Menu
Encryption project issues first free SSL/TLS certificate

Encryption project issues first free SSL/TLS certificate

Let's Encrypt plans to distribute certificates more widely in the next couple of months

A project that aims to increase the use of encryption by giving away free SSL/TLS certificates has issued its first one, marking the start of its beta program.

The project, called Let's Encrypt, is run by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) and backed by Mozilla, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Cisco and Akamai, among others.

Let's Encrypt plans to distribute free SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer Security) certificates, which encrypt data passed between a website and users. The use of SSL/TLS is signified in most browsers by "https" and a padlock appearing in the URL bar.

Unencrypted web traffic poses a security risk. For example, an attacker could collect the web traffic of someone using a public Wi-Fi hotspot, potentially revealing sensitive data.

Selling SSL/TLS certificates is a big business; the certificates often aren't cheap and they expire after a certain time. The cost puts off some website owners from using encryption, particularly for less-trafficked sites.

Let's Encrypt aims to "revolutionize encryption on websites, making https implementation a seamless, no-cost option for anyone with a domain," wrote Rainey Reitman, the EFF's activism director.

The organization's first certificate is for one of its own domains, effectively a test run showing that the system works. It will begin issuing certificates to domains participating in its beta program, and then to more websites, in the next couple of months, wrote Josh Aas, ISRG's executive director, in a blog post.

For the first certificate to appear valid, users will have to install an ISRG root certificate in their browser or other client software. That's a temporary issue, as ISRG's root certificate will be cross-signed in about a month by IdenTrust, a Certificate Authority that is one of Let's Encrypt's primary sponsors.

Once that is in place, ISRG's certificates will be recognized as valid by nearly all browsers.

Major technology companies including Google, Yahoo and Facebook have made a strong push for broader using of encryption in light of government surveillance programs and burgeoning cybercrime.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

From new extortion schemes, outside threats and rising cyber attacks, the art of securing the enterprise has seldom been so complex or challenging. With distance no longer a viable defence, Kiwi businesses are fighting to stay ahead of the security curve. In total, 28 per cent of local businesses faced a cyber attack last year, with the number in New Zealand set to rise in 2017. Yet amidst the sensationalism, media headlines and ongoing high profile breaches, confusion floods the channel, as partners seek strategic methods to combat rising sophistication from attackers. In sizing up the security spectrum, this Reseller News roundtable - in association with F5 Networks, Kaspersky Lab, Tech Data, Sophos and SonicWall - assessed where the channel sweet spot is within the New Zealand channel. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?
Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Show Comments