Let's Encrypt Free Certificates' Success Challenges SSL/TLS Industry
NEWS ANALYSIS: The free security certificate effort backed by the Linux Foundation achieves a major milestone with one million free certificates, but are all those free users actually secure?
Let's Encrypt hit a major milestone on March 8 by providing its one millionth free SSL/TLS certificate. The Let's Encrypt certificate service was first announced in November 2014 as an effort to help expand the use and availability of cryptographic security for Websites. In April 2015, Let's Encrypt became a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, with the first publicly available free certificates issued in December 2015. "We launched with the capacity to support issuance rates on the very high end," Josh Aas, Internet Security Research Group executive director, told eWEEK. "One million certificates in three months seemed within the realm of possibility, but it also seemed possible that it would take us most of 2016. We are very happy that the former was the case." While Let's Encrypt has enjoyed early success, the effort has raised some questions about security and authenticity. Kevin Bocek, vice president of security strategy and threat intelligence at cyber-security company Venafi, commented that Let's Encrypt is all about making turning on encryption easy.
"More encryption is great but the ease of obtaining certificates automatically can be riskier," Bocek said. "We've already seen phishing sites and other attacks use Let's Encrypt certificates."