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WIRELESS-ADMIN  February 2010

WIRELESS-ADMIN February 2010

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Subject:

New JANET Comodo/Addtrust/Usertrust certificates and eduroam

From:

Bob Franklin <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Wireless Issues in the JANET community <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 1 Feb 2010 17:24:59 +0000

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

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Hello,

I'm told there isn't specifically a list about the JANET SSL certificate 
service and issues, so I'm starting here and excuse any inappropriacy!


We have to replace the certificates which protect the RADIUS/EAP 
conversations with our eduroam servers; we'll be using the new JANET 
certificate service and, indeed, I have the certificate ready.  (Just the 
complication with the supplicant reconfiguration to describe.)

However, we've hit a weird issue whereby the certification chains for the 
JANET certificates vary between platforms and what's issued by the CA. 
Given the chain certificates supplied as part of the application, I have a 
path of:

   AddTrust External CA Root
     UTN-USERFirst-Hardware
       TERENA SSL CA
         server.cam.ac.uk

However, Windows doesn't have AddTrust External CA Root in it by default, 
but will go and fetch it using the 'Microsoft Update Root Certificates 
Component' upon first use (see 
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457160.aspx for more info).

It does, however, have the UTN-USERFirst-Hardware CA in as a trusted root.

The result of this is that, if someone hasn't had reason to visit a site 
requiring this CA then they won't have it in the list of CAs available in 
the dialog box.  (However, just browsing a site protected by it will load 
it and present it in the list.)


So, I'm wondering what to do -- should we tell people to trust the 
UTN-USERFirst-Hardware CA for their eduroam connection and remove the 
chain going from that up to AddTrust (*), or might this change in future? 
What do the JANET SSL/CA people recommend?

If this may change in future and we must trust the AddTrust External CA 
Root one, we have to get people to visit a SSL-protected website (for 
example) to get it to appear in the list.


Has anyone tried this yet with 802.1X/EAP?

   - Bob


(*) Firefox has both UTN-USERFirst-Hardware *and* the AddTrust CAs listed 
as trusted roots, but only cares about trust on the one at the top of the 
chain supplied by the server -- if that goes up to AddTrust, it makes no 
difference if UTN-USERFirst-Hardware is trusted or not.  I have no idea if 
this applies to Windows and its 802.1X supplicant but, if it does, then we 
need to manually edit the CA chain to remove the chain up to AddTrust.


-- 
  Bob Franklin <[log in to unmask]>              +44 1223 748479
  Network Division, University of Cambridge Computing Service

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