• The Transition from Non-FQDN Server Names

        Oct 20 2017, 9:13 PM

        by Dom SYMC 2

        The CA/Browser Forum is an unincorporated association of separate organizations that creates the guidelines that apply to all SSL certificate and browser providers. Since the effected date of 1 July 2012 Symantec has been notifying customers in regards to certificates with a SAN or Common Name (CN) field that contains a Reserved IP Address or Internal Server Name since they are being phased out due to CA/Browser Forum standards.

        This one particular standard has some customers in a bind when renewing or enrolling into a CA signed SSL certificate. Below is the Standard.

        abc123-local 400X.jpg

        9.2.1Subject Alternative Name Extension

        Certificate Field: extensions:subjectAltName

        Required/Optional: Required

        Contents: This extension MUST contain at least one entry. Each entry MUST be either a dNSName containing the Fully-Qualified Domain Name or an iPAddress containing the IP address of a server. The CA MUST confirm that the Applicant controls the Fully-Qualified Domain Name or IP address or has been granted the right to use it by the Domain Name Registrant or IP address assignee, as appropriate.

        Wildcard FQDNs are permitted.

        As of the Effective Date of these Requirements, prior to the issuance of a Certificate with a subjectAlternativeName extension or Subject commonName field containing a Reserved IP Address or Internal Name, the CA SHALL notify the Applicant that the use of such Certificates has been deprecated by the CA / Browser Forum and that the practice will be eliminated by October 2016. Also as of the Effective Date, the CA SHALL NOT issue a certificate with an Expiry Date later than 1 November 2015 with a subjectAlternativeName extension or Subject commonName field containing a Reserved IP Address or Internal Name. Effective 1 October 2016, CAs SHALL revoke all unexpired Certificates whose subjectAlternativeName extension or Subject commonName field contains a Reserved IP

        Address or Internal Name.

        (More information about the CA/B Forum Baseline Requirements can be found at

        This standard means SSL certificates can only be issued to Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDN) and can no longer be issued to Non-Valid internal names.


        Valid FQDN’s

        Non-Valid Internal



        In response to this change customers have to take two main course of action:

        1. Change the common names and reissue their SSL certificates
        2. Move to certificates chained to a private root with two options:
          1. Develop a self-signed internal Certification Authority (CA)
          2. Use a Private CA from Symantec

        To help our customers avoid the dangers of a self-signed CA, Symantec is now offering the Private CA.

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        The Symantec Private CA ensures:

        • Compliance
        • Support
        • Reduces the time
        • Reduce hidden costs of in house solutions.

        This is offered though the Managed PKI for SSL Account. Use the same console to managed external as well as internal certificates.  Ask your account manager for more details! More detailed Information on the Symantec Private CA can be found at

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      • Within Authentication Services there are three types of SSL certificates. These SSL certificates each contain different features and authentication that are required in order to be issued. Understanding these differences can help you in knowing what you need to prepare for in order to get the certificate issued as fast as possible.

        The Three Types Are:

        Extended Validation (EV) SSL
        Examples: Secure Site with EV, Secure Site Pro with EV, True business ID with EV, SSL Web Server with EV, MPKI for SSL EV validated

        A premium business class SSL security product fully authenticated, visually confirming the highest level of authentication available among SSL certificates. It gives your customers two highly  visible ways to confirm that your web site is secure—the green address bar and the True Site Seal, while providing strong encryption to protect their confidential information.

        Organization Validation (OV) SSL
        Example: Secure Site SSL, Secure Site Pro, True business ID, SSL Web Server, SGC SuperCerts, CodeSigning, MPKI for SSL

        A fully authenticated certificate that let’s your customers know that your site is trustworthy from a validated company and that you take their security seriously enough to get your SSL from a security company. For an affordable price, you can secure your Websites domain and display standard information regarding your organization on the certificate and with the True Site Seal - while providing strong encryption to protect their confidential information

        Domain Validation (DV) SSL
        Examples: SSL 123, Quick SSL Premium

        It is the quickest way for you to get a certificate for your domain. It will not include any information about your company nor its location. With an automatic authentication and issuance process, it takes just minutes to get your certificate due to no Organization Validation. It is an inexpensive SSL that is fast and convenient.

        Compare SSL Certificates:

        NOTE: Regardless of the certificate type all SSL certificates require a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) to be submitted online during enrollment. CSR details for fully validated certificates must reflect the enrolling organization’s business information (i.e., the organization whose web site will be secured by the SSL certificate). If your CSR contains incorrect information, Authentication Customer Support cannot process your order, and you will have to create a new CSR and a new order with the correct information. For DV level certificates not having the correct information is not typically an issue unlike EV or OV level certificates.

        Bottom line is the more accurate the information is on the order and on the CSR the faster the certificate will be issued.

        Certificate Request Checklist.jpg

        What Authentication does in order to validate a certificate....

        What exactly is required to get a DV level certificate?

