Following recommendations by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, Microsoft intends to stop honoring SHA1 for SSL and Code Signing certificates. This policy will begin in 2017 and applies to Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and later operating systems.
A recent publication in the ACM CCS'12 proceedings titled "The Most Dangerous Code in the World:Validating SSL Certificates in Non-Browser Software" exposes critical vulnerabilities in the creation and usage of SSL libraries in non-browser applications. The lessons learnt and the ensuing recommendations to developers and testers are shared in this news item.
Lori MacVittie from F5 Networks provided an analysis of the recent adoption of NIST SSL Deployment Guidelines by the US Government as of January 2011. Since all commercial certificate authorities now issue only 2048-bit keys, the capacity of a server to process SSL is severely impacted and invalidates the general belief that SSL is not computationally expensive.
An implementation of the MD5 cryptographic hashing algorithm for Silverlight has been posted on MSDN by Reid Borsuk. Delay, another MSDN user, has recently posted ComputeFileHashes, a small .NET command-line application that also works on WPF and Silverlight and is helpful to compute MD5, SHA-1, and CRC-32 hashes.
SSL-based security using X509 certificates from certain CA's opens a vulnerability to sites masquerading under a forged X509 certificate, even in a "secure" connection. This was demonstrated recently at the Chaos Conference in Berlin by spoofing a real certificate.
JRuby 1.0.3 is out now. Although a point release, the update is significant because it addresses compatibility issues with Rails 2.0 and other libraries and tools. Meanwhile, some JRuby 1.1 performance improvements get noticed.
Not-Yet-Commons-SSL is an Apache licensed Java library designed to simplify the use of SSL by providing an easy-to-use API along with robust support for a variety of certificate formats and configuration options.