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From "Boyle Owen" <Owen.Bo...@swx.com>
Subject RE: [users@httpd] apache SSL password
Date Tue, 09 Mar 2004 13:14:55 GMT
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brian Dessent [mailto:brian@dessent.net]
> Sent: Dienstag, 9. März 2004 11:20
> To: users@httpd.apache.org
> Subject: Re: [users@httpd] apache SSL password
> 
> 
> ashish borkar wrote:
> 
> >     when I start apache using ./apachectl startssl it asks me for a
> > password.Is it possible to give the password from a password file so
> > that startssl becomes automated and there is no need to 
> enter the pass
> > phrase of SSL
> 
> Doing that would pretty much defeat the whole purpose of storing the
> certificate encrypted, so you might as well just unencrypt it and not
> worry about the password at all.  Read the mod_ssl FAQ on this:
> <http://www.modssl.org/docs/2.8/ssl_faq.html#ToC31>

I quite agree.

'So what is the point of the passphrase in the first place?', you're
probably wondering. The point of having an encrypted cert is that only
*you* can start a webserver using that cert. That means that even if a
hacker breaks into your computer as root and copies the cert, he still
can't masquerade as your website because he can't start a fake server
with that cert. As Brian says, if you put the password in a file or a
script then the thief can steal that too and then there's no protection.

If you're confident that no-one who is unauthorized can gain access to
the cert, then there is indeed no point in encrypting it. On the other
hand, if you think your server is insecure then maybe you need to
encrypt the cert - but wait a minute; an insecure SSL server is a very
dangerous thing and so should you really be running it at all?

Rgds,
Owen Boyle
Disclaimer: Any disclaimer attached to this message may be ignored. 

> 
> Brian
> 
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