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What is Certificate Analysis?
10/24/2023 - Brian O'Neill

Certificates in any context are intended to function as an accredited indicator of authenticity. If certificates associated with any person or product are illegitimate or compromised in some way, it’s vital that we know about it, or we might expose ourselves to unnecessary risk. In cybersecurity, the analysis of digital certificates is one of many critical steps towards ensuring the trustworthiness of a digital resource.

SSL Stuff

In the context of virus & malware scanning, certificate analysis has several major considerations. Legitimate file downloads, for example – especially high-risk file types like executables or archives – tend to have certificates in the form of “digital signatures” issued to the file’s creator/developer by a third party (Certificate Authority). By analyzing the legitimacy of these certificates, it’s often possible to quickly identify untrustworthy or malicious files. Untrustworthy files might present invalid or revoked certificates, and they might have received their certificate from an untrustworthy Certificate Authority in the first place. Other problems like inconsistencies or discrepancies in the certificate’s attributes might raise red flags, and there may even be apparent signs of tampering.

Websites and URLs also present SSL/TLS certificates to establish secure connections with clients, and these certificates can be analyzed in a similar way. Websites or URLs with expired, revoked or illegitimately issued SSL/TLS certificates can be identified through cursory certificate analysis, and known compromised websites can be identified through established blacklists. Phishing schemes – which commonly involve URLs to spoofed or compromised web pages – are one example of a common attack that certificate analysis can quickly mitigate.

Certificate Analysis with the Cloudmersive Virus Scan API

The Cloudmersive Virus Scan API utilizes a layered virus scanning architecture, leveraging a variety of established and cutting-edge techniques including file hashing, signal extraction, pattern matching, heuristics, whitelisting, bytecode analysis and certificate analysis. The combination of these various state-of-the-art malware threat detection techniques protects customers from both established threats and zero-day threats.

In addition, the Advanced Scan features of the Cloudmersive Virus Scan API allow customers to set custom rules against unwanted & risky file types, including executables, password-protected files, invalid files, archive files, and more. Customers can additionally whitelist file types by extension through a comma-separated list and receive in-depth content verification against the expected file types.

For more information on the Cloudmersive Virus Scan API, please do not hesitate to reach out to a member of our sales team.

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