Starting on September 1st, SSL/TLS certificates cannot be issued for longer than 13 months (397 days). Apple announced this change at the CA/Browser Forum Spring Face-to-Face event in Bratislava in March this year. Following Apple's initial announcement, Mozilla and Google have stated similar intentions to implement the same rule in their browsers.

Why did Apple unilaterally decide to enforce a shorter certificate lifetime? Their spokesperson said it was to “protect users.” We know from prior CA/B Forum discussions that longer certificate lifetimes proved to be challenging in replacing certificates, in the case of a major security incident. Apple clearly wants to avoid an ecosystem that cannot quickly respond to major certificate-related threats.

Short-lived certificates improve security because they reduce the window of exposure if a TLS certificate is compromised. They also help remediate normal operational churn within organizations by ensuring yearly updates to identity such as company names, addresses, and active domains. As with any improvement, shortening of lifetimes should be balanced against the hardship required of certificate users to implement these changes.

What does this mean for certificate users? For your website to be trusted by Safari, you will no longer be able to issue publicly trusted TLS certificates with validities longer than 398 days after Aug. 30, 2020.

Any certificates issued before Sept. 1, 2020, will still be valid, regardless of the validity period (up to 825 days). Certificates that are not publicly trusted can still be recognized, up to a maximum validity of 825 days.



Saturday, March 28, 2020

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