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Certificate Transparency Overview


The following provides general information about Certificate Transparency in EJBCA.

For information about how to set up and configure Certificate Transparency logging for a CA, see Certificate Transparency Operations.

Certificate Transparency (CT) is an Internet security framework for monitoring and auditing digital certificates. The standard creates a system of public logs that seek to eventually record all certificates issued by publicly trusted certificate authorities, allowing efficient identification of mistakenly or maliciously issued certificates.

EJBCA implements Certificate Transparency (CT) as specified in RFC 6962. The purpose of CT is to create public audit logs of all certificates issued by the public SSL/TLS CAs. The presence of audit records is required for EV certificates in Google Chrome as of 2015 (and other web browsers and non-EV certificates to follow). Note that CT is only relevant for CAs issuing public SSL/TLS certificates, other types of CAs should not use CT. More information can be found on the Certificate Transparency website.

From a CA's point of view, CT works by publishing certificates from the CA to the log servers and retrieving Signed Certificate Timestamps (SCTs) in response. This is a single operation, so requesting an SCT for a certificate also publishes it. The resulting SCTs can then be sent to end-users in a TLS handshake in different ways: in a certificate extension, in a stapled OCSP response, and/or in a TLS extension. EJBCA supports all of these, including combinations. The following sections describe how to configure EJBCA in one or more of these modes.


The submission of pre-certificates is logged to the EJBCA audit log. When a pre-certificate has been submitted to the required number of CT log servers, then a SUCCESS is audit logged. Otherwise, a FAILURE is logged. If the generation of the pre-certificate fails, then no CT log submission is performed, and nothing is logged.

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