Tag Archives: CAcert

Software Team extended

They repair our systems, expand them and adapt them to new requirements. Put new functions through their paces. They deal with errors and find innovative and pragmatic solutions. They also plan, develop and programme new pillars for CAcert. We are talking about a dedicated small group of volunteers known as “Software Team”. When you talk to them, you can immediately sense the enthusiasm with which they work in their free time to create new things together and make progress.

The fact that various small projects have been completed in recent months, that age-related weaknesses have been ironed out and errors rectified, and that a major new project has been brought to the finishing line, is not only thanks to the dedication of these people, but also to the fact that they have succeeded in winning over others. The software team has actually grown this year, with new members joining the team. In fact, the software team has actually grown this year, with new members joining the team.

New recruits initially take on small tasks, working hand in hand with volunteers who know our systems inside out like nobody else. Once they have passed the security check, formerly known as ABC, replaced some time ago by BGC, they also help with work on system-relevant software. Welcome to the Software Team of CAcert!

Contribute to our expenses with €10 https://paylink.conotoxia.com/t3A15JkVVW or IBAN CH02 0077 4010 3947 4420 0

CAcert significantly reduces power consumption

DEUTSCH weiter unten FRANÇAIS voir plus bas

The operation of servers in a data centre is always associated with power consumption. And at the latest since the winter of 2022/2023 with the energy shortage in Europe, broad sections of the population have also realised that electricity consumption is associated with costs.

We at CAcert have been looking at our technical equipment for some time now: on the one hand, it should be cost-effective to purchase, as we don’t have an infinite amount of money and handle our friends’ donations with care. On the other hand, we will also take a look at the operating costs.

Some time ago, we drew up a plan to replace old, long-depreciated appliances that were becoming increasingly prone to failure and consuming a lot of electricity in several stages. The planning and initial steps were started by Secure-U before the machinery was transferred to CAcert Inc.

A look at the diagram above shows the success of these measures. August is shown as an example for the years 2014-2022, followed by all months for 2023-2023: Consumption was reduced from 600-800 kWh to around 200 kWh in two steps. This enabled us to offset the doubling of the electricity price.

Anyone who wants to share in the reduced electricity costs or make a contribution to fill the hole in the till that the purchase of the machines has torn as a small thank you to those volunteers who did the installation of the new servers in their spare time for you: Donation account CAcert: IBAN CH02 0077 4010 3947 4420 0 or with bank or credit card.

CAcert reduziert Stromverbrauch signifikant
Der Betrieb von Servern in einem Datenzentrum ist immer mit Stromverbrauch verbunden. Und spätestens seit dem Winter 2022/2023 mit der Energiemangellage in Europa ist auch breiten Schichten bewusst, dass Stromverbruach mit Kosten verbunden ist. Wir von CAcert beschäftigen uns schon länger mit unserer technischen Ausrüstung: Einerseits soll sie kostenkünstig sein in der Anschaffung, da wir nicht unendlich viel Geld haben und mit den Spendengeldern unserer Freunde sorgfältig umgehen. Andererseits werden wir auch einen Blick auf die Betriebskosten.

So haben wir schon vor längerem einen Plan erstellt, wie wir alte, längst abgeschriebene Gerät, die immer störungsanfälliger wurden und viel Strom verbrauchten in mehreren Schritten ersetzen können. Die Planung und die ersten Schritte wurden noch von Secure-U begonnen, bevor der Maschinenpark an CAcert Inc überging. Ein Blick auf obenstehendes Diagramm zeigt den Erfolg dieser Massnahmen. Für die Jahre 2014-2022 ist jeweils exemplarisch der August gezeigt, anschliessend alle Monate für 2023-2023: Der Verbrauch von 600-800 kWh konnte in zwei Schritten auf rund 200 kWh gesenkt werden. So konnten wir die Verdoppelung des Strompreises auffangen.

Wer sich an den reduzierten Stromkosten beteiligen will oder mit einem Beitrag das Loch in der Kasse auffüllen, das die Anschaffung der neuen Maschinen gerissen hat: Spendenkonto von CAcert: IBAN CH02 0077 4010 3947 4420 0 oder mit Bank- oder Kreditkarte.

CAcert réduit massivement la consommation d’énergie
L’exploitation de serveurs dans un centre de données est toujours liée à la consommation d’électricité. Et depuis l’hiver 2022/2023 et la pénurie d’énergie en Europe, de larges couches de la population sont conscientes que la consommation d’électricité est liée à des coûts.

Chez CAcert, nous nous préoccupons depuis longtemps de notre équipement technique : d’une part, il doit être peu coûteux à l’achat, car nous n’avons pas des moyens illimités et nous gérons avec soin les dons de nos amis. D’autre part, nous allons également jeter un coup d’œil sur les coûts d’exploitation.
Ainsi, nous avons établi depuis longtemps un plan pour remplacer en plusieurs étapes les anciens appareils amortis depuis longtemps, qui devenaient de plus en plus sujets aux pannes et consommaient beaucoup d’électricité. La planification et les premières étapes ont été entamées par Secure-U avant que le parc de machines ne soit transféré à CAcert Inc.

Un coup d’œil sur le diagramme ci-dessus montre le succès de ces mesures. Pour les années 2014-2022, le mois d’août est montré à titre d’exemple, puis tous les mois pour 2023-2023 : La consommation de 600-800 kWh a pu être réduite en deux étapes à environ 200 kWh. Nous avons ainsi pu compenser le doublement du prix de l’électricité.

Ceux qui souhaitent participer à la réduction des coûts d’électricité ou combler par une contribution le trou dans la caisse que l’achat des nouvelles machines a creusé : Compte de dons CAcert: IBAN CH02 0077 4010 3947 4420 0 ou avec une carte bancaire ou de crédit.

I cannot create or renew my certificate, because it hangs ||| Help – Hilfe – au secours – aiuto

A typical message from an user: “Certificate renewal in state ‘pending’ for days. How to remove/renew then?”

Don’t worry, there is a solution (and the reason is independent from CAcert). Please follow the steps as described in the wiki: https://wiki.cacert.org/FAQ/CertCreationRenewalStucks

Deutsch: Wenn die Zertifikatserneuerung in der Endlosschleife endet: Es gibt eine Lösung: https://wiki.cacert.org/FAQ/CertCreationRenewalStucks/DE

Français: Si le renouvellement de certificats dure des heures, voir des jours: voici la solution: https://wiki.cacert.org/FAQ/CertCreationRenewalStucks/FR

català | castellano | ?esky | español | italiano | ??? | nederlands | polski | português | ??????? | svenska | ??????????

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.

Certificate renewing is pending (update & help)

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.

And from Alsace, a baker who is also CAcert volunteer writes after putting the children to bed: There is a lot of information and many tutorials are at the FAQ at https://wiki.cacert.org How to create a certificate can be found at: https://wiki.cacert.org/HowTo/ClientCertCreate/

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.

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.

Last chance, hurry up, catch your review!

Dear friend of #CAcert, here comes the last #bugs that needs a #review. We are so glad, that you are willing to #help you #community and review only one of them during the #spring #offensive.

https://bugs.cacert.org/view.php?id=1310
https://bugs.cacert.org/view.php?id=1129
https://bugs.cacert.org/view.php?id=1302
https://bugs.cacert.org/view.php?id=875
https://bugs.cacert.org/view.php?id=1304

We published all ready 12 bugs for review earlyer today in this channel. Maybe, you find a more conviniant one there?