Top SSL Certificate Brands of 2017

An ongoing survey by W3Techs has thrown up some interesting numbers on the state of the global SSL Certificate market. Most notably 23.7% of websites have yet to implement SSL certificates.

W3Techs investigated technologies of websites, not of individual web pages. If a technology was found on any of the pages, it is considered to be used by the website.

W3Techs included only the top 10 million websites (top 1 million before June 2013) in the statistics in order to limit the impact of domain spammers. Website popularity rankings were provided by Alexa (an Amazon.com company) and a 3-month average ranking was used.

W3Techs did not consider subdomains to be separate websites. For instance, sub1.example.com and sub2.example.com are considered to belong to the same site as example.com. That means for example, that all the subdomains of blogger.com, wordpress.com and similar sites are counted only as one website.

W3Techs did not include redirected domains. For example, Sun.com redirects to Oracle.com, and is therefore not counted.

Not surprisingly to us at iWebz, the results show Comodo certificates are preferred by 39.4% of all websites that use SSL certificates, and the free SSL certificate authority Let's Encrypt is yet to get major traction with websites.

w3techs ssl certificate market chare

The stats are updated daily and are available on W3Techs.com

 

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chrome 63 ftp not secure

FTP sites will be marked Not Secure from Google Chrome 63

FTP sites will be marked as Not Secure with the release of Google Chrome 63 in December 2017

chrome 63 ftp sites not secure

Thats the direction of the discussion at https://groups.google.com/a/chromium.org/forum/#!msg/security-dev/HknIAQwMoWo/xYyezYV5AAAJ

Although there have been plans to remove FTP support altogether, for now FTP sites will only be marked as Not Secure.

About FTP

FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, used with ftp:// requests is a decades-old network protocol that is used to transfer files between clients and servers. FTP does not encrypt traffic by default, making it susceptible to interception and manipulation by eavesdropping third parties.

FTP can be secured using an SSL/TLS, which in turn creates FTPS. Unfortunately, FTPS is not a widely-supported feature on most browsers, including Chrome, due to its low usage rate.

What are FTP sites?

FTP sites are locations from where you can use your browser to download large files such as the latest Linux OS distribution, or third-party softwares for your operating system.

However, since in time most software distribution services have moved to HTTPS download, and it is suggested the rest do the same.

 

symantec trust issue

Chrome and Symantec – the Final “Trust” Solution

chrome symantec trust issue

The Google Chrome team announced in March 2017 that it had a problem with Symantec for violating industry standards related to SSL certificate issuance. This has been discussed cooperatively over the last 4 months by Google, Symantec, and other members of the internet community. On 27th July 2017, Chrome and Symantec announced their final plan to move forward.

If you operate a website that uses a Symantec SSL certificate, please read this post to see if future versions of Chrome will affect your specific certificate and how you can replace that certificate (for free) before anything goes into effect.

Are you affected?

If you are a current user of Symantec certificates or plan to purchase one in 2017, this could affect you.

As a leading Certificate Authority, there are more than an ideal amount of Symantec SSL certificates will be affected.  Note that Symantec operates multiple brands, all of which are affected:

  • Symantec
  • GeoTrust
  • Thawte
  • RapidSSL

Also, note that Mozilla Firefox will be taking a similar course of action, but at this time they have not committed to a final plan.

What changes are expected in Google Chrome

The two stages of Chrome’s distrust, which serve as deadlines, are marked in RED to clearly show the difference between general information and actionable items.

October 24th, 2017
Chrome 62 will display a message in Developer Tools to help identify certificates which will be affected by distrust in Chrome 66. Visit your websites with the Developer Tools panel open – this will allow you to identify which websites will be affected by distrust in Chrome 66.

December 1st, 2017
A partnered Certificate Authority (CA) will begin issuing certificates for Symantec. As an end user, you may notice some small changes in the issuance process. From a technical standpoint, this date is significant because it marks beginning of the “new” Symantec certificates. Certificates issued after this date will be issued from different roots and will not be affected by Chrome’s dis-trust.

April 17, 2018
All Symantec certificates issued before June 1st, 2016, will no longer be trusted by Chrome.
Certificates issued after June 1st, 2016 are not affected at all in this release. Replace any Symantec certificates issued before June 1st 2016 by this date. This can be done by reissuing your certificate for free from your provider and installing the new certificate in place of the old one. If your certificate expires around this time (April-June) you may want to consider renewing it, instead of reissuing, to avoid two replacements within a short time frame.

Oct 28th, 2018
All certificates issued by Symantec with their existing infrastructure will no longer be trusted by Chrome.
Starting in the stable version of Chrome 62, a message will be added to the Developer Tools panel when a certificate that will be distrusted in Chrome 66 is encountered. Developers can use this functionality to ensure they identify certificates on their websites that will be affected.

