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Top level DNS 23 is the DNS controlled by the custodian of the corresponding top level domain.For example, if the top level domain is .org, the custodian is Veri Sign, Inc., of Mountain View, Calif.Firewall 1 is situated at the boundary of the overall network 3 (which may be the Internet) and the enterprise network.Computers and/or modules that are part of the enterprise network and are coupled to firewall 1 include: a plurality of client computers 4, an enterprise Domain Name Server (DNS) 21, a trustworthiness calculation engine 30, a blacklist 19 of known troublesome IP addresses, a whitelist 18 of trusted signing authorities, a blacklist 17 of known troublesome domain names, a cache 16 of certified digital signatures, a whitelist 15 of approved (trusted) digital certificates, a blacklist 14 of disfavored geographical locations, a stripper module 5, and the digital certificate of a designated stripping authority (DSA) 6.A method embodiment of the present invention comprises the steps of examining (52) a digital certificate (20) presented by a server computer (2); compiling (53) a set of suspicion indications (31) gleaned from said examining step (52); feeding (54) said suspicion indications (31) to a trustworthiness calculation engine (30); and outputting from said engine (30) a trustworthiness factor (32) that determines whether SSL stripping is to be used (57) on communications with said server computer (2).These and other more detailed and specific objects and features of the present invention are more fully disclosed in the following specification, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, in which: The present invention will be primarily illustrated in conjunction with the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol, although it has applicability to any other security protocol (such as S/MIME) in which an unencrypted digital certificate is used to proclaim the authenticity of an entity that issued the digital certificate.

A method embodiment of the present invention comprises the steps of examining (52) a digital certificate (20) presented by a server computer (2); compiling (53) a set of suspicion indications (31) gleaned from said examining step (52); feeding (54) said suspicion indications (31) to a trustworthiness calculation engine (30); and outputting from said engine (30) a trustworthiness factor (32) that determines whether SSL stripping is to be used (57) on communications with said server computer (2). Attempts to provide whitelists of allowable SSL Websites anger internal users and create a high administrative burden for security administrators.A typical digital certificate 20 is illustrated in .There are a number of protocols and standards, including the X.509 standard and the PKCS 7 standard, that specify mandatory and optional fields that should be used in digital certificates.The digital certificate 20 illustrated in contains the following fields: Distinguished Name.The distinguished name is the concatenation of several fields, including Common Name, one or more Organizational Units, Organization, Locality, State, and Country. The Common Name is usually the domain name (e.g., amazon.com) of the computer 2 that presented the certificate 20.

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