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Google Chrome 56+ distrusting WoSign, StartSSL Certificates

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Certificate Authorities (CAs) play a key role in web security by issuing digital certificates to website operators. These certificates are trusted by browsers to authenticate secure connections to websites. CAs who issue certificates outside the policies required by browsers and industry bodies can put the security and privacy of every web user at risk.

Google has determined that two CAs, WoSign and StartCom, have not maintained the high standards expected of CAs and will no longer be trusted by Google Chrome, in accordance with our Root Certificate Policy. This view is similar to the recent announcements by the root certificate programs of both Apple and Mozilla. The rest of this post provides background to that decision and how we plan to minimize disruption while still protecting users.


Beginning with Chrome 56, certificates issued by WoSign and StartCom after October 21, 2016 00:00:00 UTC will not be trusted. Certificates issued before this date may continue to be trusted, for a time, if they comply with the Certificate Transparency in Chrome policy or are issued to a limited set of domains known to be customers of WoSign and StartCom.

Due to a number of technical limitations and concerns, Google Chrome is unable to trust all pre-existing certificates while ensuring our users are sufficiently protected from further misissuance. As a result of these changes, customers of WoSign and StartCom may find their certificates no longer work in Chrome 56.

In subsequent Chrome releases, these exceptions will be reduced and ultimately removed, culminating in the full distrust of these CAs. This staged approach is solely to ensure sites have the opportunity to transition to other Certificate Authorities that are still trusted in Google Chrome, thus minimizing disruption to users of these sites. Sites that find themselves on this whitelist will be able to request early removal once they’ve transitioned to new certificates. Any attempt by WoSign or StartCom to circumvent these controls will result in immediate and complete removal of trust.

We remain committed to ensuring the safety and privacy of Google Chrome users. We appreciate the impact to users visiting sites with affected certificates and to the operators who run these sites, but the nature of these incidents, and the need to protect our users, prevent us from being able to take less disruptive steps.

If you are using the free certificate from StartSSL, its time to move because with Chrome 56 they will not be trusted... Letsencrypt is the best free alternative.

Firefox and Safari will do the same.

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