Category Archives: Information

General news/information to the CAcert community or about security in general

CAcert Inc. has a new Public Officer

Hand over in front of the government house in Sydney, New South Wales.

Since 2011, Kevin Dawson held as public officer liaison to the New South Wales government offices. At his own request he would like to step a little shorter. The committee of CAcert Inc. regrets this decision and thanks Kevin for his tireless efforts in the background and wishes him all the best for the future.

These days, the office was handed over to Alexander Samad, who has been a member of the committee since March 2017. Alexander fulfills all legal obligations for this office.

Deutsch: CAcert Inc. hat neuen Public Officer

Rund sechs Jahre war Kevin Dawson als Public Officer der Verbindungsmann von CAcert Inc. zu den Neusüdwalisischen Regierungsstellen. Auf seinen eigenen Wunsch möcht er nun etwas kürzer treten. Der Vorstand von CAcert Inc. bedauert den Entscheid und dankt Kevin für seinen unermüdlichen Einsatz im Hintergrund und wünscht ihm für die weitere Zukunft alles Gute.

Dieser Tage erfolgte die Amtsübergabe an Alexander Samad, der seit dem 31. März 2017 dem Vorstand angehört. Alexander erfüllt alle gesetzlich vorgeschriebenen Pflichten für dieses Amt.

Français: Un nouveau Officer Public pour CAcert Inc.

Depuis 2011, Kevin Dawson était l’officier public pour la liaison avec les organismes gouvernementaux de la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud. À sa propre demande, il avait maintenant pris sa retraite. Le comité de CAcert Inc. regrette cela et aimerait remercier Kevin pour ses efforts inlassables en arrière-plan et lui souhaite le meilleur pour l’avenir.

Cette journée a été la remise officielle à Alexandre Samad, qui appartient au comité depuis le mars 2017. Alexandre répond à toutes les exigences légales pour ce poste.

CAcert and secure-u at FrOScon 2017

FrOSCon open its doors on August, 19th + 20st, and of course, CAcert is present!

On the annual FrOSCon event CAcert is present, willing to assure members and to have nice talks to the public. We are very pleased to take part in an event targeted on free software and open source. FrOSCon takes place at Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Sankt Augustin, near Cologne (Köln). We’re happy to welcome you there and enjoy nice talks about securing yourself on the Internet.

If you want to be part of the events-team at FrOSCon feel free to add yourself to our wiki page at https://wiki.cacert.org/Events/FrOSCon2017.

Next to CAcert there will by stand by secure-u, who support CAcert-Teams since years.

Updates for blog and bugs

We just updated some of our servers to the latest updates:

https://blog.cacert.org/ to the latest WordPress-release.

https://bugs.cacert.org/ to the latest mantis-release.

Furthermore the client certificate login on https://bugs.cacert.org was activated by today for Class-3 certificates. To login you have to enter your username or email-adress of your mantis-account.

Trying to login to https://bugs.cacert.org/ using an unknown email-adress will NOT create a new account: You have to create an account first using the email-adress, which is listed in your client certificate. If you already have an account at https://bugs.cacert.org/ you may change the email-adress of your account to the first email-adress in your client-certificate.

If the certificate-authentication fails (no matter, if you use no client certificate, an expired one or a certificate, which does not match your email-adress) you can use the normal “classic” username/password-credentials to login.

If you try to use a Class-1-client certificate, you currently will may probably receive an error-message like “ERR_BAD_SSL_CLIENT_AUTH_CERT”. In this case please login without a client certificate or create a Class-3-certificate.

In case you face any issues don’t hesitate to contact us for help.

Kind regards,

dirk astrath (CAcert blog admin/CAcert software assessor)

Certificate Login for CAcert wiki

Within the last days I ran some tests using the certificate login for https://wiki.cacert.org/.

This evening I activated this function on our wiki server.

Trying to login to https://wiki.cacert.org/ using an unknown email-adress will NOT create a new account: You have to create an account first using the email-adress, which is listed in your client certificate.

If the certificate-authentication fails (no matter, if you use no client certifcate, an expired one or a certificate, which does not match your email-adress) you can use the normal “classic” username/password-credentials to login.

While installing the client certificate login for CAcert wiki I updated the root-certificate there to the resigned one.

Kind regards,

Dirk Astrath (CAcert wiki admin)

Bugs updated

Within the last days we ran some tests and updated the CAcert Bugtracker https://bugs.caccert.org/ .

It’s now running with the latest version of Mantis, which now has a responsive design. You may now read, add and comment bugreports even from your Smartphone or Tablet.

Two additional changes were done while updating to Mantis 2.4.0:

(1) The certficate chain of https://bugs.cacert.org was updated to the resigned roots.

(2) You may now login using your Mantis username or your email-adress.

This change is needed for the next update, which will be activated in some days:

You may then login to Mantis using a valid CAcert certificate. We’ll give you an update as soon as the tests are finished and the plugin is activated.

Kind regards,

Dirk Astrath (CAcert Software Assessor)

CAcert’s Committee complete again

At the annual general meeting held in december 2016, the three seats reserved for Australians, were provisionally suspended. In the meantime, the committee of CAcert Inc. has filled its vacancies at its meeting on March, 31st 2017. Elected were Alexander Samad from New South Wales, Peter Nunn from Victoria and Ross Krumbholz from Queensland.

Deutsch: Der Vorstand von CAcert Inc. ist wieder vollständig.

