SSL

A 27-post collection

I wanna go fast: HTTPS' massive speed advantage

I tweeted this the other day, and the internet was not pleased: HTTPS is slow. No - wait - is it HTTP that's slow?! https://t.co/T49GG7oCaK pic.twitter.com/cfnYOpXMWc— Troy Hunt (@troyhunt) July 8, 2016 In fact, a bunch of the internet was pretty upset. "It's not fair!", they cried. "You're comparing apples and oranges!", they raged. No, it's not fair, the internet is not fair. But that's just how the web is today and whilst you might not like that it's not fair, that's the ballgame we're playing. When it comes to performance tests, I don't care about "fair", I only care about one thing: Let's take just a moment to put how...

Everything you need to know about loading a free Let's Encrypt certificate into an Azure website

Let us start with what's wrong with the world today, and that's certificate authorities. Just take a look at the trusted root CAs running on a Windows 10 machine: The very premise of having these root CAs on your machine is that they ultimate get to decide which websites your browser will consider to have a valid SSL certificate. The root CAs serve other purposes too, but that's what I'm especially interested in here. Edit: As Tom points out below, there are hundreds of other root certs the OS will happily trust as required. Microsoft documents this on the Microsoft Trusted Root Certificate Program page. Now here's the point I'm driving at - if QuoVadis wants to sign a certificate...

Thank you Waitrose, now fix your insecure site

I had a follower send me a curious question the other day which if I paraphrase, went like this: Hi, I was worried about the security of the Waitrose login form so I contacted them about it. They sent me a response but I’m not sure if it’s correct – can you shed some light on it? Actually, yes, I can and frankly, it’s a bit of a comedy of errors. For those not familiar with Waitrose, they’re a large British supermarket chain bringing in somewhere around five and a half billion (with a “b”) British pounds a year. They’re huge and they have access to more than...

Azure websites SSL goes “A” grade

I’ve often received feedback from people about this SSL Labs test of Have I been pwned? (HIBP): Just recently I had an email effectively saying “drop this cipher, do that other thing, you’re insecure kthanksbye”. Precisely what this individual thought an attacker was going to do with an entirely public site wasn’t quite clear (and I will come back to this later on), but regardless, if I’m going to have SSL then clearly I want good SSL and this report bugged me. A couple of months ago I wrote about how It’s time for A grade SSL on Azure websites which talked about how Microsoft’s SSL...

We’re struggling to get traction with SSL because it’s still a “premium service”

The web is going HTTPS only. In theory. The idea is that unless we encrypt all the transport things, we can have no confidence in the confidentiality, integrity or authenticity of the traffic and services we’re talking to. There’s growing awareness of how essential secure transport comms are (thank you NSA for your part in helping us come to this realisation), and indeed we’re being continually pushed in this direction. For example, last year Google said they’d start using the presence of HTTPS as an SEO ranking signal. They’re also recommending that browsers begin changing their UX to display non-secure origins as affirmatively non-secure or in other words, flipping from...

Understanding HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) and preloading it into the browser

During my travels over recent weeks I’ve been doing a quick demo that works like this: First, I open up the dev tools in Chrome and select the network tab. Second, I load up americanexpress.com and show the network requests: I point out how the first one goes out over HTTP because this is what browsers do when you don’t explicitly enter a scheme such as “https://”. The server responds to this request with an HTTP 301 “Moved Permanently” and a “location” header which tells the browser to go back and request the resource securely: If I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll show this pattern whilst connected...

It’s time for A grade SSL on Azure websites

I get a lot of this sort of thing: “Hey, how come your site only gets a B grade on the SSL Labs test?” They’re referring to my Have I been pwned? (HIBP) site and they’re right, it only scores a B grade: The killer blow here is highlighted in orange – RC4. It’s a weak cipher by today’s terms and evidently it’s capped my grade lower than it would otherwise be if it was no longer supported. So I’d get a report from someone along these lines and have to explain why: “HIBP is hosted on the Azure website server (now known as Web...

Do you really want “bank grade” security in your SSL? Here’s how Aussie banks fare

There was a bit of discussion down here recently about how the National Australia Bank (NAB) has requested their SSL stats be withheld from showing up in the SSL Labs test that which has become so popular in recent times. It’s a great way of identifying what’s good and what bad about an SSL implementation and indeed, it appears that NAB has pulled their stats: Which, of course, looks enormously suspicious. You don’t pull your stats when you have a good result and even if you do, Qualys who runs the service is only checking for publicly accessible information anyway, they’re simply bundling it up into a single test that’s...

How to get your SSL for free on a Shared Azure website with CloudFlare

This content is now available in the Pluralsight course "Getting Started with CloudFlare Security" As you may be well aware by this, Microsoft’s Azure gets me rather excited. That’s not without merit IMHO, it’s a sensational product for all the reasons you can read about in the blog posts at the end of that link. Almost without exception, when I get a question about Azure I have an awesome answer ready to go. Almost… The one question that throws me is the one I was once again asked just recently: I can only justify paying for a Shared Azure website but I need SSL – what do I do? I have...

Everything you need to know about the POODLE SSL bug

We don’t seem to go far these days without the next “catastrophic” bug hitting the internets. Remember how a few weeks ago Shellshock was going to end the internet as we know it? If you believed all the headlines, that sucker was going to own us through our light globes (I suspect some poetic license was taken on my IoT comments) and the web would never be the same. Scroll forward and it’s already “Shell-what?” Earlier this year it was Heartbleed and it too was destined to bring the internet to its knees. Except it didn’t. Whilst I’ve no doubt a number of sites got well and truly...