SSL/TLS Certificates and Their Prevalence on the Dark Web (First Report)

By Georgia State University


To shine a light on the availability of SSL/TLS certificates on the dark web, the Evidence-based Cybersecurity Research Group at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and the University of Surrey spearheaded a research program, sponsored by Venafi. This report details the preliminary findings of the research and outlines the volume of SSL/TLS certificates for sale on the dark web, including information on how they are packaged and sold to attackers. These certificates can be used to eavesdrop on sensitive communications, spoof websites, trick consumers and steal data. The long-term goal of this research is to gain a more thorough understanding of the role SSL/TLS certificates play in the economy of the dark web as well as how they are being used by attackers.

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