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What is a “SSL cert download”?

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Overview

This article will explain the ACSIA alert called "SSL cert download".


Explaining the SSL cert download

"SSL cert download" refers to the process of an individual or organization obtaining a digital certificate known as an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. SSL certificates are used to secure communications between a user's web browser and a website's server, ensuring that sensitive data, such as login credentials or credit card information, is encrypted and protected from unauthorized access during transmission.

Example of an attack involving "SSL cert download":

Imagine a large company with a secure internal network that uses SSL certificates to encrypt data sent between employees' computers and the company's servers.

An attacker wants to intercept the communications within the company's internal network, hoping to capture sensitive data. However, to do so, they need to obtain the SSL certificates used by the company's servers to encrypt the data.

The attacker employs a technique known as "SSL cert download" attack. They attempt to gain unauthorized access to the company's server infrastructure or a certificate authority that issues SSL certificates.

If the attacker successfully gains access, they can download the SSL certificates used by the company's servers. Armed with these certificates, the attacker can use various methods to intercept and decrypt the encrypted communications between the employees' computers and the company's servers.

With access to the SSL certificates, the attacker can, for example, set up a man-in-the-middle attack, which involves intercepting the encrypted data as it passes through the network. The attacker decrypts the data using the SSL certificates, captures the sensitive information, and then re-encrypts it before sending it on to the intended destination. To the users and the company's servers, it appears as though the communication is secure but, in reality, the attacker has gained access to the data.

In this example, the "SSL cert download" attack highlights the importance of protecting SSL certificates and server infrastructure from unauthorized access. 

ACSIA alerts you when there is an attempt to download the SSL certificates on your infrastructure.

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