Category Archives: News

News Relating to CAcert

Finally: Create a Client Certificate in the Browser

Since Google and Mozilla have removed the <keygen> element we use from the HTML standard and from their browsers, we have endeavoured to provide a valid replacement so that client certificates can once again be created so easily that even my grandmother could do it.

Finding a solution was not easy; other CAs were also sweating bullets here. The solution that we have been offering for some time now was initially somewhat hidden, but has since been prominently linked as the seventh service on our community portal community.cacert.org.

Both the new solution and the community portal are the result of the tireless work of a small group of volunteers. As a small thank you, you can make their work easier by not having to worry about CAcert’s operating costs. Donation account CAcert: IBAN CH02 0077 4010 3947 4420 0 or with bank or credit card.

Merry CAcertmas!

Dear friends and members of the CAcert community. Are you curious and want to know what is wrapped in the package under the tree? This year, Father Christmas has packed something really nice.

As always with CAcert, you can unwrap it faster and enjoy it more quickly if you help out a little. Translate a little. Or do a little programming. Or test a few new functions. Or like this. To do so, you find further information on the web or write to our secretary.

CAcert Services mostly running again

In Wednesday another visit at the datacenter took place, where we installed the updated webdb1-machine to the rack.

There are still some minor issues left (e.g. language selection for main website, automatic mails), which will be activated again remotely withins the next days.

This time the available time on critical teams site was blocked by some investigation issues (e.g.: What caused the outage, why did the internal routines and raid did not work) and non CAcert-related issues (as we all have a family and job, which are time-consuming as well) and and outage of usable internet-connection on critical teams site.

Naming this: If you’re living next to or in Netherlands and want to give us a helping hand for infrastructure and (possible) critical team feel free to contact us via support.

New board allready started

On 7 December, the committee of CAcert Inc (also known as “board”) was constituted as follows:

  • President – Brian McCullough
  • Vice president – Kim Nilsson
  • Treasurer – Frédéric Grither
  • Secretary – Étienne Ruedin
  • Board members – Aleš Kastner, Frédéric Dumas

Two weeks earlier, the board had already discussed organisational issues in depth at a closed meeting. It is aware that collaboration via virtual channels does not only bring advantages. In order to meet these high demands in the future, the committee will continue to address these issues in the coming weeks. Last autumn, those responsible were introduced to the topic by a management consultant specialising in non-profit organisations, who thankfully did this pro bono.

New drive for CAcert Inc

At the Annual General Meeting 2022/2023 of our Geneva based operating association CAcert Inc on November, 11th, 2023, the members of CAcert Inc elected a new committee (also known as “board”). Some familiar faces are still involved, complemented by new blood from Bohemia. We can announce the constitution at the beginning of December.

Entdecke ennet dem Rhein CAcerts neuer Quell’

Wenn die Sommerhitze unerträglich wird, dann ist es höchste Zeit, sich an den Gestaden des Rheins etwas zu erfrischen. Und was liegt näher, als darauf ennet dem kühlen Nass seine Schritte nach St. Augustin zu lenken, wo die Freiwilligen von CAcert an der FrOScon etwas absolut Neues persönlich vorstellen?

Une révolution s’annonce le 14 juillet

A l’occasion de ce 14 juillet, CAcert a l’honneur d’annoncer par cette voie une nouveauté à tous les membres français et francophones de la communauté CAcert. Nos bénévoles se feront un plaisir de vous le montrer et de vous l’expliquer personnellement: Juste de l’autre côté du Rhin, près de Cologne-Bonn, à la FrOScon.

Critical servers upgrade project

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 support@cacert.org to get in touch to our experts.

Screenshot of the CAcert browser client certificate web application

Lowering the barriers of entry

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.

We recently implemented a web application to make it easier to get started with client certificates. The application provides a friendly and completely client side interface to generate key pairs and signing requests in your browser.