Bei den Erneuerungswahlen im Dezember 2016 blieben die drei nach gesetzlichen Vorgaben für Australier reservierten Sitze im Vorstand provisorisch frei. In der Zwischenzeit hat der Vorstand von CAcert Inc. an seiner Sitzung vom 31. März 2017 die Vakanzen gefüllt. Gewählt wurden Alexander Samad aus Neusüdwales, Peter Nunn aus Victoria und Ross Krumbholz aus Queensland.

Français: Le comité est de nouveau complet

Lors des élections de renouvellement en décembre 2016, les trois sièges du comité réservés à des Australiens conformément aux dispositions légales sont restés provisoirement indemnes. Entre temps, le comité de CAcert Inc. a élu lors de sa réunion du 31 mars 2017 Alexandre Samad de Nouvelle-Galles du Sud, Pierre Nunn de Victoria et Ross Krumbholz de Queensland.

CAcert 2017

February brought the start of the exhibition season for CAcert with our presence at FOSDEM – one of the biggest Europe-wide developer conferences in Brussels, Belgium. Of course we performed our well-known assurances, which is very popular at such events, with which CAcert safeguards its certificates by checking users’ ID documents. This allows us to offer a safe and trustworthy certificate authority to our users. Of particular note was that interested people were seeking more detailed information about security – questions such as what it actually means, and why are we not yet in the trust stores of many of the web browsers. It’s true that Let’s encrypt is trusted by the popular browsers, but if you take a close look at the certificate of a site protected with a Let’s encrypt certificate, you will find out that it does not contain any information about the owner. This means it is impossible to verify the identity of the site and therefore it is basically uncertain to which site the browser is actually connected to. CAcert allows the site owner to publish identification information in the certificate after the assurance – for private users as well as for companies. This way, CAcert offers a clear mutual trust, which makes it worth importing the CAcert-Root-certificate from www.cacert.org.

But there’s more: CAcert offers client certificates as well and signs GPG/PGP keys. Anyone who always wanted to sign his emails and encrypt them if needed, can do this easily with CAcert. Most email clients supports S/MIME certificates or PGP. By this means the authenticity of the sender is verified, and the receipient can verify the name of the certificate owner. Also attachments like PDF can be signed this way and protect the document against later changes.

CAcert is supported by an Australian non-profit association, the operation of the server is safeguarded by the German incorporated society secure-u. This structure has advantages, but the Australian society is possible only as long as CAcert has at least three Australian residents as members of the board. In 2017 we want to bring the association behind the web of trust to Europe. This limits the resources of many of the active members, because the handover must be done under appropriate rules. Anyone who wants to support CAcert can find more details at recent blog post “Prosit 2017” or can send an e-mail to support@cacert.org

For a secure 2017!
Your CAcert

Two members of CAcert Inc. honored for loyal services

In a few hours, the year 2016 will be over. So, the secretary of the new elected committee of CAcert Inc., the infrastructure partner of the CAcert comunity, had just enough time, to show his gratitude to two members of the association who were active in the association for exactly five years. That is the reasons, why he handed over them a (virtual) golden watch as sign of thank you.

Kevin Dawson from New South Wales, the home of CAcert, became Public Officer in 2011 and remained in this function until 2016. As public officer, he dealed with the New South Welsh government and was contact person for the Office of Fair Trade and CAcert’s bank. Furthermore, Kevin Dawson, had a seat in the committee from 2011 to 2013 and in the transition committee in summer 2016. We sincerely thank Kevin for his excellent work, which he has done silently at the other end of the world, but always exactly and well, and regret that he is now concentrating on new things.

The second gold watch for five year loyal services to CAcert Inc. was handed over to Dirk Astrath from Germany, the country with the most community-members. He startet – at the same time as Kevin as Public Officer – as assessor in the committee. Later he hold the functions of secretary, vice president and president with exception of winter 2015/2016. If everything goes well with the “move” of CAcert Inc. Dirk will have been the last president of the Australian association.

CAcert @ OpenRheinRuhr, Oberhausen, DE

Die OpenRheinRuhr in Oberhausen öffnet am Wochenende 5./6. November wieder ihre Tore für freie Software. Die Veranstaltung im Rheinischen Industriemuseum ist perfekt erreichbar direkt am Hauptbahnhof in Oberhausen.

CAcert ist natürlich dabei und informiert vor Ort über Risiken im Internet und Möglichkeiten, die Sicherheit deutlich zu erhöhen. Jeder Interessierte kann sich am Stand von CAcert über kostenfreien Zertifikate, darunter SSL-Serverzertifikate und Client-Zertifikate für sichere E-Mail-Kommunikation informieren. Dazu gibt es wieder spannende Gespräche über die Aktivitäten von CAcert und die Ausblicke für die Zukunft. Aktive Mitglieder sind gerne gesehen, Fragen werden sehr gerne beantwortet.

English:

On the week-end November, 5th and 6th, the OpenRheinRuhr in Oberhausen open its doors. It is an ideal platform to get informed about free software – and of course CAcert will attend. The fair takes place in the Rheinisches Industriemuseum directly located at the central station of Oberhausen.

CAcert informs about risks on the internet and shows opportunities to increase safety considerably. Who wants to get informed about free certificates, e.g. SSL-Server certificates, or client certificates for secure e-mail communication is invited to meet CAcert staff for discussion on CAcerts’ OpenRheinRuhr booth. Additionally we are expecting exciting talks about the activities of CAcert and future prospects. Active members are welcome, questions will be answered gladly.