Our Recommended Plan of Action

To reduce the amount of disruption and effort required, we recommend the following action:

If your certificate expires BEFORE December 2017

We recommend you renew (instead of reissue) your certificates prior to December. This will allow you to have a trusted certificate in place through the holiday season up until Oct 2018 when all certificate files from Symantec’s existing roots will have an issue and need to be replaced on your website. Alternately, switch over to certificates from a different Certifying Authority (CA) such as Comodo to avoid any issues.

If your certificate expires DURING December

Symantec hopes to have their partner CA issuing certificates on December 1st (a Friday). If you can wait to reissue and replace your certificates until after this occurs, you will most-likely never need to replace your certificate files on your website until their natural expiration date.

However, note that delays may occur which require Symantec to miss the December 1st estimate, and there may be an unusually high volume of issuance at that time which could cause technical issues.

If that is the case, if you are close to the expiration of your current certificate you may risk outages. ‘Holiday freezes’ may also prevent you from replacing certificates during this month.

If you do need to replace your certificate before Symantec’s partner CA is ready to issue certificates, you will need to replace the certificate files again before Chrome 70’s release (expected late Oct 2018).

Alternately, you can switch over to certificates from a different CA such as Comodo to avoid any issues.

If your certificate expires AFTER December 31st, 2017

We recommend you wait to replace any of your certificates until Symantec’s partner CA begins issuing certificates (expected December 1st, 2017). After this date you can begin reissuing and replacing certificates as needed. This way you need to replace your certificate files only one time.

Certificates issued by Symantec’s partner CA will not be affected by Chrome’s changes and will not need to be replaced until their natural expiration.

Special Case: If your certificate was issued BEFORE June 1st, 2016 and expires AFTER April 17th, 2018

You fall into a special case. Your certificate must be reissued and files replaced BEFORE the release of Chrome 66, which is expected April 17th, 2018 in order to remain trusted in Chrome.

However, you should wait until after December 1st 2017 to reissue your certificates. On this date, Symantec’s partner CA will begin issuing certificates. By waiting until this date you will only need to replace your certificate one time.

If you reissue before Symantec’s partner CA is available, your certificate will come from one of Symantec’s current root certificates and will need to be replaced against before October 2018.

UPDATE: Mozilla Firefox will follow more or less the same timelines as Google Chrome.

 

let's encrypt logo

Let’s Encrypt certificate or a commercial SSL – the final verdict

let's encrypt logo

Let's Encrypt background info

Introduced in 2016, Let's Encrypt represents a free open certificate authority (CA), which provides website owners with digital certificates for enabling HTTPS (SSL/TLS).

It was launched by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG), a public-benefit organization sponsored by the Mozilla Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Cisco Systems, with the aim of making HTTPS encryption both affordable and user-friendly.

Their main goal is to create a more secure, privacy-driven web.

Continue reading

ca/b forum ballot 193 passed

Ballot 193 – 3 Year Certificate Validity To Be Phased Out

SSL Certificate HTTPS browser display

The CA/B Forum approved Ballot 193, which will see reduced SSL certificate lifetimes, as the maximum decreases from three years to two years. This is being done to address the security and logistic issues inherent with long-life certificates.

Given that Ballot 193 will impact how certificates are deployed and managed, we wanted to put together a quick summary of how this will impact those who use (or plan on using) 3-year SSL certificates.

The simple takeaway:

Effective March 1st, 2018 all new SSL certificates will be restricted to a maximum of 825 days (2 years + 3 months renewal buffer). This also affects existing DV (Domain Validation) certificates. Prior to this date, CAs are allowed to issue 3-year certificates. Note that some may choose to discontinue these practices early.

Shorter-term certificates (1-year) are not affected by either of these changes.

If you have already purchased any certificate with 3-year validity with an expiry date after 1st April 2018, avoid requesting a certificate reissue after Feb 2018. If you do so your certificate will be truncated to 825 days validity and you will lose the difference permanently.

To make all of this easier to understand, we have created some scenarios and a description of how these new changes will affect you. More than one of these may (or could) affect you, so please skim all the scenarios:

You want to use 3-year certificates for minimal updates to all your servers.

You can get a new 3-year certificate up until March 2018. This will allow you to have a 3-year certificate in production until 2021, but ONLY if you do not reissue your certificate after March 2018 when the new maximums take effect.

As mentioned above, there are sometimes security vulnerabilities or other industry changes out of your control which may require you to reissue a certificate. In some cases, such as the SHA-1 migration, you can choose not to reissue your certificate if you are okay with degraded treatment in web browsers.

