New SSL Certs On The Way

Interesting read over on CNet regarding the new EV SSL (Extended Validation) secure certificates for e-commerce web sites which will soon be available. Browsers that detect these new certs will indicate their presence using color coded background painting of the address bar as an visual cue. This will replace that little yellow lock icon we’re all accustomed to ignoring today. The lock icon is pretty worthless as a trust indicator due to a whole slew of small, cheap cert companies that basically do little or no background checking before selling someone a new cert for their web site. The new EV SSL guidelines require a signifigant amount of background checking before the cert is issued. This is going to be a boon to companies like VeriSign which have always had a system of background checking in place for cert applicants but have seen their business underminded by the cost differences between issuing VeriSign high trust certs and the cheaper “limited trust” cert sellers.