Digital protection certificates ensure websites are legitimate and approved, and free of malware. As a measure of confidence users find it safe and stable the website they visit. Consider, however, that digital security certificates are compromised, how can we protect users from such compromised websites?

The existing digital security certificates that data transmitted between website owners and website visitors is encrypted and can only be decoded by private keys which are only accessible by website owners. The encryption will help protect sensitive business or consumer information which is transmitted through the website

Meanwhile, existing antivirus programmes immediately terminate pages that are not protected by such licences, making it a challenge for hackers to insert malicious code from the compromised site through computers.

According to a senior KPMG consultant, security certificates are considered a key trustworthy element, as they require strict authentication of payment and identity proof. The certificate is checked to verify if it really belongs to the intended entity – organisation or individual listed in the certificate. This stops the hackers targeting the website.

Cyber criminals are trying methods and techniques to steal security certificates or build their own security certificates signed by a Certificate Authority in order to compromise a massive number of user data, they will then be able to use those testaments to circumvent antivirus protection system and contaminate a large number of site visitors with malwares.

This works well for hackers, since they don’t search the website for malicious activities when antivirus software detects a protection certificate in place. This helps hackers to take a free run of the website.

‘The malware is allowed to run with an authentication. Bypassing these developments will lead to the development of a security violation by a digital criminal group.

Hackers find ways to steal valid certificates and use it further to sell certificates to cyber criminals, with legitimate certificates being the basis for hackers to join. There are claims that certain breaches of cyber-security have occurred recently only by leveraging the use of legit digital certificates stolen.

‘Using genuine certificates will remain one of the best ways to sidestep security measures and keep malware running under the radar in the system,’ says Marta Janus, Cyclance ‘s senior threat specialist.

‘The theft of certificates is not a complicated activity, but this approach was first discovered primarily in advanced targeted attacks. It is not shocking that digital criminals recognised the possible value that legitimate security certificates might have on the black market, and found ways and techniques to exploit such certificates.