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Not particularly fresh news to some people but definitely important for anyone relying on SSL connections to websites who now need to plan for getting SSL certificates from a Root CA that uses SHA-2.

Microsoft Security Advisory 2880823

Deprecation of SHA-1 Hashing Algorithm for Microsoft Root Certificate Program

Published: November 12, 2013

Executive Summary

Microsoft is announcing a policy change to the Microsoft Root Certificate Program.
The new policy will no longer allow root certificate authorities to issue X.509 certificates using the SHA-1 hashing algorithm for the purposes of SSL and code signing after January 1, 2016.
Using the SHA-1 hashing algorithm in digital certificates could allow an attacker to spoof content, perform phishing attacks, or perform man-in-the-middle attacks.

Recommendation: Microsoft recommends that certificate authorities no longer sign newly generated certificates using the SHA-1 hashing algorithm and begin migrating to SHA-2.
Microsoft also recommends that customers replace their SHA-1 certificates with SHA-2 certificates at the earliest opportunity.

 

For example, here are the details from a current VeriSign certificate:

clip_image002

 

Will this impact any versions of Windows?

According to:

 

Windows PKI Blog

SHA2 and Windows

Published: September 30th, 2010

 

the support for SHA2 will vary:

No support for SHA2 – Windows XP sp2, Windows 2003 sp2

Limited support for SHA2 – Windows XP sp3 with KB 938397/KB 968730, Windows 2003 sp2 with KB 938397/KB 968730

Full support – Windows Vista and above

Note – “Limited support” added by the hotfixes mentioned includes the following SHA2 hashes: SHA-256, SHA-384, SHA-512 (but not SHA-224).

 

What’s up with SHA-224?

According to Alejandro Campos Magencio’s cryptography blog

Decrypt my World

SHA-2 support on Windows XP

Published January 23rd, 2009

Regarding SHA-224 support, SHA-224 offers less security than SHA-256 but takes the same amount of resources. Also SHA-224 is not generally used by protocols and applications.

 

Further reading

Security Research and Defence Blog

Security Advisory 2880823: Recommendation to discontinue use of SHA-1

Published November 12th, 2013

Posted on Friday, August 29, 2014 5:26 PM | Back to top


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