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To increase the security of HTTPS connections, SSL certificates will be for a shorter duration: from now on, they will have a maximum validity of 1 year. How does that affect you as a Combell customer?
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As you know, an SSL certificate is required if you want to provide a secure HTTPS connection to your website. Depending on its strictness, that certificate provides certain guarantees as to the identity of the domain name owner. The check on the identity is performed by the CAs (Certificate Authorities) that also issue the certificate. Read more about SSL certificates, the various types, and how they work.
In recent years, the browser producers (Apple, Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, etc.) have been pushing to have the duration of the certificates shortened. In 2005, they lasted for 8 years, and since 1 March 2018 for just 2 years – 27 months or 825 days to be precise, that is to say 24 months plus a renewal buffer of 3 months.
But now, the browser producers have decided unilaterally to shorten this duration once more: from 1 September 2020, a certificate may last for only 398 days (1 year plus a renewal buffer of 1 month). And the CAs have no option but to comply with this decision.
Have you currently purchased a multi-year SSL certificate at Combell? No problem: we will take care of extending it in the background. This way, you will always have a valid certificate!
Why have the browser producers taken this step despite opposition from the CAs?
If an SSL certificate is misused for malware, phishing or something else, the CA has to revoke the certificate. But according to the browser producers, that happens too slowly. By shortening their duration, misused certificates in any event become invalid more quickly.
Browser producers are worried that hackers might crack HTTPS traffic. By securing the traffic with shorter-lasting certificates, they hope to make the process more onerous and resource-intensive for hackers – and thus less attractive.
Generally speaking, the shortened duration of SSL certificates from 1 September 2020 has the following effects:
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