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Self-Signed Certificates not trusted

Posted on 2007-11-21
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Whay are self-signed certificates not trusted??
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Question by:wzimmerl
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because you usually have no practical way of knowing for sure that they are really from who you think they are from. Anyone can make one, and anyone can replace one that someone else made. By the time it gets to you, you can't be sure it is the original, unless you saw the original person make it, and then they burned a CD on an uncompromised system and handed it to you, and you took it to the other system and installed it.

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What multithreading says is correct.  I would probably add that the reason it's not trusted is because it doesn't come from an authorized certificate server, such as Verisign, etc.  This is why they charge so much, because not everyone can do it (and for good reason).  There is a solution, however.

If you want to simply have a few clients accessing your one website, for example, you can install the certificate on Windows (or in their browser) to allow them to connect via SSL without being warned about an untrusted SSL certificate.

If you're really savy, you could even set up your own local certificate server to use in your domain, that would allow local computers in the domain to automatically trust the system you are connecting to.  That's a lot of work though, so I don't recommend going that route.
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