Turns out that the root certificate was a Trojan Horse. It allowed the Kazakhstan government to perform a “man-in-the-middle” or MitM attack against HTTPS connections to a list of 37 domains, including Facebook, Twitter, Google and more, according to a study published by University of Michigan’s Censored Planet. Normally, HTTPS websites are encrypted in a way that ISPs or governments won’t be able to access it. In the case of Kazakhstan, the MitM attack broke the encryption in these sites, allowing the government to freely spy on private internet activity.
Both the Chrome and Firefox browsers in Kazakhstan will bar the illicit certificate before users can even download it. Mozilla will block Kazakhstan’s root certificate with OneCRL, which Firefox has been using to revoke certificates since 2015. Previously, users who accessed the internet in Kazakhstan received a message on their smartphone or computer asking them to install the root certificate.
Now when [...]