[cabfpub] EV Wildcards

Jeremy Rowley jeremy.rowley at digicert.com
Thu Mar 19 23:26:20 UTC 2015

Oh yeah.  I forgot to mention another proposal was to eliminate wildcard certs for DV.  This was raised a while ago by Globalsign and actually went to a ballot. It failed at that time by browser vote.

Resurrection of this proposal was brought up at the face-to-face, but there wasn't significant discussion there (since the topic was primarily about EV wildcards, not DV)


From: public-bounces at cabforum.org [mailto:public-bounces at cabforum.org] On Behalf Of Eddy Nigg
Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2015 5:21 PM
To: Jeremy Rowley; public at cabforum.org
Subject: Re: [cabfpub] EV Wildcards

Thanks again Jeremy!

I would like to state the following fact as food for thought on this subject....

Today one can secure a (main) site with an EV certificate and have all content of that site including frames and iframes secured with a regular SSL certificate including wild cards. Browsers have always allowed this with the notable exception of Opera that had at some point a configuration setting for an "All EV" requirement. So if you are on an EV site, this doesn't mean that your connection is really secured with EV - a lot of information can be still leaked to other parties that have not undergone an extended validation and that's usually not what you want (but you don't know usually).

If we consider this fact, I can't see why EV shouldn't be wild card enabled. Or to take it a step further, why should wild cards be possible with some weak domain control validation only? It's widely known that such wild card DVs can be easily abused.

On the other hand, EV has undergone a serious verification and the use of an EV certificates for malicious purpose by the certificate holder is almost zero. Except if it loses the key or something, but that's an entirely different story.
On 03/20/2015 01:00 AM, Jeremy Rowley wrote:
During the face-to-face, the forum discussed allowing wildcard characters in EV certificates.  The reasons for allowing it were:

1)      The lack of wildcard characters is one reason many large enterprises choose OV/DV over EV.  As entities move increasingly to cloud-based solutions and as IPv4 addresses become an increasingly limited resource, wildcards are being used in more and more places.

2)      EV domain validation is tied to the baseline requirements.  The baseline requirements, even with the proposed domain validation revisions, permit validation of the base domain of an FQDN.  Validation does not necessarily happen at each subdomain level. Therefore, putting wildcard characters doesn't increase the risk as CAs aren't looking specifically at the FQDN (except as part of the high risk check).

The reasons against allowing it were:

1)      CAs are looking at the FQDN as part of the high risk check.  (The counter to this was that high risk checks are highly language and CA dependent - I might not catch that bankofamerica.mydomain.com is a high risk domain if I'm operating outside the US)

2)      Eliminating wildcards ensures the requester knows exactly what domains are being covered by the EV cert.

There were probably more arguments for and against, but I think this gets the discussion started.



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