Last Updated on December 3, 2023
The standard format of public-key certificates in cryptography is referred to as the X509 certificate. There are so many internet protocols that use the X509 certificate. This certificate can also be used as an offline medium like in electronic applications.
The X509 certificate includes a public key, identity proof, and either self-signed or certificate authority signature. There are a variety of certificates included in X509 named SSL/TLS certificate, code signing, document signing, and email signing certificates, etc. it helps to know the identity of the person that they are trustworthy or not. By seeing this feature we can say that the X509 certificate is similar to the national passport.
X509 certificates act as a digital passport. The information and data present in the X509 certificate are only about you and no one else. A similar type of authority like Certificate authority (CA) also exists for X509 certificates. The Certificate authority (CA) helps to make the privacy of your identity from the third party.
The CA can be any party that is trusted by you and the person verifying the certificate. There are different companies which have their own certificate authority (CA) so that they can verify their company employees’ identity.
X509 BRIEF HISTORY
The X509 certificate was created in 1988. It is a part of the series X500 directory. In today’s time, this certificate helps in identifying the personal identity with a secure connection. A particular pair of the key is created by an X509 certificate that binds the user with the server under private and encrypted connection.
The user should also know all the information about the certificate pairing. This will make private and secure connection string and the websites will be less prone to the phishing attacks. In 2011, there were rumors about the third party attacks on the websites consists of an X509 certificate. This is the reason the X509 certificate now becomes more secure and encrypted.
There are only two types of encryption methods named as symmetric and asymmetric. One of the biggest differences between these methods is the number of cryptographic keys used.
Only one key is used in symmetric encryption. This key is used for both purposes that are encryption and decryption of messages. In contrast, asymmetric encryption consists of two cryptographic keys that will be related to each other mathematically.
In asymmetric encryption, one key is for encryption that is known as the public key and the other one is for decryption that is known as a private key. As the name suggests the public key will not be secure and available publicly. The only person who is having a private key can decrypt the data so if you encrypt any data then not even you can decrypt it.
X509 CERTIFICATE INCLUDES
There are 3 components in the X509 certificate:
– Digital signature
– Identity information
There are 2 keys in the X509 certificate. The one key is a public key and another one is the private key. The key pair will be assigned to those who will depend on the application. The one needs to sign some documents for the private keys so that the person who is having a public key can verify the signature. In SSL/TLS certificates, the key pairs help the sender for encrypting a message with the public key and private key holders decrypt the message by the cipher text.
The Certificate authority (CA) used to take the digital signature from the owner. This will help to identify that the user is genuine or not. The main aim is that it proves the certificate which is issued to the user by the certificate authority (CA) is real and ensure the website as well.
The X509 certificate includes all the information regarding the certificate to whom is it issued and also the identity that is certificate authority who issues the certificate to the user.
– The information on the version of the X509 certificate is applied for security.
– The certificate authority assigns the serial number so that no two certificates will show similarity with each other.
– The CA uses the hashing algorithm for signing the certificate.
– Certificate issuing entity name.
– The period of validity of the certificate from when it is issued.
– The public key certificate.
X509 and CHAIN OF TRUST
The hierarchy that verifies the validity of the certificate issuer is the X509 certificate. The SSL certificate is the main that tells about the legitimacy of the browser. On the other hand, there are root certificates that are the basic certificates and include the certificate authority signature.
The SSL certificate and root certificates are not connected with each other and some gap appears between the two. These intermediate certificates fill this gap. They all together form a chain of certificates from SSL to the intermediate following root certificate. It contains the signature from all the entities. It is just like a chain of trust that builds up between all the certificates and the users.
APPLICATIONS OF X509 CERTIFICATE
– It is the multi-level platform which provides security, check the additional visits on the website, and update the personal information of the owner.
– The add on and best advantage is a digital signature that provides enhanced privacy and security.
– In an organization there is the creation of digital certificates for various users from different units.
– The generation of public and private keys maintain proper encryption.
ARCHITECTURAL WEAKNESSES OF X509 CERTIFICATE
– The main architectural weakness is the use of invalid certificates that are blacklisted.
– A single container includes identity claims, attribute claims, and policy claims.
– The large size and convoluted distribution pattern is a poor choice by CRLs.
– The root certificate revocation is not at all addressed.
WORLDWIDE USAGE OF X509 CERTIFICATES
– Used in SSL/TLS certificates
– Used in code signing certificates
– Used in document signing certificates
– The authentication of client certificate also comes under X509 certificate
– The identity proof issued by the government is also secured by X509 certificate
– The encryption and privacy of the information on mails also secured by X509 certificate