Some of our community members (users) get a problem while they try to renew an existing certificate.The issue is: Certificate renewal is pending for days/weeks.
First of all, CAcert is not a service provider or a company, but a community. We are all in the same boat. We can only achieve our goals together, with your the cooperation of all of us (of all users=members).
One of our volunteer support engineers, a retired gentleman somewhere in Bohemia, wrote, after he watererd the flowers in the garden: 1. Many users use CAcert without any assurance. Until now, their CSRs were signed by Class 1 Root (–> serial # 1xxxxx) and their CSRs/renewals are stuck in a queue now. 2. These users know absolutely nothing about existence Class 1 & Class 3 Roots, as they don’t remember installing root(s), and when creating a new cert, they cannot see the choice Class 1/3, because with <50 assurance points (trust points) it isn’t displayed. 3. Many users do not know about the existence of Wiki, bugs, blog, CATS… websites. Our education possibly fails in this direction.
Another help message was sent by a CAcert volunteer who works as a bus driver from his mobile phone during the short break at the terminus: To get assurance points, the easyest way is to meet with two (or three) experienced assurers who can then credit you with the assurance (trust) points you need (you need 50 and get 10-35 per assurer). When you are on cacert.org in your account, go to the Web Of Trust: https://www.cacert.org/wot.php?id=12 (here you can enter your town and search for assurers in the area) or: https://www.cacert.org/wot.php?id=1 (here you can click through to choose from about 6000 assurers worldwide).
Thank you very much to all our active community members who helps here and there and gives other community members a hand. Even very little help is helpfull. If e.g. each of the 6000 assurers from the assurer directory helps with something small for 10 minutes per month, that is already 1000 hours of work. That would solve (almost) all problems. Here is how you too can give your CAcert community a hand: https://wiki.cacert.org/engagement
And another volunteer from Sweden points out, that the issue will not go away till the interface is fixed, which is a work that has been started, but not finished. Furthermore, renewing old incorrectly signed certificates will never work again, as we have said we will not fix the broken code for that, as no certificates should ever have been signed that way. We can’t continue signing them incorrectly.
As a faulty connection cable between www.cacert.org and the signer made it necessary to travel to the datacenter this weekend instead of the planned schedule later this year we were able to finish this part earlier than expected: We finalized on the last steps of moving CAcert to a more modem hardware and software on critical servers.
This project was started “somehow” in May 2020 when the signer power board broke just before the Corona-Lockdown took place. The old signer was replaced by the same model at this visit. Since then we had several outages, which were mainly caused by broken hardware, sometimes noticed by our members, sometimes only visible in our internal monitoring.
Today the last of the old servers (our signer) was powered down as it was replaced by two modern machines using a more recent debian release, but keeping the old signer-coding.
The complete hardware-replacement-project reduced the power consumption of all CAcert-servers for more than 60%.
But that’s not all: We have plans to put our signer-environment to a new software written in Go, but here we need YOUR help in testing and reviewing the code. Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch to our experts.
In the coming few months we will start running some services with Let’s Encrypt server certificates. We decided to go this route to make it easier for people to join our community or contribute to our work.
A nice side effect of this move will be that we can provide these services https encrypted and redirect all unencrypted http URLs to their https counterparts.
We will continue to use our own server certificates for our CA systems and other services that are only relevant after joining our community.
We also will continue to provide our community with client and server certificates. All our services that support or require client certificates will still use those issued by our CA.
+++ Update +++ www.cacert.org is now running on a new server, first tests were successful. Still some finetuning needs to be done afterwards +++ update +++
During the long weekend around pentecost (“Pfingsten” as it is called here in Germany) we’re planning the next step in replacing some hardware at the datacenter.
The main reason for the visit at the datacenter on monday is it to plug the serial connection between our webserver and signer to the new machine.
As our main website will move to a new server, which was installed in the datacenter during the last visit, there will be an interruption of service while doing the final copy and reconfiguration of the firewall (hopefully not longer than one hour).
While we’re at the datacenter we’re adding two SSD-drives to infra02. During the activation of the host system on these SSDs the services running on infra02 (like blog, wiki etc.) will not be accessible and/or slower than usual.
After all services are moved (remotely/afterwards) from the HDDs to SSDs everything should be active again … and most likely faster.
At a later visit (planned in July) the old sun1-server and old infra02-HDDs will be removed from the rack.
The final step for hardware-upgrade/replacement in the critical environment will be a replacement of the old signer machine(s) by new servers and HSM-modules. For this step software- as well as development team need some assistance in reviewing and testing especially the coding (written in Go). Feel free to contact us via support@.c.o, mailing-lists or using comments to this blog-entry.
Qu’est-ce qu’une #revue par rapport à la résolution d’un problème? Vole comme un papillon sur l’une de nos fleurs de bug et regarde le code. Voici la troisième série de quatre, si tu ne trouves rien qui te convienne pour participer à l’offensive #CAcert du printemps, nous t’en fournirons quatre autres dans quelques heures ou regarde les huit premiers, publiés il y a quelques heures.
This are new links, number 9-12:
What’s a #review compared to solving a problem? Flutter like a butterfly on one of our bug flowers and check out the code. Here are the second four, if you don’t find anything suitable for you to join the #CAcert spring offensive, we’ll give you four more in a few hours.
Nothing that fits you? Have a look to the first four links we published two hours ago in the german post.
Was ist schon eine #Review im Vergleich dazu, ein Problem zu lösen? Flattere wie ein Schmetterling auf eine unserer Bug-Blumen und Schau dir den Code an. Hier sind die vier ersten, wenn du nichts für dich passendes findest, um bei der #CAcert Frühlings Offensive mitzumachen, reichen wir dir in einigen Stunden vier weitere nach.