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OV Code Signing Key Storage Requirement Changes Pushed to 2023


Business leaders determined to carry off on rolling out the brand new safe key storage necessities for group validation (OV) code signing certificates till June 1, 2023

Again in July, we revealed a weblog submit explaining that adjustments have been coming down the pike to require commonplace code signing certificates’ personal keys to be saved on permitted {hardware} safety units. This rollout was presupposed to take impact beginning Nov. 15 (Nov. 14 for North and South American customers). Nonetheless, as issues typically go in life, the state of affairs has modified (and continues to evolve).

The CA/B Discussion board has determined to postpone the deadline till June 1, 2023, giving certificates authorities and certificates customers extra time to replace their techniques and processes. Let’s take a fast take a look at what the adjustments are and why they’re being delayed.

Let’s hash it out.

A Fast Recap of the Proposed Adjustments to OV Code Signing Certificates Key Storage

We’re not going to go over all of this tremendous in depth since we have already got a full article on this matter. Nonetheless, we thought it might be good to at the least briefly cowl the CA/B Discussion board’s new trade necessities for issuing and storing OV code signing certificates earlier than stepping into the adjustments to when it’s presupposed to roll out.

  • The CA/B Discussion board’s new necessities have an effect on new/reissued IV and OV code signing certificates. The adjustments listed within the CA/B Discussion board’s Code Signing Baseline Necessities (CSBR) model 3.1 specify the best way to create, retailer, set up, renew, and reissue corresponding personal keys for particular person validation (IV) and group validation (OV) code signing certificates.
  • Certificates signing requests (CSR) for code signing certificates go the best way of the Dodo hen (for many customers). As a substitute of you creating and submitting a certificates signing request (CSR) type for every certificates, your issuing CA will often deal with the certificates and key era processes on their finish. That is much like the method for prolonged validation (EV) code signing certificates.
  • The cryptographic module(s) ({hardware}) you utilize should meet particular safety requirements. Not simply any safe {hardware} will work. You have to use FIPS 140 Degree 2/EAL 4+ compliant safe {hardware} cryptographic modules or signing providers at the least to retailer your code signing certificates’ delicate personal keys.

All of these items intention to enhance the safety of your personal keys. But when the adjustments are so constructive, why are we delaying them?

Why These Adjustments Are Being Pushed Again Till June 1, 2023

Picture caption: A screenshot from the CA/B Discussion board’s public mailing record dialogue on the proposed adjustments.

In a CA/B Discussion board public mailing record dialogue, Ian McMillan, Principal Product Supervisor at Microsoft, defined that the deadline for the proposed adjustments was “too tight” for subscribers and CAs alike and that he’d acquired a variety of emails expressing considerations in regards to the Nov. 15, 2022 timeline. Whereas having an aggressive deadline is nice, the problem is the necessities could be tough to implement successfully in such a quick window.

Partially, McMillan mentioned there are considerations regarding the ongoing world provide chain challenges and rising prices. These elements make it tough to get the required {hardware} safety tokens en masse, notably when you think about that Keyfactor studies that organizations have a mean of 25 code signing certificates, but solely half (51%) retailer them in {hardware} safety modules (HSMs).

Unsurprisingly, representatives from a number of CAs — DigiCert, Sectigo, and Entrust — agreed that delaying the change will probably be good for the CAs and certificates customers alike. As a result of code signing is such an integral a part of the software program growth course of, certificates customers have all kinds of techniques and processes that may should be supported and/or up to date. This offers them time to finalize their course of and get their geese in a row.

Right here’s a fast take a look at the poll voting outcomes that have been posted on the CA/B Discussion board’s CSCWG public dialogue record:

A screenshot from the CA/B Forum's public discussion email list. This screenshot shows the voting results of Ballot CSCWG-17 regarding the private key storage requirements extension.
Picture caption: A screenshot from the CA/B Discussion board dialogue record that reveals the voting outcomes of Poll CSCWG-17, which pushed again the important thing storage necessities change to June 1, 2023.

Do I Must Wait to Make the Key Storage Adjustments?

No. In the event you’re the proactive, go-getter kind who desires to start out implementing the adjustments immediately, you’ll be able to actually accomplish that if in case you have the suitable cryptographic {hardware}. This manner, you don’t have to attend and fear about doing so down the street. Attain out to your certificates supplier to see what steps you might want to take to make this occur.

In the event you’re like most corporations that need to reap the benefits of the delay, that’s okay, too. However simply remember to give your self ample time to make the adjustments earlier than the deliberate June 1, 2023 deadline arrives.  

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