Browser manufacturer Mozilla has teamed up with Apple to jointly block a root certificate from the government of Kazakhstan. With this certificate for web browsers, the country wants to decrypt the encrypted online data of its citizens. It is the second time that the browser manufacturers have excluded such a government attack from use in the Asian country.
Data Was Redirected
At the beginning of this month, the government of Kazakhstan wanted to require all online users to use the country’s insecure root for numerous websites, which had to be installed in the browser. The ban hacked websites and had to be implemented by the country’s online providers. This would have diverted and read out HTTPS data. In addition, unnoticed cyber attack of the content would have been possible.
Last week, the browser manufacturers got together and banned the root from their browsers as unsafe. Those who installed the root will now see an error in the browser instead of a page indicating that the certificate is not trustworthy.
Three Attempts To Obtain A Government Surveillance
This is Kazakhstan’s third attempt to hack the country’s online data. Few years ago in 2015 and 2019, the government wanted a root authority from Firefox to be included in the browser as trustworthy. The Firefox refused this. In 2019, citizens should also install a certificate in order to reach certain pages. The most important browser manufacturers cancelled this back then too.
This measure is justified with a protection against cyber attackers who are allegedly targeting the online activities in Kazakhstan – whereas a browser can of course not do anything, especially if it is actually used to undermine secured data. In addition, it was said in 2019, the government wants to prevent citizens from viewing weak content.