|By Scott Morrison||
|April 11, 2011 01:42 PM EDT||
The Register today published an excellent summary of the latest issues with SSL. In the typically blunt and mordant style for which the publication is so famous, Dan Goodin illustrates how the gossamer-thin SSL web of trust is built on a superstructure of astonishingly dubious merit. It’s a wonder the whole thing works at all.
Have a careful read of How is SSL hopelessly broken? Let us count the ways and then re-examine the cartel certs that anchor your own web browsing experience. As you roll out your API strategy, make sure you deploy your SSL endpoints with certificates that were subject to organizational or (much better) extended validation. Encourage—or if you can, demand—that your API clients limit their trust stores to a small subset containing only the most legitimate CAs.
The opportunity is largely over in the browser world; affecting massive change there will only happen when individuals personally loose money on a grand scale. But APIs still have a chance to regain some level of trust through rigorous application of SSL best practices, and API providers and developers can take the initiative here.