The ICSI Certificate Notary

Much of the Internet’s end-to-end security relies on the SSL protocol, along with its underlying X.509 certificate infrastructure. However, the system remains quite brittle due to its liberal delegation of signing authority: a single compromised certification authority undermines trust globally. The ICSI Notary helps clients to identify malicious certificates by providing a third-party perspective on what they should expect to receive from a server. While similar in spirit to existing efforts, such as Convergence and the EFF’s SSL observatory, our notary collects certificates passively from live upstream traffic at multiple independent Internet sites, aggregating them into a central database in near-realtime.

via The ICSI Certificate Notary.