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[ISN] Trustwave admits issuing man-in-the-middle digital certificate; Mozilla debates punishment
By Lucian Constantin
IDG News Service
February 8, 2012
Digital Certificate Authority (CA) Trustwave revealed that it has issued
a digital certificate that enabled an unnamed private company to spy on
SSL-protected connections within its corporate network, an action that
prompted the Mozilla community to debate whether the CA's root
certificate should be removed from Firefox.
The certificate issued by Trustwave is known as a subordinate root and
enabled its owner to sign digital certificates for virtually any domain
on the Internet. The certificate was to be used within a private network
within a data loss prevention system, Trustwave said in a blog post on
The CA took steps to ensure that the subordinate root could not be
stolen or abused. The certificate was stored in a Hardware Security
Module, a device built specifically for the management of digital keys,
which ensured that its extraction was impossible, Trustwave said.
The company also performed on-site physical security audits to make sure
that the system can't be removed from the premises and used to intercept
SSL-encrypted (Secure Sockets Layer-encrypted) traffic on another
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