Security Alerts & News
by Tymoteusz A. Góral

#1404 How one man could have owned GitHub, and what happened next…
A WoSign customer wanted to acquire a certificate for the server name, a subdomain of the University of Central Florida’s domain

The customer was duly authorised to run this subdomain, which belongs to the College of Medicine, so WoSign was correct to approve it.

However (and, in hindsight, by good fortune), the customer also accidentally applied for a certificate for, presumably having mistyped

To his surprise (I am guessing at the customer’s gender here), the second application was approved as well.

This turned out to be more than just a one-off, because the customer did a second test, using a certificate in the name of another domain he had the right to control, namely (and

Deliberately following the same faulty path that he had followed by mistake in his previous application, he ended up with a vouched-for certificate for all of,, and

As these are the primary server names for the popular source code hosting service GitHub, this would have been a blunder with serious consequences if a crook were to have spotted this trick and acquired the dodgy GitHub certificate with cybercrime in mind.
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