketing effort to be launched this October.
Jernett Karensen | alfa
Deep Learning predicts hematopoietic stem cell development
21.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Sensors embedded in sports equipment could provide real-time analytics to your smartphone
16.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Engineering
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News