A New SSL Certificate is on a way: EV SSL Certificate
Web-based businesses face a crisis in consumer confidence because of phishing scams. But
because of a new kind of SSL certificate, Web sites will be able to definitively demonstrate their
identity, and customers will be able to confirm the identity of trusted sites.
Extended Validation SSL (EV SSL) certificates represent more than a year's effort by an industry
consortium called the CA/Browser Forum. These certificates became available last month for the
benefit of Web businesses and site visitors. EV SSL certificates can facilitate online commerce by
increasing visitor confidence and greatly reducing phishing's effectiveness.
Many online shoppers understand that the little lock on the browser means transmissions are
encrypted and therefore protected from spying eyes, but how do they know they reached a
Two issues must be addressed. The first is to identify a new category of SSL certificate that
ensures a site owner's identity, and the second is a browser interface that makes it easy to see the
identity when it's known and recognize when it isn't. EV SSL certificates are the new certificates
The CA/Browser Forum, with more than 20 leading browser manufacturers and SSL providers,
has created a standardized authentication process that any certificate authority must follow for EV
certificates, including independent audit to confirm compliance.
The forum built this process on existing practices demonstrated successfully in more than a
decade of widespread use. The standard goes into great detail on three main authentication legs:
organization, domain and requestor.
The certificate authority must establish that the requesting organization is a legally established
business or nonprofit on record with the local government. It must establish this organization's
ownership or right to use the Web domain in question, and it must establish that the requesting
individual is employed by the organization and has the authority to obtain SSL certificates. Each
authentication step depends on independent, outside information obtained from reliable third-
Once a certificate authority completes this authentication, it may issue a certificate with EV SSL
status. This certificate operates exactly like a traditional SSL certificate. Browsers not built to
recognize EV certificates (including Internet Explorer 6, Firefox 2 and their predecessors) behave
as with non-EV certificates. New EV-compatible browsers, however, display these certificates in
highly visible and informative ways, starting with Internet Explorer 7.
Internet Explorer 7 has added interface conventions to enhance site owner identification, most
obviously the green address bar. When an Internet Explorer 7 browser accesses a page with an EV
SSL certificate, it changes the address bar's background to green, which indicates a site has
undergone high-level identity authentication.
Internet Explorer 7 also contains the security status bar. On pages with EV SSL certificates, it
displays the organization name, which comes directly from the certificate. Because the certificate
authority verified this name and the browser displays it in its own interface, visitors can rely on it.
Internet Explorer 7 detects an EV certificate through a marker in the certificate called an OID. In
real time the browser confirms that this SSL root has an EV OID in good standing and then
displays the EV interface features. This architecture makes it possible to adjust a certificate
authority's EV status in real time. For example, if a certificate authority consistently fails at
reliably performing EV authentication, browsers could stop detecting these certificates as EV
certificates, protecting the overall trustworthiness of EV SSL.
Many industry watchers expect EV certificates to significantly hinder phishing and instill
confidence in site visitors. By providing a reliable, highly visible indicator of site identity, this
standard makes it possible for visitors to take control of their security.
Published BY ClickSSL.com
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