Analyzing HTTPS services offered by GV.AT domains

posted in #eGovernment, IT Security on the 7.11.2014

In this project several properties of the services offered by domains have been analyzed. The main emphasis of the analysis was placed on services that were offered via HTTPS (SSL, TLS protocols). The results of this analysis are presented in a technical report. In addition to the analysis, a basic framework for the automated analysis has been implemented.

The main results of the analysis are summarized as follows (note, that this is a snapshot taken in 2014. The distrubution meanwhile likely has changed):

  • 1285 services have been analyzed, 763 of those services did not support HTTPS
  • For the 552 services which offer HTTPS, the following details were observed:
    • 59 services were configured for HTTPS. The other 463 services offered default HTTPS services (e.g. provider-specific default HTTPS certificates, or non-valid test certificates)
    • The services have then been analyzed for their supported cipher-suites, which have a strong influence on the security of the TLS protocol.

All details are available in the project report (German only).

Use of SHA-1 in certificates

Multiple vendors of web browsers are intending to retire the popular hash algorithm SHA-1 in favour of more recent alternatives. Therefore, guidelines have been elaborated that plan to take a leave of SHA-1 in multiple steps.

The subsequent table illustrates the support for SHA-1 in a chronological manner and highlights the handling according to the browser (situation in 2014). The gradual sunset of SHA-1 is shown separated into steps whereas each is assigned an individual color: Notice (green), Warning (yellow) and escalation (red).

SHA-1 depreciation

During the HTTPS analysis, a list of signature algorithms used on servers of public institutions, has been composed. Based on that, the following key figures can be derived (situation when completuing the study in 2014):

  • 41 servers use a certificate which is no longer valid after 1/1/2016.
  • 21 out of 91 certificates are still valid in 2016. Major browsers will consider the affected servers secure, with minor errors.
  • 27 remaining certificates will be still valid after 1/1/2017. As a consequence, they will appear indifferent to unprotected HTTP connections, starting with the release of Google Chrome in version 40.

A detailed description of all deprecation policies and the list of investigated certificates are explained in project report (German only).


File Description File size
pdf Project Report SHA-1-in-Browsern (DE) Version 0.1 of 20.10.2014 (German only)
591 KB
pdf Project Report GV.AT Domains (DE) Version 1.3 of 26.09.2014 (German only)
425 KB