The French Government uses fake digital certificates to spy on users

12/03/2013 - 05:00 PM

  • The French Government uses fake digital certificates to spy on users
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3rd December 2013

On 3 December Adam Langley, a Security Engineer from Google announced the identification of unauthorized digital certificates related to various Google domains. Further investigations have since shown that the certificates had been issued by French Certification Authority ANSSI, that works closely with the French Defense Agency. In a statement, ANSSI said that the certificates were used only to monitor the traffic within private networks, however, concerns remain high that the government could have used the certificates to inspect the domestic traffic to the main Google services including  GMail, Youtube, Google Docs and Google+. It should also be pointed out that a possible theft of certificates by criminals could lead to a number of problems.

In response to this action Google has updated Chorme's certificate revocation list, in order to block certificates issued by the ANSSI Certification Authority. Moreover, the company has also informed the producers of the major browsers in current use.