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The SSL Padlock is Undergoing a Revolution...
Posted by James Robshaw (Import) on 11 May 2006 08:05 AM

Recently the media has started to report on the new class of SSL Certificates - High Assurance SSL. These certificates will be issued under a strict validation framework, the specification of which is being finalised by a broad group including the browser developers (Microsoft, Mozilla and Opera) and major Certification Authorities.

Code named High Assurance, this new tier of SSL Certificates will help users readily identify through their browser interface which organisations have undergone the stringent vetting processes required to obtain a High Assurance certificate.

Microsoft is the first browser developer to allow users to see how its new version of IE (the upcoming IE 7) will handle High Assurance Certificates. In the official IE Blog, Microsoft shows how the new browser address bar will turn green with a High Assurance SSL certificate, and how the name of the organisation is clearly displayed next to the padlock (now moved next to the address bar).

All other SSL Certificates will be classified as Standard and the padlock will be shown next to the address bar as usual. Both High Assurance and Standard SSL Certificates will still give the same 256 bit enabled cryptographic strength.

This development will help users easily identify a site that has been rigorously vetted making it easier to differentiate a legitimate web site from a potential phishing site.

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