Windows 10 removes security certificates from two Chinese companies

By: George Finley
2 minute read
Windows 10 security certificates

Microsoft recently decided to remove the security certificates from two Chinese companies following poor security standards. As a result, Internet Explorer and Edge no longer accept security certificates from WoSign and StartCom.

As a quick reminder, browsers use security certificates to authenticate secure connections to websites. Microsoft’s decision comes after reports revealed that the two companies used unacceptable security practices. More specifically, both companies offered free certificates and resorted to dishonest practices in order to increase their user base.

Here’s Microsoft official statement on the matter:

Microsoft has concluded that the Chinese Certificate Authorities (CAs) WoSign and StartCom have failed to maintain the standards required by our Trusted Root Program. Observed unacceptable security practices include back-dating SHA-1 certificates, mis-issuances of certificates, accidental certificate revocation, duplicate certificate serial numbers, and multiple CAB Forum Baseline Requirements (BR) violations. […]

Microsoft values the global Certificate Authority community and only makes these decisions after careful consideration as to what is best for the security of our users.

Microsoft is not the only company that took this decision. Other tech giants, including Google and Apple already revoked trust in certificates from WoSign and StartCom. Most likely, other companies will soon follow.

Microsoft starts removing the certificates in September

The company will start the natural depreciation of these certificates next month. In other words, all existing certificates will continue to function until they self-expire. After September 2017, Windows 10 will not trust any new certificates issued by the two companies.

If you have a WoSign and StartCom certificate in production, the best solution is to simply replace it with another certificate issued by a trusted and reliable Certificate Authority.

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