        This is as automated process in which an email will be sent out to a Whois lookup for the domain that the certificate was enrolled for. You will have the option to select admin@, administrator@, hostmaster@, postmaster@, webmaster@ for this confirmation e-mail. Once the e-mail is received it is just a matter of approving the order. That’s it your certificate is issued within minutes.

        What exactly is required to get an OV level certificate?

        The validation process typically takes 1-2 business days. During this time, the Authentication team must perform the following steps to validate your certificate order with independent, third-party sources:

        • Authenticate your organization
        • Authenticate your domain
        • Verify your organization’s address
        • Verify your contact information

        What exactly is required to get an EV level certificate?

        EV certificates have a more vigorous authentication process than OV level certificates. If all the information on the order is accurate and the information that Authentication requires is readily available, then an EV certificate can be issued within little time.

        Authentication must be able to confirm all of the following organizational registration requirements:

        • Official government agency records must include:
          • The organization's registration number.
          • The organization's date of registration/incorporation.
          • The organization's registered address (or the address of the organization's registered agent).
        • A non-government data source (such as Dun & Bradstreet) must include the organization's place of business address if it is not included in the Government agency records
        • If the organization has been registered for less than three years, Authentication must verify operational existence through one of the following means:
          • Through a non-government data source (such as Dun & Bradstreet)
            - or -
          • By verifying the organization has an active demand deposit account (such as a checking account) with a regulated financial institution through a Lawyer’s Opinion Letter or directly with the financial institution.

        Domain Authentication Requirements:

        To qualify for an Extended Validation SSL Certificate, domain registration details must reflect the full Organization name as included in the Certificate Signing Request (CSR). Where domain registration does not reflect the organization name as identified in the certificate request, positive confirmation of the Organization's exclusive right to use the domain name is required from the registered domain administrator or via a Lawyer Opinion Letter.

        • The domain must be registered with ICANN or IANA registrar (for ccTLDs). Domain registration details must be updated to reflect the organization name as included on the certificate request.
        • Where domain registration is private, the domain registrar is required to unblock the privacy feature.
        • The Organization's certificate approver must confirm knowledge of the organization's domain ownership during the verification call.

        Organization's Certificate Approver (Corporate Contact) Authentication Requirements:

        To qualify for an Extended Validation SSL Certificate, the Certificate Approver identified in the certificate request must be employed by the requesting organization and have appropriate authority to obtain and delegate Extended Validation certificate responsibilities.

        Authentication must be able to confirm all of the following about the Certificate Approver:

        • Certificate Approver's identity, title, and employment through an independent source.
        • Certificate Approver is authorized to obtain and approve EV certificates on behalf of the Organization. This can be verified through one of the following methods:
          • A Lawyer's Opinion Letter
          • A Corporate Resolution
          • Directly contacting the CEO, COO, or similar executive at the organization and confirming the authority of the organizational contact. If no public records are available regarding the CEO, COO, or other executive, Authentication will attempt to contact the organization’s Human Resources department for contact details.

        Order Verification Requirements:

        Authentication must verify the Certificate Signing Request and all certificate details with the Certificate Approver identified in the certificate order. Authentication must contact the Certificate Approver using an independently-verified telephone number.

        This telephone number is obtained through one of the following methods:

        • By researching qualified telephone databases to find a telephone number. Ensure your organization’s primary telephone number is listed in a public telephone directory.
        • As provided in a Lawyer's Opinion Letter.
        • As confirmed during a site visit conducted by Authentication.

        Additional Verification requirements:

        If Authentication is unable to verify any of the required information on your certificate application, they may request you to provide a Professional opinion from a lawyer or accountant to verify the information.

        When it comes time for your organization to get a certificate keep in mind the three different types EV, OV,  DV, and what it takes to be authenticated to receive them. Already knowing the three different types and the validation procedures that goes behind them will make it a smoother ride for you to get a certificate for your organization.

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      • Understanding how Symantecs Vulnerability Assessment Scan service works

        Mar 30 2018, 4:05 PM

        by Dom SYMC 1

        The Vulnerability Assessment (VA) scan is a service that each week performs a scan searching for common entry points for the domain you enrolled in for with a purchase of certain SSL certificates. 

        If the scan finds any potential weakness within that domain that if breached could threaten your online security, an e-mail will be sent out informing the technical contact to pick up the results of the scan in a downloadable PDF report highlighting the most critical vulnerabilities if any are found.

        The Vulnerability Assessment scan is a service that is available for following account types and products:

        VA scan products.JPG

        You may have lots of questions or may want to know more regarding the technicalities of the Vulnerability Assessment scan. Such as..

        • What IP address does it scan from?
        • What types of Vulnerability’s does the scan detect?
        • What are its limits? ETC...

        The majority of your questions can be answered by visiting the Authentication Services knowledge base article Vulnerability FAQ. Other related articles regarding its technicalities can also be found by visiting the knowledge base article Vulnerability Basics

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