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How Are Certifying Authorities Susceptible to Attack?


One can think of many attacks aimed at certifying authorities, all of which can be defended against.

For instance, an attacker may attempt to discover the private key of a certifying authority by reverse engineering the device in which it is stored. For this reason, a certifying authority must take extreme precautions to prevent illegitimate access to its private key;

The certifying authority's key pair might be the target of an extensive cryptanalytic attack. For this reason, CAs should use long keys, and should also change keys regularly. Top-level certifying authorities need especially long keys, as it may not be practical for them to change keys frequently because the public key may be written into software used by a large number of verifiers.

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