Search This Blog

Showing posts with label SSL certificate. Show all posts

The Trauma of Securing a Code Signing Certificate - The Government of India needs to Intervene against hegemony of MNCs


A boutique Indian cyber security firm (a proprietorship) just went through a nightmarish experience with an MNC when it sought to secure a Code Signing Certificate (CSC). The MNC simply refused to recognise several valid documents issued by the Government of India.

The Indian firm has a GST registration, a MSME registration and has over the last few years continuously offered protection against cyber security threats to over a dozen blue chip firms in the Banking & Financial Services Sector. Most of the firm’s business is repeat business on an annual subscription model.

The firm wrote a small executable which can dig into viruses on hard disks and wanted a secure a code signing certificate in this connection.

The first code signing vendor said that they can only issue a certificate to a company incorporated with the Ministry of Company Affairs and thus rejected the application. Fortunately, no application fee has been paid and the matter ended there.

A second vendor was approached, an application was filed on a website and a fee of approximately US $ 200 paid. Then the nightmare started. The firm received a verification email seeking to know if it were a private limited company. It said that it was a proprietorship, with a GST and MSME registration, and even offered to show the Purchase Orders (POs) from clients in order to prove its legitimacy. However, the vendor was firm and said that it could only issue a certificate to a Private Limited firm. When a refund was sought, there was no reply.

The vendor then said that GST and MSME registrations were not acceptable and sought alternative verification. This involved securing a landline, a certification from the firm’s CA about its existence as a registered and genuine entity, CA’s certification of physical location at the same place as the landline, Aadhar card photocopy (front and back), and also a selfie with the front and back display of the Aadhar card. Further, the firm’s representative was required to be at the landline location to receive a call which proved to be a complication because of the lockdown. Finally, the CA himself had to go through a verification process.

This whole experience highlights the importance of a intervention by the Government of India in the area of code signing certification and a localisation of the same. Otherwise MNCs will end up controlling the process, with the power to even disregard official registrations issued by the Government of India.

Imperva Firewall Breached: Users API keys, SSL Certificates Exposed



Imperva, a leading security vendor, disclosed a security breach which exposed API keys, SSL certificates, scrambled passwords and email addresses for a subset of its customers using the Cloud Web Application Firewall (WAF) product.

Previously known as, Incapsula, the Cloud WAF examines the incoming requests into applications and obstructs any kind of malicious activity.

The breach was made known to the California based firm by a third party on August 20 and the details of the disclosure are yet to be made public.

In conversation with the Threatpost, Chris Morales, Head of Security Analytics at Vectra, said, “Losing SSL certificates and API access to an enterprise network is concerning. Secure web gateways, firewalls, intrusion detection, and prevention systems, and data loss prevention (DLP) products all perform some form of SSL intercept and decryption to perform DPI,”

“While we often point to lack of maturity of security operations or misconfiguration of cloud systems as to why a company would miss an attack, it is even more unfortunate when a security vendor who builds a cloud security product is compromised that should have the skills and capabilities to detect and respond to cyberattacks,” He further told.

Referencing from the writings of CEO, Chris Hylen, “We want to be very clear that this data exposure is limited to our Cloud WAF product… Elements of our Incapsula customer database through September 15, 2017, were exposed. These included: email addresses; hashed and salted passwords. And for a subset of the Incapsula customers through September 15, 2017: API keys and customer-provided SSL certificates.”

Assuring the users, he told, “We continue to investigate this incident around the clock and have stood up a global, cross-functional team.”

As a remedial measure, Imperva brought into force password resets and 90-day password expiration for the product which notably is a key component of the company's leading application security solution.