In the early 90's, at the dawn of the World Wide Web, some engineers at Netscape developed a protocol for making secure HTTP requests, and what they came up with was called SSL. Given the relatively scarce body of knowledge concerning secure protocols at the time, as well the intense pressure that everyone at Netscape was working under, their efforts can only be seen as incredibly heroic. But while it's amazing that SSL has endured for as long as it has, some parts of it -- particularly those concerning Certificate Authorities -- have always caused some friction, and have more recently started to cause real problems. This talk will provide an in-depth examination of the current problems with authenticity in SSL, discuss some of the recent high-profile SSL infrastructure attacks in detail, and cover some potential strategies for the future. It will conclude with a software release that aims to definitively fix the disintegrating trust relationships at the core of this fundamental protocol.
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