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  • Root CA of India

    Posted on July 28th, 2009 Sandeep No comments

    When it comes to secure transactions over the web, you probably would’ve seen that a website URL starts with “https” instead of “http”. For a website to be trusted, it needs to have a digital certificate issued by a trusted third party, called the Certificate Authority (CA). Companies like VeriSign and DigiCert are examples of CAs. It is also possible for governments to have their own Certificate Authorities.

    Which is exactly what the Indian Government has. The Controller of Certifying Authorities issues the root certificate for CAs in the country. Essentially, all certificates below this root gain the trustworthiness of the root certificate.

    Unfortunately this root certificate is not included by default in many browsers, so if you happen to visit sites carrying a digital certificate by any of the Indian CAs, your browser may incorrectly try to prevent you from accessing them. The fix for this is quite simple: you need to install the root certificate in your browser.

    The following steps assume Firefox 3.5.

    1. Download the root certificate from the Controller of Certifying Authorities
    2. Open Tools > Options > Advanced > Encryption tab
    3. Click on the “View Certificates” button
    4. In the subsequent “Certificate Manager” window, click on “Import”
    5. Browse to the downloaded file (it will be a .CER file) and select it
    6. Firefox will prompt if you wish to trust this certificate. Since this is the root certificate, you can select all the options listed in that dialog
    7. The root certificate should be successfully imported. You are all set to go!