Note that in the past, CAs have chosen to stop issuing products prior to the industry-mandated deadlines. This could mean that due to Ballot 193 some CAs may choose to stop issuing 3-year certificates before March 2018. Plan to check in later this year and do not wait till the last minute assuming a 3-year certificate will be available. If this happens we will contact our existing customers to let them know. If you use another provider/CA, check with them to know what their planned policy is.

You have an existing 3-year certificate (issued before March 2018) that needs to be reissued after March 2018.

From a technical perspective, reissuing a certificate is the same as issuing a new certificate. This means that after March 2018, ALL newly issued certificates (including reissues) must have a maximum validity of 825 days.

When you reissue your existing certificate after March 2018 it will be truncated to 825 days to meet the new requirements and you will permanently ‘lose’ the difference.

You have a DV certificate

Starting March 2018, DV certificates will now be limited to 825 days. Prior to this date, you can continue to get a 3-year certificate. However please note that some CAs may choose to stop issuing 3-year certificates before March 2018.

When you reissue a DV certificate it is already common practice to re-validate domain ownership. This is a simple practice, which can be performed in a few minutes by setting up a DNS record, uploading a file to your server via FTP, or confirming an email.

You have an EV certificate

EV certificates are not affected by either of these changes. Because they meet the highest standards for identity, EV certificates are already limited to stricter maximums for both requirements.

EV certificates have a maximum of 27 months and validity information can only be reused for a maximum of 13 months. There are currently no planned reductions to these periods, however as the CA/B Forum institutes more security-conscious requirements, EV certificates may be restricted to one year.

At this time, we are not aware of any changes to Symantec or Comodo’s product lines due to Ballot 193. However, they may choose to discontinue 3-year certificates ahead of the industry-mandated deadline, or impose other changes to deal with this shift. If and when this happens, we will notify all our customers and be in contact with those whose active certificates are effected.

Reference: https://cabforum.org/2017/03/17/ballot-193-825-day-certificate-lifetimes/

 

free ssl post install server assessment

Free SSL Post-Install Server Assessment

getssl.in ssllabs grade

Customers of getSSL by iWebz using the automated SSL certificate buying system now have a way of assessing how well they have setup their TLS/SSL certificate on their web server. We now provide the ability to use the Qualys SSL Labs server test from your getSSL Order Details page.

What is a server SSL test?

The server SSL test looks for incorrect SSL setup or weak encryption (ciphers) enabled on your web server. At the end of the test you will be presented with detailed results (see server SSL test results for getssl.in) with recommendations on how to rectify the identified issues, if any. Always target getting a grade of A+ or A. Anything lower means a risky web server SSL configuration.

Implment the recommendation and ensure your web server has the most secure setup with the TLS/SSL certificate you have purchased.

How can I use the server SSL test?

iWebz has provided a one-click server SSL test launcher link, on the Order Details page. Click the link to launch the SSL installation assessment for your SSL-secured hostname (web server). This server SSL check is absolutely free of cost to you as a customer. Run this test on-demand, unlimited number of times!

free ssl post install server assessment

Order Details page for an Active order with the server SSL test link enabled

In order to use this feature you need to complete the Domain Control Validation (DCV) check. Once you complete the validation, the order is marked Active, and the link will automatically be available as shown in the screenshot.

Updated April 18th, 2017: This link is now upgraded to run a multi-service full website security scan powered by Observatory by Mozilla. This also includes the previous server SSL test powered by Qualys SSL Labs. Now you can choose to consider only the SSL setup results or look at the complete security analysis of your website.

 

sms

getSSL launches SSL Certificate Order Status via SMS for customers from India

Send SMS message to know your getSSL order status

Send a SMS with IWEBZ SSLORDER Order_Number to the mobile number 92205 92205 to know current order status for your SSL certificate order anytime* after Step 1 of the getSSL certificate order process. Standard SMS rates apply for India. This facility is only available for fresh certificate orders placed by Customers from India after January 22nd, 2017.

For example, if you have paid for your order, and your order/invoice number is 14021717174045, then send IWEBZ SSLORDER 14021717174045 to 92205 92205 to know order status.

If your number is on the DND list then you will not receive a response. You will need to first send the keywords IWEBZ START to the mobile number 92932 92932 to subscribe to this service before sending the order status request via SMS.

*This SMS service will only respond between 9am to 9pm.

iWebz℠ Can Help You Get SSL Certificates Fast & Cheap!

Our SSL certificate deals start as low as $6.75 per year!!

Due to our large-scale sourcing relationship from top global SSL brands such as COMODO, RapidSSL, GeoTrust and Thawte, you get the best SSL certificates at the best prices!

All certificates purchased via iWebz will have the best SHA2 256-bit security encryption with 2048-bit key length, and also improve your website's Google search result ranking.

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