TurkTrust CA certificate breach and what does it mean for you

A pseudo analysis of the issue that was brought to my attention by Eric Klien’s post here. The following text is slightly edited version of my comment on the post, reproduced here because I think its important for my readers to be aware of the issue.

A new CA kerfuffle has broken out yesterday, and here are some of the headlines:

The information for the discussion below was sourced from these, more technical, articles(1):

To summarize, the problem was a botched test process in TurkTrust CA (as part of an external security audit) that caused a CA profile to be set up to generate “sub CA” certificates, and following that the profile was copied to the production system and subsequently used to generate two certificates before the problem was discovered and fixed (I assume the test profile was removed from the production system), but only 1 of those certificate was revoked. (more…)

  1. I applaud BBC for trying to present a complex security issue in “layman terms”, but as someone who is familiar with the technology in question, it gave me quite a headache, trying to “reverse translate” the text []

The reason why I don’t use Firefox anymore

Is because my laptop only has 2GB of memory.

OK – it sounds worse then it is, but with normal use Firefox is simply way too heavy for my – not too shabby – Thinkpad T61 Core2 Duo T7250 @ 2GHz with 2GB RAM. Its not a stellar machine by today’s standard by its less then 3 years old and I don’t see why it shouldn’t be able to run a modern browser.

But with both Evolution (that requires a couple hundreds MB of memory) and Eclipse (at ~ 600 MB memory) I can’t also run Firefox which with just a few tabs open takes up close to 1GB of physical memory (and tons of virtual). My system just comes to a standstill, and lets not talk about running – oh, I don’t know – a terminal!

So I’m using Chromium and while its developer tools are not as good as Firebug, at least it doesn’t hog up all my RAM and with a few dozen tabs open my system is still pretty responsive.

It may be the process separation in Chromium that is better, allowing the operating system to swap out completely tabs that are not used. I’ve heard some talk about having the same thing for Firefox (project electrolysis – though at this point it seems to be focused on the Fennec mobile browser) and I do hope they get on with it because Firefox’s memory consumption has grown in leaps and bounds in the last couple of years and unfortunately my computer’s memory has not grown with it :-(.

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