Best practice for https Private Key Generation

Summary

– Use strong passphrases and store them securely
– Create keys of sufficient length
– Use an offline computer for key generation
– Avoid using generic names or terms in the Common Name (CN) field
– Use a trusted certificate authority when possible
– Perform regular audits of key security measures

Details

1. Use strong passphrases and store them securely
– A strong passphrase is essential for protecting private keys from unauthorized access. It should consist of at least 12 characters, a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. The passphrase should not be reused on other accounts or shared with anyone.
– Private keys should be stored in a secure location, such as a hardware security module (HSM) or encrypted file. It is also recommended to store the passphrase offline, such as in a password manager that is not connected to the internet.
2. Create keys of sufficient length
– The length of the private key should be chosen based on the level of security needed for the application. A longer key provides stronger security but may impact performance. It is recommended to use at least 2048-bit RSA or 256-bit ECC keys.
3. Use an offline computer for key generation
– Generating private keys on an offline computer helps prevent malware and other attacks from accessing the private key during the generation process. An air-gapped computer is recommended, meaning it has no internet or network connection.
4. Avoid using generic names or terms in the Common Name (CN) field
– The Common Name (CN) field should not contain generic information that could be used to guess the private key. For example, avoiding using “www” or “mail” in the CN field for a website’s SSL certificate. Using a unique and descriptive name will make it more difficult for attackers to guess the private key.
5. Use a trusted certificate authority when possible
– A trusted certificate authority (CA) can provide additional security measures, such as code signing or SSL certificates. The CA verifies the identity of the organization requesting the certificate and ensures that the certificate is authentic.
6. Perform regular audits of key security measures
– Regularly checking the security of private keys is essential to ensure they remain protected from unauthorized access. Audits should be performed on a schedule, such as monthly or quarterly, and include checking for any vulnerabilities, ensuring that passwords are up-to-date, and verifying that all security measures are functioning correctly.

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