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Report: Surfshark, TurboVPN, VyprVPN installing risky root certificates

Several well-known VPN providers – including Surfshark, TurboVPN and VyprVPN – are among six brands called out for a risky practice that potentially undermines user security, reports TechRadar.

The article notes that, as part of its Deceptor program, security research firm AppEsteem found that providers’ apps install a trusted root certificate authority (CA) cert on users’ devices and some providers even fail to obtain users’ consent for doing this. AppEsteem recently expanded its programme to include VPN providers, researching VPN apps to look for deceptive and risky behavior that could harm consumers. 

“Installing trusted root certificates isn’t good practice,” says TechRadar Pro’s security expert, Mike Williams. “If it’s compromised, it could allow an attacker to forge more certificates, impersonate other domains and intercept your communications.”

What is a Root SSL Certificate? From the DNS management company DNsimple website: A Root SSL certificate is a certificate issued by a trusted certificate authority (CA).

In the SSL ecosystem, anyone can generate a signing key and use it to sign a new certificate. However, that certificate isn’t considered valid unless it has been directly or indirectly signed by a trusted CA.

A trusted certificate authority is an entity that’s entitled to verify someone is who they say they are. In order for this model to work, all participants must agree on a set of trusted CAs. All operating systems and most web browsers ship with a set of trusted CAs.

The SSL ecosystem is based on a model of a trust relationship, also called the “chain of trust”. When a device validates a certificate, it compares the certificate issuer with the list of trusted CAs. If a match isn’t found, the client checks to see if the certificate of the issuing CA was issued by a trusted CA, and continues until the end of the certificate chain. The top of the chain, the root certificate, must be issued by a trusted Certificate Authority.

The list of trusted CAs is critical, because it determines the security level of an entire system.

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today
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