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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fourmilab SSL/HTTPS security certificate updated

After the usual “boot in the face forever” customer experience, Fourmilab's SSL/HTTPS security certificate has been renewed through 2016-04-07 and installed on the site. You can test and examine the details of this certificate by making a secure connection to Fourmilab and using your browser's procedure to query the security of the connection and examine the site certificate. As this is a non-commercial site and no money changes hands here, I've opted for the least expensive “Domain Validated SSL” option, as with the certificates used here since 2006. You're assured that you are indeed talking to the genuine www.fourmilab.ch and that your communications with the site are encrypted, but beyond that no further authentication is provided.

Users of Web services such as The Hacker's Diet Online and HotBits which use secure connections by default should migrate to the new certificate seamlessly. If you have trouble, let me know with the Feedback button, but there's little I can do about it since the new certificate, like the ones which preceded it, was purchased from Thawte, one of the most accepted (if simultaneously expensive and irritating to do business with) Certificate Authorities. I'm currently showing 5447 HTTPS connections since the new certificate was installed, so the absence of plaintive E-mails reporting problems indicates they are either rare or that Fourmilab's users are atypically tolerant of difficulties today.

The good news for all of us is that if this keeps on working, we needn't revisit this particular speed bump until 2016.

Don't get me onto selling handfuls of random bits for hundreds of dollars a year. Here, we give 'em away!

Posted at February 16, 2011 00:22